House mashed potatoes

Michael Smith's new cookbook Back to Basics delivers time-tested basic recipes with a wow result – including these mashed potatoes (with a twist), which are definitely worthy of your Thanksgiving table!

Serves 4

2 pounds of your favorite potatoes (unpeeled)


1. Cut the potatoes into large chunks and steam or boil them until they’re tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, gently heat 1 cup of any one of the following: milk, cream, butter, or chicken broth

Choose ½ cup of one of the following:
• For lighter, creamier texture and flavor: mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, Boursin cheese
• For stronger, assertive cheesy flavor: Cheddar cheese, blue cheese, Parmesan cheese, smoked Gouda cheese
• For distinctive aromatic character: fresh basil pesto, olive tapenade, barbecue sauce

3. Drain the spuds and return them to the pot or transfer them to a large bowl. Add the warmed liquid and your flavoring choice to the hot, steamy potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Mash away until your potatoes are as country-rustic or city-smooth as you like.

If you like, stir in a finishing flavor or two:

• lots and lots of your favorite chopped herb
• a few chopped green onions or a handful of chopped chives
• a few slices of crispy, crunchy bacon and as much or as little of the rendered fat as you like
• anything else you can think of!

Mashed potatoes are a blank canvas just waiting for you to stir in your ideas. There are many great suggestions here, but don’t feel limited by them. Over the years, I've stirred every cheese on the planet into his spud bowl. I’ve even reduced a full bottle of red wine to a syrup and stirred it in with cream to create shocking pink potatoes. The sky really is the limit."

Make up a name for your masterpiece, then serve and share!

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