Alton Brown’s Mashers Print Email

2 pounds russet potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 pounds red "boiling" potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Place all spud hunks in a 4-quart saucepan and add just enough cold tap water to cover. (You can put the potatoes in the water and refrigerate them for up to 8 hours before cooking.) Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. (This will take about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, combine the buttermilk, cream, and garlic in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a bare simmer over low heat, watching to make sure that the mixture doesn't boil over. Keep the mixture barely bubbling until the potatoes are done.

When the spud water boils, ditch the lid, drop the heat to a simmer, and cook until the spuds are easily crushed with tongs, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pan and the heat. Toss and shake gently for 30 seconds or so to knock off surface moisture. (The drier the spuds the better.)

Move the pan to a trivet, hot pad, or towel on the countertop and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Pour on about a quarter of the buttermilk mixture and start mashing.

As the spuds break down, add more of the buttermilk mixture until you're happy with the results. Remember, these are mashed potatoes, not whipped potatoes. If you over-mash in an attempt to smooth every piece you will inevitably rupture starch granules, which can and most likely will result in gummy potatoes. - serves 8- Adapted from Good Eats: The Early Years by Alton Brown.

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