Every year around this time, I declare to my family and friends with sheer joy that we are officially in what I like to call, “Thanksgiving territory.” Obviously, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Now, I know the turkey is kind of a big deal on Thanksgiving. We spend hours picking out the right bird while asking the question: "to brine, or not to brine?" We butter, truss, stuff and roast and, if we're lucky, it turns out just right. But nothing upsets me more than the thought of lackluster sides next to an otherwise gorgeous Turkey Day buffet. Especially when it comes to mashed potatoes.
What I’m saying is, mashed potatoes should not be the glue holding your entire Thanksgiving meal together. There is no reason for heavy, sticky globs of potato, especially when there are great recipes and techniques like this one from Spoon Fork Bacon. With a name like that, they must know what they're doing, right?
Important Technique Number One: You must start cooking the potatoes in cold water. If you drop raw potatoes into boiling water, they will not cook evenly and you could end up with big, raw lumps of potato in the end.
Important Technique Number Two: Return the potatoes back to the hot pot after you drain them. This cooks off any excess water than might have been left on your potatoes and will prevent you from serving up a bowl of runny mashers…gross.
Important Technique Number Three: Heat the cream, butter and garlic in a saucepan before mixing it into the mashed potatoes. Adding hot liquid to hot potatoes allows for easier mixing and also prevents the potatoes from becoming gummy, which can happen when a cold liquid is added.
Important Technique Number Four: Drizzle those spuds with melted butter before you serve them. I know it says it’s optional, but just do it. Seriously.