I have been watching this season's Hell's Kitchen, and am truly amazed that very few cheftestants can actually cook. In the first episode, one of the girls didn't know how to fry eggs. Her team was rescued by the waffle house short order cook who knew how. For the past 4 episodes nobody among the boys can make Beef Wellington or risotto. And last Monday night was exceptionally bad. One guy was not able to prepare mashed potatoes properly. Mashed potatoes! Even a caveman can make mashed potatoes! His mashed potatoes was so runny it looked like soup. That made chef Ramsay, dubbed by one of the boy meanies Shar Pei, bark/cuss at them louder and more frequently that I'm thinking this show may be scripted. Anybody who has been in the cooking business should know how to make mashed potatoes and nobody should make the same mistake of ruining risotto and the dated Beef Wellington each and every time. (Beef Wellington, btw, in my opinion should be taken out of the menu, there are other more creative and delicious ways to prepare filet mignon)
Now, how to make this seemingly easy to prepare side dish. There isn't a perfect mashed potatoes recipe, as tastes differ, but one must not ruin it by adding too much liquid into it. Using the right kind of potato is also important. The all-purpose yukon gold is what I use for mashed potatoes because they are semi-waxy and have medium water content unlike the russet. Yukon golds don't fall apart when boiled, they have that rich buttery taste, and the yellow color makes the mashed potatoes look more appealing.
1½ pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup heavy cream or half & half
2 tablespoons butter
sea salt to taste
- Place potatoes in a pot, add enough water to cover, add salt, cook for 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and mash using a ricer. Warm the cream and butter then add to the mashed potatoes. Season with salt, then beat with a wooden spoon or hand beater for 1 minute until fluffy. Do not overbeat or it might turn gummy. There, an easy to make mashed potatoes!:)