A quick rant on Mashed Potatoes

Everyone is always going on about eating healthy.  And I think it’s great.  I do my best to eat balanced meals and proper portions (which is SO HARD).  But there are some things that I WILL NOT compromise on.  Mashed potatoes is one of those things.  If I eat healthy(ish) for most the week, I don’t see the harm in splurging and spending some calories on mashed potatoes.  And that’s the secret to mashed potatoes… FAT.  I’m sorry, there’s no way around it.  I’ve had dozens of people in my life ask me how I get them so creamy and tasty.  It’s simple, FAT.  When I tell them what I put in, they say “but that’s so fattening!”  Yeah.  DUH!  Some things need fat.  I had a friend (she’s a sweetie pie!) who LOVED my mashed potatoes.  And she told me HER secret was that she used chicken stock as her liquid (apparently a tip from Rachel Ray).  But mine had so much more taste.  And I told her I only ever use Half and Half (unless I have heavy cream handy mmmmmm)…and butter or margarine, of course.  Her reply was (as always) “But isn’t that so fattening?!”  Yeah.  And it’s GOOOOD!

My husband, in his younger years, once asked his Aunt how she made her mashed potatoes taste so good (they would wait ALL YEAR for thanksgiving to eat her potatoes).  She kept telling them she makes them just like everyone else.  Milk and butter and mash away.  So one year they asked to watch and found out Auntie was using a WHOLE STICK (sometimes more) of butter in her potatoes!  No wonder they tasted better than 2% with a few pads of butter!

Now, if you have health issues or you’re morbidly obese, then yes, you might wanna find a nice, healthy version of mashed potatoes.  But if you’re an average person who just wants something really creamy and tasty and yummy to go along with that big fat juicy steak, go with the 1/2 and 1/2 and butter!

Now, every chef has their secret to mashed potatoes.  Some put them through a food mill.  Others literally whip them.  My trick comes from my mother.  She always made the most fantastic mashed potatoes.  And her secret was this:  ALWAYS heat the “milk” (half and half) and butter in the microwave before adding them to the potatoes.  This way you don’t shock the potatoes!  Why boil something for dinner only to put ice cold milk and butter on it?!  To this day, I still maintain that practice.  And even though I know I could just warm it on the stove, I STILL keep a microwave around for heating butter and milk (not just for this recipe but in general).  Other than warming those two things and juicing fruits, my microwave hardly ever sees use.  I just never have a need for one!

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