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Basic Mashed Potatoes

by DamienR (follow)
Photographer and writer.
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Mashed potatoes are a staple in most homes and they are surprisingly easy to make. Many people start with this base recipe and then tweak it to their liking. This recipe will serve two people, a large serving of potatoes or smaller servings for up to four.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 2-4 servings

3 baseball sized potatoes or equivalent
Pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons butter
3-5 tablespoons milk


To complete this recipe you will need a cutting board, knife, peeler, strainer, a large pot, and potato masher or hand-mixer.

Peel the potatoes. Ensure you peel off any bruises (black spots under the potato’s skin) or other blemishes.

Potatoes and peeler on a cutting board

Cut the potato into cubes approximately 1.5-2 cm squared, and place cubes into the pot.

Add water to the pot until the potatoes are submerged.

Put the pot over high heat on the stove-top until the water is boiling.

Add a pinch of salt to help ensure that the pot does not boil over. Continue to boil the potatoes on medium to high heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Pour the water and potatoes through the strainer, allowing the water to go down the drain. Then put the potatoes cubes back in the empty pot.

Mix in the butter until the butter has melted.

Chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed carrots
Make sure all of the butter has melted before moving on to the next step

Add in three tablespoons of milk and mash or mix until blended.

Chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed carrots
Add milk little bits at a time, so ensure you don't make your mash potatoes too runny

Note: If you want smoother mashed potatoes, add additional milk one tablespoon and continue to mash until desired consistency is attained.

Chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed carrots
Although a potato masher works just fine, I prefer a hand blender to get the potatoes perfectly smooth

Once smooth, your mashed potatoes are ready to serve.

Chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed carrots
And there you have it, mashed potatoes with chicken and steamed carrots

This is a basic mashed potatoes recipe that almost anyone can do. They can be eaten right out of the pot, or you can season with salt and pepper, or mix in garlic salt, even curry powder. Using this recipe as a base, the possibilities are endless.

Now that you have mastered basic mashed potatoes, you might want to try these Skinny Mashed Sweet Potatoes or you try slicing your potatoes in this Potato Skins recipe.

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