Published March 1, 2008.
Spuds boiled in their jackets make great mashed potatoes. But who wants burnt fingers from peeling hot potatoes before dinner?
When cooking potatoes for mashed potatoes, keeping the skins on yields the best potato flavor, but peeling hot potatoes is awkward and even dangerous when rushing to put dinner on the table.
We wanted a mashed potato recipe that allows more of the prep work to be done in advance, but still delivers a fully smooth mash with robust, earthy potato flavor.
Gluey potatoes are a result of starch granules that swell with water and then burst during cooking, releasing a gel that turns potatoes sticky. Cooking the potatoes with their skins on protects the starch granules, reducing the gumminess. To give peeled potatoes the same protection, we made two alterations to our usual technique. Steaming rather than boiling the potatoes exposes the potato pieces to less water, reducing the chance of the granules swelling to the point of bursting. Some granules, however, will inevitably burst; rinsing the potatoes midway through cooking removes the resultant gel. As a bonus, we found that this method requires less butter and dairy to achieve the same richness as conventional mashed potatoes. Our finished recipe reduces the amount of butter from 8 to 4 tablespoons and replaces a full cup of cream with just 2/3 cup of whole milk.list of recipes