Mashed potatoes seem easy. I mean, you just boil the potatoes, add some butter and milk and presto chango, perfect mashed potatoes. In reality, you end up standing over the bowl, wondering if it needs more salt or maybe some butter. Maybe more milk? Oh, shoot, too much milk. The end result is not exactly what you’re hoping for.
What I really needed was a straight forward recipe that (a) spelled out how much salt and dairy I’m supposed to add and (b) that had a little zip (enter the horseradish).
Fluffy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
- 4 lb potatoes such as Yukon Gold or Russet (Yukons naturally have a buttery flavor but Russets work just as well for this recipe)
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 T salt
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 and 3/4 cups half-and-half
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup drained bottled horseradish
Cut your potatoes into roughly 1″ cubes then give them a quick rinse in a colander. This is one of the most important steps to take if you want fluffy instead of goopy mashed potatoes.
Cutting into small cubes then rinsing will get rid of some starch, thereby reducing how much water is absorbed and making the final mashed potato fluffy instead of sticky, gummy, and all things you don’t want in a mashed potato.
Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. You want enough water that once you add your potatoes, the water temperature doesn’t drop so much your potatoes just sit there absorbing water instead of boiling. Add 2 bay leaves and 2 T of salt.
This is your chance to start flavoring the potatoes before you even get to the mashing step. (Some recipes for buttermilk mashed potatoes even call for boiling the potatoes IN the buttermilk. Talk about flavor!)
Boil the potatoes until you can easily stick a fork in them. Be careful not to boil them too long or they’ll absorb too much water and become gummy. Drain immediately.
If you have a Kitchen Aid, add your potatoes and the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and attach the paddle. Paddle on the lowest speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down large chunks. You want to paddle it until it’s smooth, but try not to mix the potatoes so much they lose their fluffy consistency.
If you have a ricer, pass the potatoes through the ricer into a bowl with your remaining ingredients. Use a spatula to fold in the remaining ingredients.
If you only have a potato masher, mash the potatoes in a large bowl then use a spatula to fold in the remaining ingredients.