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Old 06-11-2019, 12:28 PM
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Tell me why I'm wrong about mashed potatoes.


Generally, I like potatoes. You can put them in front of me in almost any form and they are a welcome part of the meal - just as long as you don't mash them. Mashed 'taters lack any palatable texture to me. They're just utterly pointless. If you're looking for a potato based gravy/butter delivery vehicle, fine, hash brown the things. Better yet, bake them whole. There's a family owned lunch counter near me that serves a proper chicken fried steak (hand breaded and pan fried to order), real mashed spuds, real gravy, salad, Texas toast and choice of veg every other Friday. This is a proper plate of ol' country home heart disease but I always ask for gravy on home fries instead of mashed because it's just better.

I submit that there is no justifiable reason to mash potatoes. Any meal that would welcome a side of mashed would be better served with potatoes plus crispy goodness and I defy you to prove me otherwise.*


*This statement clearly proves that I'm stunningly full of crap (and gravy) but I really just don't see any reason for mashed potatoes.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:44 PM
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You're wrong because potatoes are the food of the gods in all of their glorious forms.
Repent now and you may still be saved.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:44 PM
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You can't mix your peas with home fries to make the peas easier to eat.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:47 PM
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The beauty of well-made mashed potatoes, for me, is that every bite is consistent. I load them up with butter, salt, and whatever milk-based dairy product we have (I find light cream works best). Most people won't make them that way themselves but they love when I make them because they can pretend that they don't know how much butter I put in them.

I don't enjoy baked potatoes because I have to work to try to get all of the flavors in every bite. I always end up with a bunch of potato with nothing on it. Plain potato is boring. Roasted potatoes are good as long as they were salted properly and cooked thoroughly. Undercooked potato sucks. Even if I have 10 potatoes and just one is undercooked that one sucks enough to ruin the immense goodwill which the others gave their lives for. Au gratin potatoes should just fuck right off.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:51 PM
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You can't mix your peas with home fries to make the peas easier to eat.
You also can't make a good volcano out of hash browns.

I like mashed potatoes, especially the ones I make myself. I don't have a wordy "defense" for them, I just think they're yummy as does the rest of the family.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:58 PM
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You can't mix your peas with home fries to make the peas easier to eat.
The hell you can't! Gravy makes everything easier to eat.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:00 PM
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If it's the texture you find off-putting, can't help you much there, other than to suggest you use really, really starchy potatoes. I use big baking ones that I peel, cut into cubes, and boil in salt water. Once they're cooked all the way through, I drain them, let the steam evaporate, and then mash them with thick cream or evaporated milk and gobs of butter, until they're a lovely dense amalgam that sticks to my serving spoon. Mmmmmmmmmm!

They're even better with parsley, chives, sauteed bits of onion, and/or baked garlic mashed right in with them. Some chefs season them with nutmeg, but I've yet to try that. Just a little salt and pepper, if needed.

I can only assume you've gone through life so far without ever having been served good mashed potatoes, because they are quite lovely when made right.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:01 PM
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The only potatoes not worth a pile of mud are scalloped potatoes. Vile, nasty things.

Mashed? Positively glorious, but I'm not going to convince the OP otherwise. More for me at Thanksgiving.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:02 PM
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Mashed potatoes can be your friends...
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:05 PM
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The hell you can't! Gravy makes everything easier to eat.
A fair point. Guess I'm going to go with "Can't make Devil's Tower out of fried potatoes"
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:09 PM
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If it's the texture you find off-putting, can't help you much there, other than to suggest you use really, really starchy potatoes. I use big baking ones that I peel, cut into cubes, and boil in salt water. Once they're cooked all the way through, I drain them, let the steam evaporate, and then mash them with thick cream or evaporated milk and gobs of butter, until they're a lovely dense amalgam that sticks to my serving spoon. Mmmmmmmmmm!
And I'd be much happier with just the pre-mashed, boiled potato cubes. Toss with a bit of butter, salt, pepper and parsley, maybe a bit of parm and serve. Give me something into which I can bite! That velvety smooth sameness just doesn't strike any meaningful chord with me.

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A fair point. Guess I'm going to go with "Can't make Devil's Tower out of fried potatoes"
Yeah, well I'm not Richard Dreyfus and my Grandma would smack him silly with a steel ladle for wasting food.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:11 PM
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Mashed potatoes are like scarecrows; they're outstanding in their field

But seriously, mp are a separate entity and are just right for certain things and not allowed for others. Nobody wants a mountain of potato fluff whilst they're eating a cheeseburger. Conversely, it is verboten to have french fries with roasted turkey.

Regarding baked potatoes, Gus Gusterson's comment had me wondering if I'm eating them incorrectly. I cut them open and plop some butter and salt and then use my forth to smoosh it all together, hence making what is essentially mashed potatoes in the skin bowl.

And yes, potatoes au gratin can indeed fuck off.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:16 PM
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I submit that there is no justifiable reason to mash potatoes.
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Originally Posted by Gus Gusterson View Post
Au gratin potatoes should just fuck right off.
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Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
The only potatoes not worth a pile of mud are scalloped potatoes. Vile, nasty things.
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Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
And yes, potatoes au gratin can indeed fuck off.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:18 PM
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A baked ham and scalloped potatoes is delicious!

au gratin can fuck off though.

