3 lbs potatoes, either gold or red, scrubbed
3 T butter
1 t garlic, minced
1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2/3 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
Optional: salt and pepper
Spoon Mage™ Note:
If you are new to cooking, it may be frustrating to figure out just how to make wonderful mashed potatoes. The two most useful things to know is which tool to use and the amount of liquid, in this case – buttermilk. Some of you like mashed potatoes lumpy, some prefer them to be creamy, and some like their potatoes super smooth – almost paste-like. How do you get them to come out right?
- For lumpy potatoes, use an old fashioned potato smasher like the one to the right, and use less buttermilk.
- For creamy potatoes, use a little more buttermilk and a tablespoon more of butter.
- For super smooth whipped potatoes, use your electric beater, add more buttermilk (a little at a time), and then whip it til it’s done.
You might notice that I do not recommend the baking potatoes for smashing. Those potatoes are best for baking as their flesh turns watery when boiled. Red potatoes are particularly good at giving you beautiful textures and creaminess. Some folks prefer the taste of told potatoes. Either way – leave those nutritious skins on.
After scrubbing the potatoes, examine them for bits that need to be sliced off – slice off discolored spots and roots that are emerging.
Slice the potatoes into reasonably equal sized pieces – about 2 inches in diameter will do just fine.
Place them in a pot of water as you slice. When the pot is full, you may need to pour off some of the water. Make sure there is 2 inches between the top of the potatoes to the top of the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a high simmer, and place a lid over the pot tilted so that some of the steam escapes. This will help prevent boil overs.
Do watch the pot every now and then in case you need to either reduce or raise the temperature to maintain the high simmer (or low boil).
Cook the potatoes for about 30 minutes, stirring once. The potatoes are ready when they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain, return to the pot.
Add the butter and put the lid back on while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
Add the garlic and white cheddar cheese to the pot and give it a stir with a wooden spoon.
Using the potato smasher, begin to mix in the buttermilk using an up and down with a stir motion. Add buttermilk a little at a time and mash until the potatoes look just right for you. There is no need to heat the buttermilk.
Give them a taste. If you love salt and pepper in your potatoes, now is the time to sprinkle a little on, stirring very gently with a wooden spoon.