October 5th, 2010

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

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Serves 6 to 8

Pictured here with Savory Mushroom Gravy

Mashed potatoes should be a no-brainer, but I’ve had some pretty bad vegan ones in my day. I think the problem has been three-fold: too much Earth Balance, the wrong kind of milk and over-boiling. Rule number one: always use unsweetened milk. Even regular soy milk or almond milk have a sweetener and that can give mashed potatoes an “off” taste. I prefer almond milk, but no matter you use, make sure it says “unsweetened” on the package. And yes, you can have too much vegan butter in your mash. I wildly prefer the taste and texture of olive oil. Also, never boil the potatoes. That makes the outsides mushy and kind of water logged. Instead, once the water is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Mash the potatoes once they are fork tender, if the potatoes are falling apart then they have been cooking for too long.

But more important than anything is…the potatoes! Choose organic potatoes, because the taste of conventional potatoes just does not compare. And I love to use thin-skinned yukon gold. They’re so creamy and you don’t need to peel off the skin. Okay, now that I’ve chastised you, go off into the world and make these mashed potatoes for friends, family and even foes.

3 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk at room temp
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt (plus more for the water)
Several dashes fresh black pepper

Cut potatoes into about 1 1/2 inch chunks. Place in a pot and cover with cold water. Spinkle about a teaspoon of salt into the water. Cover and bring to a boil.

Once boiling lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 12 minutes, until fork tender. Drain potatoes, then place back in the pot. Do a preliminary mash with a potato masher, just to get them broken up. Add milk, oil, salt and pepper and mash until fluffy. You may want to add a bit more milk, if needed. Taste for salt and pepper and serve!

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