Quick Cooking Tips – Making Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Making Perfect Mashed Potatoes
For many people, the perfect side dish is a bowl of fluffy, creamy, smooth mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are great for pairing up with most grilled, baked or fried meats, and can give you a carbohydrate boost if you’re looking to cut out rice or pasta from your diet.
The great thing about mashed potatoes are that they are very versatile, quick to make, and are so easy to create from scratch that a lot of kids are actually given the task to make the mashed potatoes, especially during family gatherings and occasions. So even if you’re not the greatest whiz in the kitchen, you can always impress your friends and family with your delicious bowl of steaming, perfectly cooked and seasoned mashed potatoes.
Here are some quick tips to make your own mashed potatoes at home:
• To make potatoes cook quicker, you can cut them into smaller wedges, but even just poking holes into them with a fork can speed up the cooking process.
• It will generally take around 20-30 minutes/ kilo of potatoes to cook thoroughly. If your fork or knife goes though the potatoes easily and without much resistance, then it is cooked.
• Don’t forget to scrub the potatoes thoroughly before cooking! Even if the potatoes look clean (usually potatoes bought from supermarkets have been pre-cleaned and pre-scrubbed), you still don’t know what the potatoes have come into contact with.
• You can make mashed potatoes with either the skin on or off, so it is more of a question of personal taste more than anything else; however, potato skins contain more vitamin C than an orange, so leave them on for a vitamin C boost.
• Once the potatoes have cooked, you can use a potato masher to quickly and easily mash them, although you can do it just as well with a fork.
• Add your milk and butter while the potatoes are still hot from cooking; the heat allows the milk and butter to quickly and thoroughly become incorporated into the potatoes.
• Don’t forget to season your mashed potatoes! Even simple salt and pepper can make for a good bowl of really scrumptious mashed potatoes.
• If you’re looking for a way to add a more unique flavor, why not try adding some herbs and spices? Try adding some smoked paprika, cayenne and a bit of cumin for a more Cajun flavor. Fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme are great with mashed potatoes because their earthy flavor marries well with the mild flavor of potatoes and the sweetness and richness of the milk and butter.