Nothing beats a warm and comforting bowl of mashed potatoes. Especially as cooler weather approaches, soft potatoes mixed with varying combinations of milk, butter, and salt not only warm the stomach but also hit the proverbial spot. When it comes to preparation, there's a good chance many of us follow similar protocols when making homemade buttery mashed potatoes. Peeled and cut potatoes are typically added to a pot of salted water, boiled until tender, and then mashed with just the right amount of butter and milk to make these tender spuds just the right amount of creamy and flavorful. Yet, what if there was a simple way to ensure your next pot of mashed potatoes came out soft and perfectly creamy before adding anything extra during the mashing process?
As it turns out, boiling raw potatoes in a mixture of water and heavy cream gives them an extra boost of flavor and texture. Since heavy cream is thicker than water, you don't necessarily need a lot, either. Simply cover your peeled and chopped potatoes with water and add ¼ cup of heavy cream to the pot before bringing the mixture to a boil. The resulting texture of your cooked potatoes will surely surprise your taste buds even before you add any additional milk, butter, and salt. Before we get into other ways to use heavy cream for your next batch of mashed potatoes, let's uncover how and why heavy cream may be the ingredient your uncooked potatoes have always needed.
How Does Heavy Cream Add Depth To Basic Boiled Potatoes?
First off, choosing the right potatoes is crucial when making a delicious mashed potato side dish. You may need to consult the ultimate guide to different potato varieties or go with the standard russet variety. Russet potatoes are dryer than other varieties and usually result in a lighter consistency when cooked. To boil potatoes in cream and water, cook them until fork tender before draining. The added cream will penetrate the potatoes and soak them with fat and additional flavor from the inside out. Once cooked, these cream-soaked potatoes can be made even more tasty and rich with the right amount of milk, butter, and salt. While a combined mixture of water and milk is a tasty alternative, heavy cream adds an unmatched level of richness due to its high fat content.
To get the most out of your potato cooking liquid, use more cream in the boiling process, and once your spuds are sufficiently cooked, reserve a cup of the heavy cream and water mixture. Then use this reserved cooking liquid as a flavorful addition when mashing your potatoes. You will inevitably use less, if any, milk and a smaller amount of butter. If you're new to this method and are used to mashing your cooked potatoes with heavy cream instead of milk, you may want to adjust the amount of added ingredients in the mixing process.
Make Sure To Balance Out The Fat And Liquid In Your Mashed Potatoes
If you are used to having your mashed potatoes result in a certain consistency, be mindful of how much additional cream and butter you're adding to your potatoes after boiling. Since these cream-soaked potatoes already house some precious milk and fat, you may want to even out the texture, and instead of adding the usual half-and-half or warmed heavy cream when mixing, try some vegetable or chicken broth instead. If you overdo the amount of cream, you might make your resulting side dish too rich and heavy.
Having a decent amount of liquid and fat is a good indicator of delicious mashed potatoes. Some home chefs and professionals alike believe you should be adding sour cream to mashed potatoes since this ingredient not only has an acidic bite but also a high amount of fat. Similar to butter and sour cream, heavy cream contains more fat than liquid. In fact, according to Healthline, heavy cream consists of roughly 80% fat as opposed to 20% water. Make sure you add enough liquid so the starches within your potatoes have something to attach to in the mashing process. Using only butter and heavy cream can leave your mashed potatoes heavier than you might want. Therefore, if you try the cream and water technique for boiling, try milk or broth when mashing your potatoes so your resulting dish is not only creamy but equally light and fluffy.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.