Perfect PEI Mashed Potatoes Eight Ways
Courtesy of Flavours of Prince Edward Island cookbook
Credit: Chefs Jeff McCourt, Allan Williams and Austin Clement
3 lb (1.5 kg) mashing potatoes (peeled, medium dice)
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream or milk (hot)
1/3 lb (170 g) salted butter (softened)
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
Cover the potatoes in cold water (always cold water) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until a fork slides cleanly through the potato (about 20 minutes). Drain potatoes completely and return to the pot. Add the cream and butter and smash until smooth. Season with the salt and pepper.
> BUTTERMILK AND CHIVES: Replace the cream with warm or room-temperature buttermilk and add 1/2 cup (126 ml) chopped chives at the very end of cooking
> BACON AND CHEDDAR: Reduce the cream by half and add 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) shredded ADL white cheddar, 1 cup (250 ml) chopped cooked bacon and 1 cup (250 ml) sour cream (full-fat or low-fat, whichever you prefer).
> CILANTRO AND LIME: Reduce the cream by half and add 1/4 cup (60 ml) lime juice and 1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh cilantro.
> ROASTED GARLIC: Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) roasted garlic puree.
> PARMESAN AND HERB: Add 1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of your favourite chopped fresh herbs.
> LOBSTER AND LEMON: Reduce the salt by one-third. Add 1 1/2 (750 g) lobster meat (with its juice), juice of 1 lemon and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) white vinegar.
> BLUE CHEESE: Reduce the salt by one-third. Crumble in 1 cup (250 ml) of yoru favourite blue cheese -- Danish, roquefort, Gorgonzola or Stilton.
> ROASTED CORN AND CHILI: In a medium-sized skillet add 3 Tbsp (45 ml) butter and 1 cup (250 ml) fresh corn niblets (cut from the cob). Saute until golden brown, then add to the mashed potato with 1 tsp (5 ml) chili powder and a handful of freshly chopped cilantro.
Potatoes can take a lot of salt, so season them in stages. Acidic ingredients such as lemon, lime or vinegar can act a bit like salt, so adjust the salt accordingly. Also, not all potatoes are created equal. For this recipe make sure you ask your grocer what would work best as "mashing potatoes". Potatoes started in cold water cook more consistently than potatoes cooked from boiling, and the starch doesn't make the finished dish sticky or pasty.