Mashed potatoes are worth the effort
Choosing high quality potatoes is one of the most important parts of the process.
I like using organic red potatoes when I can find them, but russet work well, too.
The next step is deciding if you want to have skins or not in the final product. What seems to be the lazier option, keeping the skins on, is actually not that much easier, since you have to then wash the potatoes really well since they come from the dirt.
So either wash your potatoes or peel and rinse them, then cut them into rough chunks.
Boil the chunks until they are soft, testing a larger one after they start to float, and allowing them to cook for longer until they are soft all the way through.
Drain well and put into a large bowl while still very hot.
Add butter right away to let it melt. It is a good idea to let butter or margarine sit at room temperature for a while to soften it so it will melt quicker.
I use an electric mixer because it’s so much easier, but hand mashing works as well.
As you mash, add the sour cream and cheese, allowing them to incorporate well and then add the milk slowly until the mashed potatoes are the level of creaminess that you want.
Add the garlic and other seasoning to taste. Below are some amounts for everything, but adjust levels according to your taste. I don’t think I have ever measured anything when making mashed potatoes, so these are all estimates.
More butter means better mashed potatoes, but less healthy ones as well, so take that into consideration.
The option of making vegan mashed potatoes is easy by just using dairy free versions of the milk, margarine and sour cream.
The key to good vegan mashed is Tofutti brand vegan sour cream. That is the best vegan version that I’ve found and is crucial to making the potatoes creamy without real butter.
Daiya cheese is a great vegan cheese that melts well, but for mashed, most vegan cheeses work pretty well when shredded.
Vegan or dairy, mashed potatoes are easy, but time consuming. I will usually make a whole five-pound bag of potatoes when I’m making mashed just to make sure there are leftovers. Real mashed potatoes reheat well and also work well breaded and pan fried for potato pancakes.
Potatoes, 5 pounds
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 8oz container of sour cream
½ cup milk or soy milk
1 cup shredded cheese or Daiya
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1-2 tsp coarse salt
Pepper to taste