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Mashed potatoes: The ultimate comfort food

Good types to mash

Russets: their dry texture makes very fluffy mashes

Long and Round Whites: Medium starch content of these two types support mashing

Yellow potatoes: Creamy texture and buttery taste.

Sweet potatoes: The darker-skinned, deep orange variety cooks up the best in a mash

Potatoes are nothing fancy. This simple vegetable has been loved for generations as a hearty, satisfying food. Popular with both children and adults, an aromatic bowl of steamy mashed potatoes makes everyone’s mouth water.

Perfect potatoes : over 90 fantastic potato recipes from all over the world from classic potato salad to potato cake, shown step by step in 300 tempting photographs
Sally Mansfield.
London : Southwater, c2008.
More than Mashed provides you with over 100 potato recipes for every occasion, from a simple snack to a celebration meal. You will find it as indispensable in your kitchen as the wonderful potato itself.
     
The complete illustrated potato & rice bible : over 300 delicious, easy-to-make recipes for two great staple foods, from soups to bakes, in 1500 glorious step-by step photographs
Alex Barker, Sally Mansfield and Christine Ingram.
London : Lorenz, 2008.
     

Dairy products such as milk and cheese are the most popular additions to mashed whites. Try buttermilk for imparting a nutty flavor to the mix. Cheddar or Jack cheeses are flavorful additions: just add shredded cheese and then mix and pop the dish under a broiler for 2 minutes. Other ways to prepare them include enriching with heavy cream or lightening with low fat milk. The versatile mash accommodates a variety of caloric preferences. Salt and pepper to taste and a few chives create a classic finish to the dish.

A sweet potato mash can be improved up by adding bourbon and molasses, ginger, or fruit purees of apple and pear.

The sweet potato lover's cookbook : more than 100 ways to enjoy one of the world's healthiest foods
Lyniece North Talmadge ; illustrated by Madeleine Watt.
Naperville, Ill. : Cumberland House, c2010.
Who would have imagined that the simple sweet potato could offer so many delicious possibilities? The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook showcases recipes that take advantage of and feature this stellar vegetable. With their nutritional value, great taste, and use worldwide, sweet potatoes truly are one of nature's most unique gifts to the world. This cookbook is the perfect resource for making sweet potatoes a regular, flavorful part of one's menu. Tempt your taste buds with: ¿ Orange Butter Sweet Potato Waffles ¿ Sausage and Sweet Potato Soup ¿ Candied Sweet Potatoes ¿ Easy Caramel Sweet Potato Pie ¿ And more!
     
Pass the sweet potatoes, please!
Velonda Thompson ; edited by Jane Varner.
San Jose : Writers Club Press, 2001.
An educational cookbook featuring sweet potatoes.
     

In recent years mashed potato bars have become popular at parties and celebrations. A variety of toppings allow each diner to customize his serving. When the concoction is served up in a martini glass it creates a festive dish that elevates the lowly potato to star status.

Cooking Tips

Boiling whole potatoes with their skins on or steaming potatoes in slices or cubes keeps the potatoes from becoming waterlogged, improving the texture of the final dish and preserving nutrients

If boiling potatoes without their skins, cut them into small cubes for fast cooking so that they are exposed to water as briefly as possible

Using a potato masher yields slightly lumpy yet fluffy mash. For a smoother consistency, use a ricer.

Do not use a food processor or the potatoes will be gluey

A mashed potato bar may feature:

  • Classic toppings such as crumbled bacon, chives, sour cream and roasted garlic 
  • Extra special toppings like caviar, caramelized onions, wild mushrooms
  • Creamy cheeses that include Brie, bleu and ricotta
  • Spicy additions like salsa and tangy mustard

Is there anyone who doesn’t like the sound of these potato dishes?

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff