A classic mashed potato recipe blends milk and butter with potatoes for a rich, creamy comfort food. While you may think the traditional recipe is perfect in its simplicity, Mexican crema is the extra ingredient your mashed potatoes need to raise your standards of perfection to new heights. A blend of heavy cream and buttermilk, Mexican crema strikes a balance between the tartness of sour cream and the rich dairy flavor of heavy cream.
In Mexican cuisine, crema is a common staple to drizzle over numerous dishes, from umami-heavy meats like arrachera to spicy chipotle-infused tinga de pollo tostadas or enchiladas suizas, and even sweet fried plantains. Just as its sour yet creamy flavor profile complements sweet, spicy, and umami profiles, crema is also the perfect zesty dairy product to complement the earthy savoriness of potatoes. It'll also enhance the richness of the other dairy ingredients in a classic mashed potato recipe.
Crema's consistency is similar to sweetened condensed milk, making it the ultimate texture enhancement for mashed potatoes. With a thinner texture but a higher fat content than sour cream, crema will easily disperse into mashed potatoes, making them ultra smooth and velvety. You can find Mexican crema in the dairy section of most major supermarkets, depending on your region. You can also make your own crema by adding a few tablespoons of buttermilk and a squeeze of lime juice to a cup of heavy cream.
Read more: 23 Types Of Potatoes And When To Use Them
How To Add Mexican Crema To Mashed Potatoes
Mexican crema isn't a substitute for milk and butter but an addition to the classic mashed potato recipe. You'll make your favorite mashed potato recipe, then add between ¼ to ⅓ cup of crema to the finished product. To achieve a perfectly creamy and smooth consistency without taking away from the fluffiness of the mashed potatoes, folding the crema into the potatoes is the preferred method. By folding the crema, you'll gradually blend the crema into the potatoes while also aerating the mixture, resulting in mashed potatoes that are rich and decadent but also light and airy.
Whether you use waxy Yukon gold potatoes or starchy russets, Mexican crema will effectively blend their varied textures into the creamiest mash. It would also add creaminess and a tart complement to mashed sweet potatoes, or any root vegetable puree for that matter. It would add depth to a pear and parsnip puree or mashed butternut squash. You can also enhance crema's flavor in mashed potatoes with other seasonings, such as fresh cracked pepper, garlic salt, roasted garlic, or chives. You could also use Mexican crema and red salsa to put a Mexican twist on a cheesy mashed potato pie or twice-baked potatoes.
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