Lean in close, I have a confession to make. I never cared much for mashed potatoes. Really, I could take them or leave them.
I’ve tried to fall in love with this prize of dinner tables across America. They just didn’t get me excited. But that’s all changed.
Marrying into an Ohio family, I was told I better fall in love with mashed potatoes, and quick! I decided right then and there that I would come up with a recipe so good it would send me back to the table for seconds.
- Use a good starchy potato. Yukon Golds are a great potato, but just won’t cut it for mashed. Russets are great, but farmers at my local market introduced me to some newer, more flavorful potatoes like Salem, Eva, Reba and Kennebec that are flavorful and fantastic!
- Pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill*. The less you work them the fluffier they are. That old fashioned masher makes them lumpy and beaters just make them gummy.
- Crème fraîche. The one thing lacking amidst the comforting starchy potatoes, rich cream and butter, salt and pepper, was a little bite. Something to keep your palate from being lulled to sleep. Sour cream is too sharp. Crème fraîche is the perfect answer.
So this year I will finally join those of you who have been extolling their virtues and raise a glass – and a large sauceboat filled with gravy – to a bowl filled with fluffy, rich mashed potatoes. Happy Thanksgiving!
*Bonus! The food mill will catch the skins. No more potato peeling. Don’t worry, you can find another job for cousin Johnny!
The World’s Best Mashed Potatoes
- 3 large starchy potatoes, like Russet
- 2 tbs butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 3 tbs crème fraîche
- Boil whole and unpeeled potatoes until a paring knife easily pierces to the center, but potatoes are not falling apart.
- Using the finest disc, press potatoes – peels and all – through a food mill into a medium bowl. The food mill will catch the peels.
- Stir butter, cream and crème fraîche into warm potatoes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.