Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mashed potatoes, a discussion

The NY Times Dining and Wine section this week discusses Thanksgiving. The lead story on the Web is about mashed potatoes (registration required). I'm a big fan of mashed potatoes and have made a handful of varieties, but after reading the article I have realized that this most important of side dishes can be a very personal thing.

I like to think I make a pretty good standard mashed potato. I use red potatoes and typically add sour cream, butter, salt and pepper. I'm not against adding other ingredients, I have made a Bittman recipe that adds garlic, caramelized onions and mushrooms, and its fantastic.

But the articles insistence on technique is what bugs me. I find using a masher to be an exercise in futility and use a hand held mixer to make a light and fluffy dish that has garnered good reviews from friends. I am hoping Santa brings me a submersible (immersion?) blender for Christmas that I plan on using in the future for the dish.

I am also surprised at their endorsement of Oxo products. Don't get me wrong, I have a number of their kitchen gadgets and find them to be very useful, if not some of the best I have, but for the NY Times to name them with another vendor surprises me. It is the NY Times.

I found Bittman's piece in the section this week interesting. Making the gravy ahead of time is a good idea. One that I may take for Turducken. I also like the idea of the bourbon sauce, another possible addition for Turducken fun.

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