Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Potato Mash

Mashed potato was pretty much a staple food in our house when I was growing up.  We were very much a "meat and three veg" household - that is until Mum discovered Italian and Mexican cooking! 
I never regarded mashed potato as anything special, but about 10 years ago, MASH, as it became known, made a culinary comeback!  It was nothing like the lumpy, stodgey stuffed we were served when kids.  Loaded with butter and whole milk, it was smooth, flavoursome, and immediately pounced on whenever placed as a side dish on the restaurant table.  It never fails to amaze me at dinner parties, when friends dive on the mash, scooping great mountains of it onto their plates and savouring it with child-like delight.  If you want to make your dinner guests happy, always include mash on your menu!
4-6 washed potatoes (choose ones the size of a cake of soap - one potato per person is enough)
65g butter
2/3 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
1. Peel potatoes, place in saucepan and cover with water.  Boil on high heat, partially covered with saucepan lid, for 10 mins or until soft when tested.
2. Remove from heat and drain off water.  Smash potatoes with potato masher.  Add butter and continue mashing until potatoes and butter are combined. 
3.  Scrape potato from masher and PUT THE MASHER DOWN!  Add milk and combine with a stick blender (also known as a Bamix) in short pulses until milk is combined and mash becomes very smooth.  Do not over blend!
4. Stir mash with a spoon to check consistency - if too thick, add a little more butter and milk.  There's almost no limit here - the mash at The Benelong has so much butter in it, it's positively yellow!  Do try to achieve a balance in flavour, ensuring your mash can hold a vague shape on the plate.
5. Either serve in a white presentation bowl, garnished with chopped parsely or chives.  Or use as bed for steak, fish or chicken.

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