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Fat Guy

Potato Puree, Mashed Potatoes, Pommes

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Suvir, you're eating the mashed potatoes? No, no, no silly man. You're supposed to smear them all over your body and run around while drinking Champagne. Nobody eats them.

See I was a little confused until you clarified, thanks. Sometimes us new

people are a little slow, I too drink fabulous Champagne this way.

Just before I finish my mashed potatoes I add an egg, for some reason that makes a world of difference.

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Idaho Russets and Yukon Gold's. Red's are too waxy for my taste. I used to cube the Idaho's before cooking but after experimenting with "fully jacketed" I like that technique. The taters don't become waterlogged. And the jackets aren't a problem because I rice. I also began melting the butter beforehand. It doesn't cool the mashers so much and seems to incorporate better.


--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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   I like using a ricer to mash them, although I sometimes do the smash 'em, chunky style. Cubes of mozzerella which get stringy and soft are good to throw in. I've done it with mozz. and small pieces of a spicy salami.

bella, have you tried potato gatto? It is very like what you describe. I am fond of plain mashed potatoes as well, but gatto is "sublime."

I clipped a recipe some months back for Pancetta Mashed Potatoes, with crisped pancetta and shallots... almost another version of gatto, and very delicious.


Hungry Monkey May 2009

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Does anybody know how much butter say 1 pound of whipped potatoes can absorb before the butter starts to "well"? I have been attempting to replicate the butter with starch at, for comparison's sake, Grammercy Tavern. I saw a chef long ago on Great Chefs (forgot the name) make a similar dish. It seemed the amount of butter used was astronomical and there was surprisingly little cream. The butter (clarified?) was worked in a slowly, perhaps a few tablespoons at a time for several of cups of potatoes. I have failed to replicate this taste because the butter soon wells and does not seem to absorbe. Should I do this over low heat to facilitate butter absorption? Am I using the wrong potatoes (youkon gold)? It would seem that different potatoes would have different saturation points. Am I missing something?


Rice pie is nice.

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There's Fat Guy impersonating me again.

By the way, when the older threads are brought to the fore, doesn't it feel like decades ago that we wrote and read them?

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It may soon be my mission to bring some of them back. :wink:


Rice pie is nice.

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Lyle, yeah, some of the oldies are good.

Stephen Schmidt (whom I much admire) suggests 8 tablespoons=I stick of butter for 4 servings. Along with half cup of cream or milk (heated with the butter to just below boil). For 4-6 servings he suggests 2 lbs pots. He also recommends baking pots--I tend to agree.

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Lyle, yeah, some of the oldies are good.

Stephen Schmidt (whom I much admire) suggests 8 tablespoons=I stick of butter for 4 servings.  Along with half cup of cream or milk (heated with the butter to just below boil).  For 4-6 servings he suggests 2 lbs pots.  He also recommends baking pots--I tend to agree.

This is pretty much my recipe, too. But I've never felt like I was approaching the limit of the potatoes' ability to hold butter (my limit, maybe, but not the potatoes'). With a sufficiently dry potato, I think you could slide another quarter pound in without much trouble.

Bakers/idahoes/russets are preferred because the higher starch content (relative to waxier potatoes, which includes Yukons) allows for greater absorption as the starch expands.

It has also occurred to me that an emulsifier of some sort might amplify the apparent ability of the potatoes to hold fat. Haven't tried it, so it's still only a theory. I would start with one well-beaten egg yolk for two pounds of taters, and go from there.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Lyle, yeah, some of the oldies are good.

Stephen Schmidt (whom I much admire) suggests 8 tablespoons=I stick of butter for 4 servings.  Along with half cup of cream or milk (heated with the butter to just below boil).  For 4-6 servings he suggests 2 lbs pots.  He also recommends baking pots--I tend to agree.

Who is Steven Schmidt?

I have heard of him. I am told I must buy his books.

Some tell me he is a great pastry chef.

What can you all tell me about him?

I know nothing about him.. and worse yet.. I have none of his book(s). :sad:

And what makes it worse is that he lives in NYC.. and just recently a friend asked if I would be willing to make the birthday cake for Steven Schmidt. I agreed.. and was told as to how good a chef he is. I was all embarassed. He was kind enough to say that the Ginger Pudding (It was prepared to cut like a creme caramel/flan) I made was great. I hope he was not being kind and generous. Now I wish I had known he was so well respected.. maybe I would have paid even more attention to the pudding. Well, I did what I normally do. But now I wonder if I should have made him something else for his special day. But my friend wanted this particular pudding. It is delicious.. but very homey even though it is surprisingly refined and elegant.

But I did not realize he was this famous. I just thought this one friend who has a successful business in the food world knows this chef with a cookbook (s). I did not realize people on eGullet would know of him.

What books of his should I buy? Are they really worth getting? Is he well known as a pastry chef, savory chef or both?

I know he has a new book coming out shortly.

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the way of making luxurious, almost fluffy, mashed ptatoes is, according to anne willan:

don't overcook. drain and heat a little to be rid of water content surplus(?). mill - not processor (yes, makes it gooey). milk and butter whisked in over low heat (so that starch swells). add salt and pepper.

she says 3 dl milk and c. 60 g of butter pr kg potatoes, and i can attest that it's gorgeous.

might be even better with cream!


christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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Lyle, back to your question:

How dry are your potatoes? They will absorb more butter if they contain very little water. Cook them with the skins still on (whichever you use, russets or Yukon Golds). Try to not overcook them to where they split open. Peel them while they're still warm and put them through a food mill into a pot. Stir them over low heat to dry them further. When they start to leave a film on the bottom of the pan, start stirring in your butter. I think it's actually better to use softened whole butter, although I can't give you a reason.

