Saturday, November 13, 2010

Giving thanks for mashed potatoes

November is typically the month where I begin to get excited about everything pumpkin, stuffing and turkey. Yet one of my all-time favorite side dishes is the mashed potato (and yes, I can do the twist). Maybe it's the aggression released when I smush down on the butter, milk, seasonings and potatoes with my utensil? It can be a forgiving vegetable to prepare, since minutia such as keeping the skin on or having lumps comes down to personal preference -- not technique.

I stumbled across a useful article for cooking up an ideal batch. I don't expect readers to follow instructions to a tee. (Keeping the skins on and substituting milk for cream is my take on it.) Hopefully you'll find a tip to make your dish even better. If you want to take it to another level, be sure to read variation #2 "umami version". Can't go wrong with garlic & white truffle oil!

If you're still not sure about clicking the link, here's an anecdote for you.

The very first dish I learned how to cook was scrambled eggs. I thought I was an expert. Those eggs would be cooked all the way through, and I would either eat them as is or incorporate into fried rice (the second thing I learned) for brekkie. I took home ec in junior high, and my teacher's mantra for scrambling has always stuck in my head, "Firm, yet moist". One minor detail led to a future of tastier yolks. That is why I read articles about foods I already know how to prepare.

If you're ready for one cook's humbling tale, click here.

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