Herbed Whipped Potatoes is a labor of love. Our daughter, Jessi, absolutely adores mashed potatoes, and so in June of 2006 she and I set out to create the mashed potatoes of our dreams. She wanted rich, flavorful, indulgent potatoes… I wanted potatoes that managed to taste indulgent, without all the remorse.
We must have succeeded, because after we whipped them up for my mother-in-law, she exclaimed… “Oh Jean, these are decadent!”
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||Rinse and cut out any damaged areas. Pierce each potato deeply and evenly 7-8 times with a paring knife. Microwave on high power until flesh tests tender when pierced with a skewer (20-25 minutes, depending on the microwave). Transfer to a wire rack to cool enough to handle (10-15 minutes).||Russets whip easily and produce a fluffy texture. Piercing prevents an uncontrolled steam burst. Cooling with skins intact reduces dehydration. Baking produces undesirably delicate skins that pass through the ricer, marring the flesh.|
|Place oven rack just below center; start preheating to 350°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer).||Ovens often run hot or cold or preheat slowly.|
|Meanwhile, cut potatoes in half. Push halves, cut sides down, through a potato ricer into a 4-quart deep-sided bowl, discarding the skins that are left behind. Stop when riced flesh measures 42 ounces.||A potato ricer eliminates potato lumps, reducing whipping time.|
||Fold into potatoes to melt.|
||In a 1-quart measuring cup, whisk all together. Add to potatoes and blend with an electric mixer. To prevent spattering, start on low and move slowly up to high until potatoes are moist and fluffy.||An exact ratio of potato flesh to milk produces perfectly fluffed potatoes every time. Cheese lightens the potato texture as it bakes, as well as adding great flavor.|
||With a silicone spatula, fold into potatoes, reserving 2 tablespoons onion slices for the garnish. Scrape into a single 2-quart oven-safe dish, or divide between individual ramekins. If using the smaller dishes, space on a sturdy sheet pan to simplify insertion and removal from the oven.||Onions add flavor and moisture to the potatoes.|
||Bake uncovered until heated through (10-15 minutes). Just before serving, finish with pepper and reserved sliced onions. Allow potatoes to remain uncovered until serving. Serve promptly.||Covering traps moisture, making potatoes soggy instead of light.|
Additional Testing Notes: For the potatoes, if the oven method is preferred, evenly pierce each 7-8 times with a sharp knife. Space a few inches apart on a parchment lined half sheet pan; bake at 400°F until flesh tests tender when pierced with a skewer (45-50 minutes).