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My grandmother used to make the most amazing smooth-as-silk mashed potatoes that were never gummy, lumpy or dry. What was her secret? Tons of butter and whole milk.
I would love to follow in her footsteps and make her recipe as is, but I would have to spend the next month on the treadmill working those potatoes off.
So this year for Thanksgiving I've decided to forgo my grandmother's version of classic, fluffy mashed potatoes, my favorite Turkey Day side dish, and look into healthier ways to get the same result. We've tested and developed many mashed potato recipes in the
Tip 1: Pick the right potato.
There are plenty of different kinds of potatoes out there, but all fall into three categories: waxy, starchy and all-purpose. When you're talking mashed potatoes, select either a starchy potato (like a russet) or an all-purpose (like a Yukon Gold). These two varieties are less dense and break down more during cooking -- which leads to a smoother texture.
Tip 2: Serve them hot.
Mashed potatoes lose their luster as they sit. Try to serve them right away after finishing them. If you make them ahead and want to reheat them, do so slowly with the help of a double boiler. This way, they won't burn if they come in contact with the bottom of a saucepan on the stove. And since you won't be worried about burning, you can stir them less, which will prevent them from becoming gummy. This leads us to the next tip....
Tip 3: Pick the right tool for mashing.
Even if you've picked the right potatoes, overmixing mashed potatoes can lead to a stiff, chewy texture. Keep them fluffy by mashing them through a ricer for smooth potatoes or using a hand-held masher for chunkier potatoes. This limits the amount that the potatoes are processed, so the starches stay intact. If they're overwhipped, the starches break down further and give you a sticky result.
Tip 4: Don't overcook or undercook the potatoes.
Cooking the potatoes just right is key. If they're undercooked, you'll have pockets of crispy potato chunks -- a big no-no for classic fluffy mashed potatoes. If you overcook them, they disintegrate and your potatoes will be soupy. The specific cooking time depends on the size of your potato: a perfectly cooked piece of potato should give no resistance when cut with a knife, but shouldn't crumble into a million pieces.
Bacon Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings, about 3/4 cup each.
Bacon Mashed Potatoes Recipe Ingredients
1 pound new or baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 slices bacon
1/3 cup low-fat milk or buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 scallions, sliced
Bacon Mashed Potatoes Recipe Directions
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Crumble when cool enough to handle.
Mash the potatoes, milk (or buttermilk), salt and pepper with a potato masher until the liquid is incorporated but some chunks of potato still remain. Fold in sour cream, scallions and the crumbled bacon.
Per serving: 140 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 12 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 391 mg sodium; 587 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: Potassium & Vitamin C (17 percent daily value)
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 fat
4 Tips for Classic Fluffy Mashed Potatoes - Bacon Mashed Potatoes
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