Meanwhile I steamed a whole potatoe for making mashed potatoes. I cooked the large, well scrubbed russet potatoe for fifty minutes, then mashed as usual with butter, salt, and cream. Great flavor, although the result was a little dry. I think because my usual boiled potatoes absorb a lot more water. Mashing with a bit of added milk might have made all the difference.
mashed potatoes are a funny thing, so simple, straight forward yet so many slight variances that can change the outcome from small amounts to completely different, sometimes slight changes dont work at all and only minutes after they are served turn into big white mountains that lift off the plate with the fork in one lump
we all have our own way that we have done for years and tend to get used to that, or perhaps grew up with mashed potatoes tasting a certain way with a certain texture.
in a pressure cooker or indeed if microwaved they tend to come out drier than if done the old traditional way of simmering in water for 20-30 minutes, naturally they are steamed this way and typically don't get water logged, boiled mash for some might be described as bland(er) than PC mashed spuds. many years ago i gave the microwave a good try for a year or three and was never overly keen on them that way. PC and MW both need larger quantity of milk (and/or add back some of the starchy water they were cooked in) than when cooked on the stove in a saucepan/pot . i find heating the milk makes a good bit of difference (doesnt need to be heated when boiled in pot method so much because they seem to hold more heat that way and longer but still makes a difference), evaporation while sitting and through mashing time makes PC and MW mash drier too which is another reason why they need more milk. i tend to cut potatoes to even sizes so they cook uniform and quicker, unless i am making a cheats shortcut baked potato then steam whole and flash cook in a pan (just roll it around a bit making some brown spots with oil for colour and taste then into the oven to crust up. i also never used a machine to mash with unless i am making duchess potatoes (pretty piped shapes of mash finished in oven for slight crust, for dinner parties in the 70-80's), a hand masher is nicest by far for me but i hear many Europeans or perhaps its just the french like to put theirs through a sieve (restaurants and TV cooking shows always seem to do it this way), it certainly makes the creamiest mash but i like just a bit more texture (once in a blue moon adding some sour cream and chives (with butter too of course) and sprinkled with paprika at the end for something different ,perhaps just that 70-80's dinner party thing again, goes well with steak diane
mashed potatoes are so subjective, we all like our own but with a fiddle and being open to try a few different ways you can tweak a very nice outcome in the PC or whatever, salting the water before seems to be much better than trying to get seasoning correct at the end ,larger amounts of butter make a big difference but not very heathy to eat on a regular basis, just a special occasions thing, obviously the type of potato makes a huge difference as well and i reckon the PC does a fine job for potato salad
Edited by chippy, 16 September 2013 - 10:45 AM.