One of my responsibilities while working at Le Cirque to was to make the purée de pommes de terre, or mashed potatoes. After the potatoes were peeled, cooked, drained and dried (you’ll read about that in my recipe, below), I had to use a rubber spatula to push them through a tamie (a screen framed with wood that sits over a mixing bowl). This was an arduous task. Although the potatoes turned out silky smooth and delicious, I vowed to serve lumpy yet equally delicious “smashers” at my own restaurant. After all, whose mother didn’t serve lumpy potatoes? I chose to leave the skin on not only because I like the added flavor; I didn’t want to have to peel 25 pounds of potatoes every night, either! You can add all sorts of things to smashers (see sidebar), but these potatoes are so good, they really don’t need other flavorings. Why tamper with perfection?Print Recipe Pin Recipe
- 8 whole large red potatoes about 3 pounds
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half, plus more if necessary The amount of the half and half needed depends on the potatoes, so you are going to have to use your best judgment on how much to add. Mother’s smashers should be very creamy and look very “wet.” They should not be stiff. They should fall off a tilted spoon, not stick to the spoon or fall in a big blob on the plate. Ideally, you should serve the smashers right away, since they tighten up as they sit (even for just a few minutes) and become a little less wonderful. If making them a little ahead of time, make sure they are even creamier, cover them very well with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil, and keep them warm by placing them in a preheated 200°F until ready to serve.
- 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 ½ sticks
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Scrub the potatoes clean with a vegetable brush under cold running water.
- Place the whole potatoes in a large (8- to 10-quart) stockpot or Dutch oven and cover with cold water by about 1 inch
LOVE NOTE:Starting potatoes in cold water helps them cook more evenly because the whole potato has a chance to warm up as the water warms. If you drop potatoes into boiling water, the outsides will cook much faster than the insides. Don’t be tempted to use hot tap water to speed up the process. No matter how old or new your plumbing is, most systems contain lead at some level, and hot water can leach the lead out of the pipes and into your cooking pot where it doesn’t boil away.Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil (put the lid on the pot to make the water go faster -- just make sure you remove it when the water begins to boil or it could boil over). Lower the heat and simmer uncovered until the potatoes are fork-tender (a fork should be able to slide in and out very easily), about 30 minutes (better to slightly overcook than slightly undercook).
- When the potatoes are tender, drain in a colander set in the sink. Pour the potatoes out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 8 minutes (to dry out excess moisture), but do not allow them to brown
LOVE NOTE:Strange as it may seem, the dryer the potatoes, the creamier your smashers will be. That’s because the less water they soak up, the more half and half and butter they can absorb, making them extra rich and creamy. That’s why the potatoes are cooked whole, so they absorb less water, and why I like to pop them in the oven to dry out the excess moisture.
- While the potatoes are drying out, place the butter in a warm spot to soften and the half-and-half in a small saucepan over low heat (adding warm cream to the potatoes will help keep them piping hot).
- Return potatoes to the cooking pot (pour them into the pot or use tongs—they’re hot!) and smash them with a heavy duty wire whisk or a potato masher (don’t worry if they’re lumpy – that’s what makes them smashers.) Add the butter and warm half-and-half. Add additional half-and-half, if necessary, to achieve a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Give this Smashed Potato recipes try. You will be happy you did!#comfortfood #happythanksgiving #thanksgiving #thanksgivingvibes #thanksandgiving #thanksgivingrecipes #mashedpotatoes #mashedpotato #motherfood #mothersbistro #cooking #easyrecipe #portlandoregon♬ Mashed Potato Time - Dee Dee Sharp