Love mashed potatoes but want to jazz them up a bit? Look no further than these fantastic variations on classic mashed potatoes.
1. Skins On. It takes time and effort to remove those potato skins – and by doing so, you’re throwing away a good deal of nutrition! Leave the skins on and you’ll have a heartier dish with a slightly earthy flavor.
2. Add Bacon. Cook the bacon in a skillet and drain on paper towels. Once cool, crumble. Make mashed potatoes as usual, but replace half the butter with 2 or 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings. Fold the crumbled bacon in last. Serve with grated Cheddar cheese on top.
3. Herb ‘Em. Adding a little garlic, chives, parsley, and rosemary elevates mashed potatoes to a classier level.
4. Texas Style. To ordinary mashed potatoes, add Monterey Jack cheese (about ½ lb. grated), ¼ cup sliced green onions, and 2 seeded, thinly sliced and chopped jalapenos. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
5. Veggie Medley. Add chopped sweet pepper, small diced carrots, and small diced onion. Cook the veggies in the last 5 to 10 minutes of boiling the potatoes, separate after draining, and fold back into the potatoes once they are mashed. If desired, add some grated Cheddar, too.
6. Sour It. Instead of milk, use sour cream. If desired, serve with chopped chives over each serving.
7. Garlicy. Peel 4 garlic cloves and boil and them with the potatoes. For a stronger garlic flavor, mince 4 garlic cloves and sauté in butter until golden. Add to already made mashed potatoes.
8. Pesto Presto. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite pesto to mashed potatoes.
9. Tomato Goodness. To every 4 cups of traditional mashed potatoes, puree ½ lb. of oven dried tomatoes. Stir the puree into the mashed potatoes while still hot.
10. Twice Mashed. Spoon traditional mashed potatoes into a baking dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, bake at 350 degrees F. for half an hour.
How to Make Basic Mashed Potatoes:
1. Scrub about 1 ½ lbs. of medium sized potatoes. Russets are fine, but Yukon Gold are considered best for mashing. If desired, remove the skins with a vegetable peeler. Cut potatoes into chunks measuring approximately 2 in.
2. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.
3. Mash the potatoes. For chunkier potatoes, use a hand held potato masher. Otherwise, use an immersion blender or mixer. Add about 2 tablespoons of butter. Add about 4 tablespoons of milk (or 1 tablespoon of milk and 4 of heavy cream) a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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