Simple, light and fluffy mashed potatoes.
For perfectly-white mashed potatoes, peel and remove any eyes with the edge of your peeler or paring knife.
Rinse the potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and dice into 1 1/2" -inch cubes. For light and fluffy mashed potatoes, it’s important to cut them into smaller, even-sized pieces. This will help them cook faster and more evenly. If you were to cook the potatoes whole, the outside would be overcooked and absorb too much water by the time the inside was fully cooked through.
Place the potatoes into a pot and fully cover with cold water.
To cook the potatoes, add the salt and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim occasionally/ As soon as the potatoes come to a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for about 15 to 17 minutes.
Test the potatoes by inserting a paring knife. You should feel the same resistance all the way through and they should slide easily off the knife. Alternatively, remove one of the potatoes and mash it with a fork. If it mashes easily, and looks fluffy and light, they’re done.
Remove the bay leaves and drain. Return the potatoes to the pot and mash while hot. For extra fluffy mashed potatoes, a ricer works really well, but when cooking for crowd, a masher will do the job just fine. Once done, cover and set aside, while you heat up the butter and cream.
In a small pot, bring the butter and cream to a gentle boil over medium heat. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and set aside.
Add the cream to the potatoes a little bit at a time and mash together. The potatoes should look a little bit wet. As they sit, they’ll absorb the liquid. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, if desired.
Place thin slices of butter over the top. Cover the surface with plastic wrap. This will prevent a crust from forming. Cover and let sit, until ready to serve.
Two important things when cooking potatoes: 1) don’t over cook them; and, 2) drain them right away. If they are left to sit in the water, they’ll become waterlogged and you will end up with watery mashed potatoes.
Feel free to put them through a ricer or food mill. The reason we don’t here is there are simply too many. It would take a long time to rice them all, and they would cool down considerably. By all means, rice potatoes when making them for a smaller crowd. Ricing ensures light, fluffy and ultra-smooth mashed potatoes.
The options for flavoring mashed potatoes are endless. Add different spices and things like bacon bits, minced chives or green onions, truffle oil, different cheeses, cream-cheese, sour cream, and cream; or keep them low-fat and use skim milk. Just keep in mind, the richer the ingredients used, the richer in texture and flavor the potatoes will be.
Vegan Option: Cook according to recipe. Then add a few tablespoons of coconut oil and a bit of non-dairy milk, if needed. Season with salt and pepper and serve.