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Mashed potatoes can be made hours ahead and kept warm on the stovetop, in a casserole dish or double boiler set over simmering water. Their density and moisture content makes them easy to keep warm – or rewarm if need be, when you’re ready for them. Estimate one or two potatoes per person.
3 lbs. (about 1.5 kg) russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
1/3-1/2 (85-125 ml) cup butter, melted
1 cup (250 ml) milk or half & half, warmed
salt and pepper to taste
1. Peel the potatoes (if you want them smooth) or if they’re thin-skinned, leave them unpeeled. Cut them into chunks of roughly the same size so that they will cook evenly. Place in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by about an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when poked with a knife.
2. Drain the potatoes well in a colander. Put them back into the pot and mash them with a potato masher, or press them through a potato ricer or food mill. Stir in the melted butter and then gently stir in the milk or cream, salt and pepper. Serve immediately or keep warm in a covered casserole dish in a 250°F oven, or set aside and rewarm when the rest of the meal is done.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, October 2012.