By: Helena Stallings, Culinary Arts Student
It is hard to find a dinner menu without a side of mashed potatoes, but the iconic dish has many differing preparations. A more rustic style of mashed potatoes has large pieces of potato still intact with the skin still on and would be lighter on the cream and butter. A traditional potato puree is also a mashed potato, but the skins have been removed and this preparation is much heavier on the cream and butter, and is a much smoother consistency. There are many occasions to use different preparations, but one of my favorites for a rainy day is the potato puree. I personally choose to emulsify my potato puree with butter, but for those who choose not to consume large amounts of butter, add small amounts at a time and taste to your liking. To me, a good potato puree with a well cooked steak and brussels sprouts might be my favorite meal from growing up in Oklahoma.
Start by taking 3 large potatoes and cut them into manageable pieces, then boil them starting in cold, salted water. When the potatoes are finished cooking, drain them and allow them to cool slightly. While the potatoes are cooling bring 1 1/2 cups of cream to a scald, which means to heat the cream to the point where the edges begin to bubble. By adding cold cream to hot potatoes you run the risk of curdling the cream and ruining your dish. If you are using a potato masher or a hand press, add the cream and 1 pound of butter halfway through mashing the potatoes. If you are using a food mill add the cream after all of the potatoes have been milled. To emulsify your puree with a food mill add the butter at the same time as the potatoes and depending on the weight of your potatoes, you will want a 1 to 1 ratio of potato to butter. After the potatoes and butter have been puree together, add the cream to the desired constancy and season to taste with salt, white pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Potato Puree Recipe
3 large Russet potatoes
1 pound butter (cubed)
1 1/2 cups cream
To Taste Salt, White Pepper, Nutmeg