I'm sorry, but that may be the most ridiculous photo I've ever posted. Whose mashed potatoes look like that?
Uh, mine do.
Never been a huge potato person. I'll pilfer others' fries in a restaurant (sorry), but if I'm going to starch myself at home I generally go for rice.
Things changed this weekend when our bi-monthly supper club met at my friend Stacy's house. Stacy is the consummate hostess -- always looks great, mixes a mean cocktail, takes good care of her guests, and cooks exceptionally well. Her baby back ribs were a huge hit on Sunday, and I can't wait to make them and share the recipe here.
But the biggest surprise of the night for me was the mashed potatoes, because I don't even like mashed potatoes. Or I didn't think I did. But Tom brought over these potatoes that made us all swoon. Yes, we swooned over the ribs, and the coleslaw, and the strawberry-rhubarb cobbler (Liz used my recipe, bless her heart), and the drinks, apps, etc etc etc, but when I came home that night I dreamt of dancing potatoes.
I picked up a pound of small yukon golds the next day. Just a pound -- you know, in case I completely screwed them up. And then last night I mashed them. I couldn't justify Tom's two sticks of butter (in his defense, he was serving 10 adults, while I was serving 2 adults and 2 kids), but I did drizzle in a little olive oil for richness, minced shallots for sweetness, some buttermilk for tang, and a solid spoonful of salt.
And guess what? Even with their massive case of bedhead, they tasted really, really good.
Recipe for Basic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
I couldn't be bothered to pass these through a ricer so this mash is rustic rather than completely smooth. I also opted for olive oil over butter, a choice I'd absolutely make again.
Makes about 4 servings
1 pound small or medium yukon gold potatoes, peels on or off (I peeled half), quartered
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a hard simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the size of the chunks. Drain, then immediately return to the pot with some of the water still clinging.
Mash a few times with a potato masher. Once you've broken the potatoes down a little, add the buttermilk, shallots, olive oil, and salt. Continue mashing to within an inch of your life, until you reach a consistency that pleases you. Adjust the salt, if necessary, and serve hot.