There is nothing in this world that says comfort food like homemade mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream, of course!
While I’ve always loved homemade mashed potatoes, I hated peeling all those potatoes. For many years, I’d just scrub them really well and then mash them with the skins on. But when I started using my mashed potatoes as a base for other recipes, the skins needed to be gone. So I had to find an easier way to peel them suckers.
I came up with my easy peel method one night when I decided spur of the moment that I didn’t want the peels left on and I’d already cooked the potatoes. At first I used my hands and graduated to using a knife and that cut my peeling time in half. I’m sure my way is not new or unique, but it sure is easy and fast!
What I make is creamy mashed potatoes with nothing but salt and pepper added for flavor. Simple sometimes is best! However, if you prefer your mashed potatoes to have cheese, garlic, sour cream, chives — well, I’ve added those additions to the recipe!
I start with whole potatoes — I use whatever I happen to have on hand which is usually russet, yukon gold or red bliss. I think that the russets make the best mashed potatoes, but use what you have and what you like. I also cook more potatoes than I’ll need for one meal. Sometimes I’ll make Au Gratin Potatoes with part of the cooked potatoes I’ve set aside or sometimes I mash the whole pan and then I use the leftover mashed potatoes for other recipes like New England Clam Chowder or Potato Pirogi Casserole.
Here’s what’s great about my method for easy peel mashed potatoes — they are completely no-fuss! I dump the potatoes into the pan. I don’t peel them, I don’t cut them up, I don’t even wash them.
Cover the potatoes completely with water and cook on medium high until the potatoes are soft and a fork pierces the skin easily. I’d say this normally takes about 45 minutes but it will depend on how many potatoes you are boiling at once.
Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat and drain. Cool potatoes by adding them back to the pan and covering with cold water. You want to be able to pick the potatoes up with your hands without burning yourself. I normally let the potatoes cool for 15-20 minutes.
Drain water again and using a butter knife or other non-sharp and non-lethal knife (ask me how I know to use a butter knife — yup, pointy objects are dangerous in my hands), start scraping the peels off the potatoes. They will come right off. Depending on the type of potato you use, you may have to apply a bit of pressure, but it’s as easy as buttering your bread!
I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for mashing potatoes — I prefer my tools to do all the hard work! If you don’t have a kitchen aid mixer, you have several choices: an immersion blender works if you cut or smush up the potatoes a bit first, you can use a salad shooter but it’s a bit messy, a potato ricer or a hand potato masher.
Like I said, my vote goes to the Kitchen Aid mixer as all I have to do is add my ingredients to the bowl and turn it on. Wallah, done!
For my mashed potatoes I use butter, milk, salt and pepper. Simple is better for a couple of reasons. 1) I like mashed potatoes that taste like creamy mashed potatoes. 2) I usually make mashed potatoes in 4-5 pound batches and use the leftover potatoes in other recipes. Those other recipes may not work with the added flavors, so I keep it simple.
If you’ve let your potatoes cool down before peeling them, I recommend melting the butter prior to adding to the bowl. You will also want to oven heat them before serving.
Whip up those taters in the kitchen aid mixer and then serve immediately if hot or add to a dutch oven, cover and bake in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly.
Total Comfort Yum!
- 4-5 pounds russet potatoes (or use whatever you have on hand)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (use melted if potatoes are cold)
- 1/2 to 1 cup milk (I normally use half & half)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Add potatoes to large cooking pot and cover with water.
- Cook on medium high heat until potatoes are cooked thoroughly and a fork slides in easily. About 45 minutes.
- Drain water and cool potatoes down in a cool water bath. About 10-15 minutes. Drain.
- Using a butter or dinner knife, scrape skins off of the potatoes.
- Add potatoes, butter, milk, salt & pepper to mixing bowl.
- Mash using kitchen aid mixer or your favorite method.
- If heating is required, spoon potatoes into a dutch oven, cover and bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
- Recipe can be halved easily.
Add 1-2 cloves of garlic or 1-2 teaspoons of prepared minced garlic
Add 1-2 cups of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese – either mixed in or melt on top (or both)!
Sour Cream & Chives Mashed
Add 1-2 cups sour cream plus 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
Sour Cream & Onion Mashed
Add 1-2 cups sour cream plus 1-2 teaspoons onion powder (or 1 medium onion sauted until clear in 1 tablespoon butter)