Thursday, November 29, 2007

You Say Potay-to!

And so do I!

I mean, really. Who says Potah-to? And I mean it! Tell me if you know anyone, because I don't.

Okay. I've had an underwhelming response from those of you who want your cooking questions answered.

So here we go:

The first thing I was asked: How does one keep from getting lumpy mashed potatoes?

My initial thought on this is, "One goes to a fancy-schamanzy restaurant where they have a nice line-cook who makes mashed potatoes all day long." But that's not very helpful, is it?

And I say that because mine are always lumpy. Always.

Because I read in Cook's Illustrated magazine once that one should boil their potatoes whole with the peels still on so the potatoes don't get water-logged. But you know what happens? Impatient people like myself don't let them cook long enough because it takes for-evah for the potatoes to get done. And the rest of the dinner is waiting on the flippin' potatoes, am I right? Yes, I am. So I mash 'em before their time. Always.


Here's my suggestion: Keep doin' what you're doin' (peel them, cut them into evenly-sized pieces), but just cook them a little longer. (By the way? MJ peels and quarters her potatoes.) The tines of a fork should easily slip into a potato piece when they're done. Then after you drain them (and do this immediately, don't let them sit in the hot water, because they will get water-logged)? Pop them back into the pan and place them over low heat and give 'em a little shake (or five). The goal here is to dry them out a little bit so they will be fluffier (vs. watery). And don't be afraid to do this. You won't burn them or anything.

And you know what? Don't stress out about this: they're potatoes for gawd's sake.

I personally could care less if there's a lump or two in my potatoes. And lumpy potatoes = I-cared-enough-to-peel-all-of-these-potatoes- and-NOT-serve-you-potato-flakes-from-a-box (Not that there's anything wrong with that, because I like those too, but you know what I mean, right?).

I've got to go and get ready for my Franklin. I want to look pretty for him.

Next up?
Gravy talk and a Trump-style house tour for Kim from Vintage Pretties. Because I heart Kim from Vintage Pretties. She's one of my oldest blogging pals.


Penny said...

I like my mashed potay-toes to have a few lumps! Just don't leave any in my gravy...LOL!

By the way, I don't know anyone who say potah-to either!

Kim said...

I heart you too! HUGS & KISSES!!! :)

Can't wait for the mega-mansion tour...!

Mrs. Jones said...

Oh, thank you, thank you Martha! You are my hero!

You're not going to believe this, but I bought a bag of potatoes and made 2 batches of mashed taters. I cooked them with skins on, and also with skins off and chopped up. THEN I dried them out like you said to do (drying potatoes??? Really, I never would have thought of this in a million years!). Aaaaand it did seem like they would burn, but they didn't.

So, both recipes turned out beautifully unlumpy. I believe the potatoes that were cooked whole were less gummy. The other batch turned out good too, and there was only a slight difference. Mr. Jones preferred the taters that were chopped and then cooked. I froze the leftovers for future dinners ... do mashed potatoes freeze well? We'll find out!