I can eat mashed potatoes with my fingers. Love to gather pockets of hot, creamy potato between my thumb and forefingers and scoop together with a little meat and some peas. Mmm. Nothing better. Just lick your fingers and repeat.
The trick to really good mashed potatoes is in the cooking (skin on to help keep the potato from absorbing too much water) and the ricing. Invest in an OXO potato ricer, which finely sieves the potatoes to make them light and melting instead of heavy and chunky. Over-mixed potatoes are gluey and just gross.
Karen’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes
6-8 med Yukon Gold potatoes
1 whole bundle garlic, with the end sliced off
1 stick of unsalted butter, soften and cut into pieces
1 c sour cream
kosher salt and cracked pepper
A potato ricer
Boil the potatoes whole and skin on with the garlic and a good 1/8 cup of salt until tender. Drain and shake over heat in the pan to dry them out. Cool slightly, then rice. I just put the whole potatoes, one at a time, in the ricer and squeeze. The potato goes through while the skin stays inside (works for the garlic bundle too!). If you must use a masher: peel the potatoes after they cool a bit (the skins should slip off) and lightly mash the potatoes. You should be able to squeeze the garlic out of its husks and mash it in, as well. Once riced or mashed, toss with butter (using a fork) and then fold in the sour cream (with a spatula). Salt and pepper to taste.
These potatoes are so good, you don’t need gravy.