In honor of the recognition our home-made mashed potatoes have recently received in Rochester Magazine's annual poll, we are sharing some of our secrets in the first of many Tricks of the Trade posts on Chef's Corner. Several elements go into making our mashed potatoes the best around, so pay attention and enjoy the accolades you'll get at your next family meal.
Step 1: We use Russet potatoes and cut them in large pieces, halved or quartered, then boil them until "fork tender." You'll notice in the finished result that we leave the skins on for flavor. Once boiling has completed, the water is drained from the pot.
Step 2: While the potatoes were boiling, we gathered the other ingredients and utensils needed. Asiago cheese, our homemade garlic puree, butter, salt and pepper, heavy cream, and half & half. We'll also be using a potato masher. Homemade mashed potatoes aren't processed, so a beater or mixer would change the texture and leave the potatoes feeling like cafeteria or powdered potatoes. At Chester's, everything we do is handmade so its flavor and texture will remind you of family recipes.
Step 3: At this point, we add all of the ingredients except for the cream and half & half. Then mash away! Don't be surprised if your arms get tired, that's just part of the job. Using your potato masher, work the ingredients into the potatoes until it is thick and slightly lumpy.
Step 4: Once the potatoes and first ingredients are well mixed, add the liquids.
Step 5: Carefully stir the liquids into the potato mixture, being careful to avoid splashing. Once incorporated, continue with your potato masher until about 90% of the lumps have been eliminated.
Step 6: Dish and serve. Now, sit back and enjoy the compliments!