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I suspect my potatoes are too wet. I can make successful basic whipped potatoes, but I continue to fail to load it with my suicidal requirement for butter. Although I have many times made potatoes with the skin on, it never hit me to boil (should I try roasting?) them whole. I do heat them before adding anything to dry, but I suspect I should dry them for a longer duration. I think tomorrow I will make two batches each of Yukon and Russet, one each for eating and one each, two small controled batches, for the curiosity of how much butter they can "absorb". I will leave the skins on both boiled whole. I think I am going to need a large roast!

I will then drink the champagne.


Edited by Lyle (log)

Rice pie is nice.

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I like to use one medium russet per person, peeled, then THICKLY sliced.

Put in the pot with a thin slice of raw onion, cover w/cold water, add some salt, (enough, as the previous poster wrote, to make it taste like sea water), bring to boil, then turn down to simmer with the lid on.

When you can easily pierce the center of the thickest slice with a fork, drain and return to the pot, and put the pot back on a low flame.

Mash the potatoes in the pot with a fork, and fluff, then start adding copious amounts of butter, salt, and pepper. Taste. You'll find that the onion slice has disintegrated into the potatoes, leaving a very subtle flavor. Add the butter quickly so the potatoes don't scorch.

Then it's time to break out the hand mixer, and start adding milk or (mmm) cream as you whip on a low speed. Don't want them too airy!

These potatoes should still be able to absorb gravy or more butter at the table.

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I'm with the heating the milk/cream and butter before mashing. And baking the potatoes rather than steaming leves even more starch and less moisture.. all the better to get as much cream and butter absorbed as possible..

And sometime I skip the cream and butter an just add a really good olive oil and some finely sliced garlic. Yum Yum.

Other times I use milk, butter and a raw egg to mix it all up. also delish.

And I use a hand blender/ wand thingy to do the mashing.


'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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Who is Steven Schmidt?

I have heard of him.  I am told I must buy his books.

Some tell me he is a great pastry chef.

What can you all tell me about him?

I know nothing about him.. and worse yet.. I have none of his book(s). :sad:

Suvir, I don't know that much about Schmidt, but I use his "Master Recipes" quite a lot. Very good detail. A friend of mine took a cooking class that he offered and got a lot out of it. She described him as enthusiastic and approachable. I see from his book he writes for Cook's Illustrated and the Washington Post among other things, and the flap says he is writing a book on American desserts, which may be out by now.

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Put in the pot with a thin slice of raw onion,

I like this idea. Thanks. And potatoes always seem to cry out for tons of black pepper, no?

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I like this idea. Thanks. And potatoes always seem to cry out for tons of black pepper, no?

i generally use a lot of black pepper when i'm cooking, and yet it never ceases to amaze me how much i have to put in the potatoes. crazy amounts.

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I like this idea. Thanks. And potatoes always seem to cry out for tons of black pepper, no?

i generally use a lot of black pepper when i'm cooking, and yet it never ceases to amaze me how much i have to put in the potatoes. crazy amounts.

Because they're crying out for it. Tons of it. Didn't I just say that? Pay attention, tommy. :smile:

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I like this idea. Thanks. And potatoes always seem to cry out for tons of black pepper, no?

i generally use a lot of black pepper when i'm cooking, and yet it never ceases to amaze me how much i have to put in the potatoes. crazy amounts.

Because they're crying out for it. Tons of it. Didn't I just say that? Pay attention, tommy. :smile:

yeah yeah, that's what i'm saying. i agree that they are crying out for it. tons of it. :biggrin:

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As much as I would love to eat the Joel Roubochon version (half potato half butter ) every day my body and mind require a different version from time to time.

Take equal amount celery root and russet potato with a few peeled garlic cloves, add cold water,I add the salt to start. Boil covered until tender. Mash with masher. Add Olive Oil my favorite for this dish is the readily available Puget. Now I would add copious amounts of freshly ground Telicherry pepper. Remove from pot into stainless steel bowl and hold over pot of simmering water (au bain marie). Just before service monte with truffle oil.

I don't think I need to say taste for seasoning to this crowd.

I like to serve this with grilled meat and even fish. Save the richer version for roasted meats.


David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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My way: Bake 'em..... Say, 5-8 pounds, depending on how hungry I am when I start cooking. Probably the Cook's Illustrated recommendation of 1 hr 15 minutes or so. Peel, put 'em in (my grandmother's prized blue ceramic) bowl, add a stick of butter, a couple smashed/minced garlic cloves, a pint of cream of sour cream, salt and white pepper, milk after they're smashed (by hand, thankyouverymuch) to get the desired consistency and enjoy :)

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Of course, the neat thing about baking the potatoes is that then you have scooped-out potato shells to turn into really awful junk food, with cheese and bacon and all those other yummy no-nos! :laugh:

BTW: sometimes I will mix cream cheese into my mash. That's nice and tasty, too, and if I use neufchatel, not as rich as butter and cream(my first preference).

One more thing: when I was just in DC, I went to see Julia's kitchen at the Smithsonian. :wub: They have a 90-minute tape going of "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom" that includes an episode with Jaques Pepin on Garlic Mashed Potatoes. In it she says, "Well, if people object to using so much butter, they can use heavy cream instead." :wub::laugh:


Edited by Suzanne F (log)

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