Did you know that potatoes are one of the most common vegetables growing around the globe? Apparently, thousands of years ago, potatoes originated from the wild Andes of Peru. Let’s all take a minute to salute and say “thank-you” Peru!
Imagine a life with no potatoes or worse yet, no mashed potatoes? All those creamy, soft, warm potatoes smothered in gravy or butter and chives. “Oh, the humanity!”.
Mashed potatoes are a weekly item on our dinner table. My kids love it, my wife loves it, even the dog loves them! They’re cheap to make and pair well with any meat. In my opinion, some meals can’t go without potatoes. I mean, you can’t have steak without potatoes.
All The Mash
Mashed potatoes are made all sorts of ways. In Denmark, they call it Brændende kærlighed. Also known as Danish Burning Love. This mash includes fried bacon and onions. Sign me up!
Over in Ireland, they call it colcannon, meaning White-Headed Cabbage. This Irish mash is mixed with cabbage and kale. Not too sure how I feel about that one.
Here in America, our mashed potatoes always come plain. Yep, we enjoy and appreciate them just as they are. Sometimes we dress them with sour cream and chives. Other times we drown them in gravy. But, they are always served and plated plain.
You Had Me At Potato
I have made mashed potatoes a thousand times in my life. Heck, I’ve been peeling potatoes since I could basically walk. I officially mastered the art of mashed potatoes back in college, all thanks to one of my professors, Mr. Burchart. This guy straight up bribed our entire class with a “reward” if we kept up a class average to his liking. Upon our success, he handed out a piece of paper with the ultimate mashed potato recipe on it.
Our professor explained to the class with intense and pure excitement that this was the greatest gift anyone would ever give to us. He wasn’t lying! Being the potato lover that I am, I made the recipe that weekend. The guy nailed it! Smooth, creamy, garlicky, buttery goodness hit my taste buds and changed my life. Mr. Buchart was my new idol!
And The Special Ingredient On His Recipe?
Are you ready for the secret ingredient that’s been missing from your recipe? Here is it….Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese. Yup, Philadelphia, for the win!
Mix this stuff into your next batch of mashed potatoes and prepare to have your mind blown to creamy, garlicky smithereens.
The Ultimate Mashed Potato Recipe
This recipe feeds 6 people and takes about 30 minutes to make.
The ingredient list includes:
- 3lb potatoes
- 1 container of Herb and Garlic Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- Pinch of salt
- 4tbsp butter
- ½ cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by peeling and washing your potatoes.
Chop your potatoes into cubes. Doing so will help cook the taters cook nice and evenly.
Transfer the potatoes to a stockpot filled with cold water. Add a pinch of salt for flavor.
Bring it to a boil and then let simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. Try not to overcook them, or you might end up with watery mashed potatoes – Yuck! I recommend checking your potatoes after 15. Poke them with a fork. If the fork goes through easily, they are ready.
Skim the boiled starch that rises to the surface using a wooden spoon.
Drain the potatoes and let the steam escape. Fun fact: Did you know the side sink in your kitchen works perfectly as a strainer holder?
Transfer the potatoes back to the stockpot and add the milk, butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper to the pot.
Mash together to your desired thickness. I prefer using the mashing utensil for this step. It’s one of the manliest tools in the kitchen. It allows me to show off my biceps to my wife and kids for a few minutes – bonus! Even if they’re shaking their heads laughing the entire time.
When your done mashing, the taters should be smooth and creamy rather than clumpy and dry.
You did it! Serve and enjoy!
If you end up with leftover mashed potatoes, don’t be so quick to toss them out. Save them for tomorrow and follow along with our leftover fried mashed potato balls recipe.