I had originally planned on making scalloped Russet potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes for this year’s Thanksgiving meal. My wife said, “It is not Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes! A quick shuffle and I did it the other way.
Note: This is a quick and easy side for a busy cooking day. You can prep it hours ahead and it takes just a few minutes to finish off.
Karl’s Mashed Potatoes with Chives
3 large Russet potatoes, coarsely chopped
3 Tbs. butter
½ cup half-and-half
3+ Tbs. chives, sliced finely
Pepper and salt, to taste
1. Peel and chop potatoes and leave soaking in cold water until 30 minutes before the meal.
2. Thirty minutes before the meal, set the potatoes to boil and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
3. Just before the meal, drain potatoes and use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes.
Tip: A potato-ricer looks like a giant garlic press.
Note: For creamy, lump-free, mashed potatoes a ricer is essential. They were popular in my mother’s say, but when I went looking for one for myself they had gone out of fashion. I finally found one in an antique store. With the whole “foodie” movement they have come back into fashion. Many that you will find now have large ¼ inch square holes—called a potato masher, if you want smooth potatoes do not buy that type. You want one with no larger than ⅛ inch round holes—about the diameter of a cooked grain of rice.
4. Add the cream, chives and salt and pepper to the riced potatoes.
Tip: Reserve a few chives to use as garnish.
5. Use a wire whisk to whip and mix the potatoes
Tip: Do not overwork the potatoes. You want them mixed, but the potatoes can turn glue-y if they are stirred too much.
6. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and garnish with the remaining chives.
7. Serve warm and immediately.