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Potato Puree, Mashed Potatoes, Pommes


Fat Guy
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If you are making a big holiday meal, and are making mashed potatoes the old fashioned way where you drain the water, if you use Russet Burbanks it is traditional (in the US, with our turkey dinners, anyway) to save some of the potato water to use in gravy-making.

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7 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

... save some of the potato water to use in gravy-making.

Yes. This. My mom has always done this as far back as I can remember.

 

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Tim Oliver

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I've used potato starch instead of corn starch for gravy thickening purposes.  It works well, but if you want a traditional gravy that has the roux-based, floury consistency and taste, you'll need to use wheat flour as well. The concentration of potato starch extracted into cooking water doesn't seem high enough to appreciably thicken a gravy. Maybe if you took all of that water and used it to make a turkey/chicken stock, and then reduced that stock down considerably it would change things. What's the technique exactly? Is the potato water used to thicken the gravy or is it mostly for flavor?

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It's mostly used to not be wasteful....

My mom would take the turkey out of the roasting pan, put the pan on two stove burners, add some flour, cook until it got bubbly and started to change color, then stirred in water plus salt and some fresh herbs. It was whisked while cooking until everything was incorporated (the fond had time to break down a bit, and it thickened. Not perfect, by any means.

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  • 3 months later...

Cook your potatoes unpeeled, which helps stop them going soggy and which may better preserve their nutritional content.Then mash them using a potato ricer or a French ‘moulin à legumes’, still with their skins on. The skins stay behind in your chosen device and you get better quality mash.

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Chris Ward

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I wrote a book about learning to cook in the South of France: http://mybook.to/escs

 

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Last night I tried using my new WMF potato ricer.  Can't say I was thrilled.  After steaming I cut my potato into three pieces.  It took almost more pressure than I could exert to rice them.  The texture wasn't dreadful, but not as smooth as I can obtain with a traditional spiral wire masher.

 

Next time I suppose I could try forcing the riced potatoes through a tamis, though that would be an awful lot of work for what I would suspect is not much gain.

 

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I used to do that when I wanted the Robuchon style potato puree (but I used about half the butter as the Rx dictated).  It was a lot of work.  A lot.  I would take the riced potatoes and then dry them in a pan over low heat to remove any extra moisture, then I'd whip in the butter....  Take that paste and run it through a tamis a couple of times, then back into a pot over low heat and add back some of the potato cooking water to get to the proper consistency and season.  A lot of work, and a lot of cleanup.  But the results are fantastic.  I actually learned the technique at a cooking class run by David Bouley about 10 years ago when he ran classes a few times a month at his test kitchen.  It's great if you have a staff to do it and all the cleanup...

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The biggest single improvement I ever made in my mashed potatoes, according to my family, was when I went to using Yukon Golds almost exclusively. I had always gone with redskins for mashed potatoes. I peel, cut, cook (in salted water), drain; then either mash with a potato masher or into the stand mixer. I add butter (lots), cream (less), and if I'm in a garlicky mood, garlic.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

Why do the riced potatoes need drying?  What if you use baked potatoes, do they need drying too.

just curious.  Good mashed potatoes are rare I think because people just don't pay attention.

 

If I baked the potato I'd just eat it then and there.

 

 

After I riced my potato last night it looked quite dry.  I typically pressure steam a peeled whole russet for my mashed potato.  Excess moisture does not appear to be a problem.

 

Just for science, next time I may try the tamis.  Can't remember if the tamis fits in the dishwasher.

 

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I'm a bit of a Luddite here (if a Luddite can be against old technology like ricers and tamis).

 

I boil sliced Yukon Golds in salted water till done. Drain and let all the water evaporate off for a few minutes. Put in a few splashes of cream and mash with an old-style masher that has ~3/4 cm holes....and adjust texture with more cream.

 

I confess to favoring a firmer mashed potato.

 

I've riced, whipped, food milled, tamised...it all is at best as good as mashing old school, and is more work (esp the clean-up).

Edited by gfweb (log)
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On 10/11/2016 at 1:09 PM, gfweb said:

Anybody know how well starch from potatoes and flour combine to thicken a gravy.

I dont know about thickening a gravy with potatoes, but i thicken my pot pies with dried potato flakes. AKA instant mashed potatoes. Best thickening agent i have used for soups or soup like dishes that include potatoes. Great for Ham and string bean soup too.

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I keep potato starch in my pantry for thickening purposes. Works pretty well, reheats better than flour-thickened or cornstarch-thickened. 

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56 minutes ago, chromedome said:

I keep potato starch in my pantry for thickening purposes. Works pretty well, reheats better than flour-thickened or cornstarch-thickened. 

 

Pretty standard in parts of China, especially Sichuan. Probably other places, too.

 

starch.jpg

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21 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Last night I tried using my new WMF potato ricer.  Can't say I was thrilled.  After steaming I cut my potato into three pieces.  It took almost more pressure than I could exert to rice them.  The texture wasn't dreadful, but not as smooth as I can obtain with a traditional spiral wire masher.

 

Next time I suppose I could try forcing the riced potatoes through a tamis, though that would be an awful lot of work for what I would suspect is not much gain.

 

 Sounds like you need to cook the potatoes more.

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On 1/29/2017 at 8:40 AM, liuzhou said:

 

Pretty standard in parts of China, especially Sichuan. Probably other places, too.

 

starch.jpg

 

 

Isnt potato starch the roots of a violet flower plant and not actually potatoes? Or is that just the Japanese Katakuriko?

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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  • 6 months later...

An interesting way to make mashed potatoes...boil them in the cream and butter you were going to add after they're cooked:

"You’re Making Mashed Potatoes All Wrong"

Quote

Potatoes have a really delicate, beautiful minerality to their flavor profile, and when you cook potatoes in water and you pour that water down the drain, you’ve extracted all the flavor of the potato,” he told PopSugar.

“So what I do with mashed potatoes — because you finish them with cream and butter anyway, right? — is I’ll take that same cream and butter and add that to the potatoes and cook the potatoes in cream and butter.”

My mom never poured the potato water down the drain. It was saved to make the gravy. 

 

Has anyone made mashed potatoes this way?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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1 hour ago, Toliver said:

Has anyone made mashed potatoes this way?

 I think many of us have made them this  way!   The scallions are optional.

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