Sorry for the prolonged absence – I had to go to Moscow for my cousin’s wedding last weekend, and it turned out to be a quick skip and a twirl type trip from Thursday to Monday.
Still feeling slightly disoriented, but not enough not to share one of my favorite foods of all time: my dad’s mashed potatoes.
Growing up, everyone in my family – uncles, grandparents, etc. – had what was deemed to be “the best” mashed potato recipe. We bickered good-naturedly about which was really the best and even had little competitions.
For me though, there was no contest, this recipe that my dad has been making my whole life is a product many family techniques and traditions. These mashed potatoes are a little pot of gold.
Note: This is the ultimate recipe to taste, taste, taste, and adjust – all potatoes are different, and you want your mashed potatoes to be creamy, thick, and savory. If the potatoes are good, you don’t need crazy amounts of butter to make them fluffy. Also, use a fork to mash, no fancy ricers!
Dad’s mashed potatoes
- 2 lb potatoes (Yukon Gold or another starchy, ‘flaky,’ not waxy, variety)
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 T butter
1. Clean and peel potatoes well and cut in half (or thirds, depending on the size of the potatoes). Place in a large pot of cold, lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and cook about 25-30 minutes, uncovered, until soft.
2. Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Warm the milk in the microwave.
3. Add garlic to the potatoes. Using a fork, whip the potatoes, garlic, and butter together, adding a bit of the warm milk at a time. Add a good pinch of salt and whip again – no lumps! – then taste for seasoning. You may need a bit less or more milk, so adding it in gradually is usually a good call.
Tasting the mashed potatoes was – and still is – my job in the family, from young age. You can also add chopped fresh chives or dill to make these even more Russian, or substitute sour cream (about 4 T) for the butter.