Last edited by manson1972; 06-11-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:21 PM
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If it's the texture you find off-putting, can't help you much there, other than to suggest you use really, really starchy potatoes. I use big baking ones that I peel, cut into cubes, and boil in salt water. Once they're cooked all the way through, I drain them, let the steam evaporate, and then mash them with thick cream or evaporated milk and gobs of butter, until they're a lovely dense amalgam that sticks to my serving spoon. Mmmmmmmmmm!
This. The key is to make them dense. It took years for me to convince the wife that mashed potatoes didn't have to be silky smooth and light. They should have enough heft to them that a spoonful launched at your sister should snap her head back a bit. Fancy-ass potatoes like Joël Robuchon made are an Abomination.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:22 PM
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Mashed potatoes are just fine, if not my favorite. Their main advantage is that they're quick and don't require a lot of watching: peel and cube the potatoes and then boil them for 10-15 minutes.

I like them with lumps in them, which gives them a little texture.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:22 PM
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To the OP, I do not need to prove you wrong here any more than I would need to prove to you that the sky is blue. These things simply are. Your bizarre proclamation puts you in league with Flat Earthers and Scientologists.

Bad mashed potatoes exist, but like bad pizza, they are almost invariably salvageable through liberal application of butter, salt, gravy and heat. Great mashed potatoes are the highest form of the potato arts.

If a potato preparation exists that needs serious discussion it's cold potato salad, especially of the German variety. I submit that the further a potato preparation moves away from mashed potatoes, the worse it gets. Mashed is simply the apex.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:24 PM
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Au gratin potatoes, now that's a worthy side[/quimby]
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:24 PM
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Mashed potatoes can be your friends...
Yep, that was the first thing I thought of!

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mp are a separate entity and are just right for certain things and not allowed for others. Nobody wants a mountain of potato fluff whilst they're eating a cheeseburger. Conversely, it is verboten to have french fries with roasted turkey.
Yes. Specifically, mashed potatoes are meant to be eaten in the same bite with something else, like roast turkey or chicken-fried steak or shepherd's/cottage pie.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:27 PM
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I like them with lumps in them, which gives them a little texture.
This is the solution the OP is looking for. Sometimes they're called "rustic style". (Or maybe that's just what I call them.) Sometimes I'll even leave some or all of the peel on the potatoes, scored before cooking so that they end up as little bits of peel and not a huge lump. They say most of the vitamins and minerals are in the skin, so why not keep it in for that reason as well as texture?

Also, use a manual masher.

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Old 06-11-2019, 01:27 PM
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It took years for me to convince the wife that mashed potatoes didn't have to be silky smooth and light.
"Light potatoes" is an oxymoron if ever there was one!
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:28 PM
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More for me at Thanksgiving.
I love mashed potatoes with lots of butter and S&P, but this is just a waste of valuable space.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:36 PM
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If a potato preparation exists that needs serious discussion it's cold potato salad, especially of the German variety.
Not to quibble, but German potato salad is properly eaten warm, with lots of crumbly bacon bits on top. And it should be served alongside an assortment of Würste. Yum-O!
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:40 PM
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Let's see what you say when all your teeth are gone.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:41 PM
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There are plenty of ways to make bad mashed potatoes, just as there are plenty of ways to make bad any potato dish. But good mashed potatoes are great with a number of dishes.

My biggest problem in the US has been getting the right potatoes, I know the qualities of the varieties sold in bulk in Norway, but appearance is not a good way to find equivalents in the US with similar qualities. And you need the right type of potato for your dish, or it will not go well.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:41 PM
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I think good mashed potatoes taste good on their own. The way my mom or her mom made them was great. And when I make the fake kind (with potato flakes), I make them good with chicken broth and other seasonings. Never do I rely on gravy or some other food to make them good. Even if I do use that stuff, it's an addition.

Fried potatoes of any kind are a different dish, and rely on the browning aspect to taste good. And a good browning takes either more effort or a lot more oil (as you have to deep fry them). And the types of foods it goes best with are different.

I don't know how to convince anyone, other than to say that there is no reason you should not be adding other things to the potatoes to make them good. Butter, milk, buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour creme, yougurt, creme fraich, pepper, salt, oil, broths, garlic, seasoning mixes, even more butter--any of it is good. Though, if you get the right potato, even just plain can also be good. They can be lumpy or perfectly mashed or even whipped. But, however you do it, everything needs to be perfectly mixed in.

There's so much you can do that will make them the star, without needing the crispiness of a good browned fried potato, nor without needing to make them into a potato pancake--though those are also really good.

It's like telling me that you should always eat fried eggs instead of scrambled. They're different dishes.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:44 PM
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If a potato preparation exists that needs serious discussion it's cold potato salad, especially of the German variety. I submit that the further a potato preparation moves away from mashed potatoes, the worse it gets. Mashed is simply the apex.
If it's German potato salad, it has to be hot with lots of lovely bacon and mustard.

Regarding mashed, I prefer smashed. Leave the skin on. Wash 'em, cube em' and cook 'em. Add some warm milk and butter with some real garlic - not of that dried stuff. Smash it altogether and serve with meat loaf. Or, if someone else is cooking it, chicken-fried steak.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:45 PM
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And I'd be much happier with just the pre-mashed, boiled potato cubes. Toss with a bit of butter, salt, pepper and parsley, maybe a bit of parm and serve.
Actually, I prefer the simple boiled cubes myself when eating things like roasted chicken. Don't know why, I just do. But if I'm having fried chicken like Popeye or the Colonel makes, it's mashed with gravy, all the way!
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:45 PM
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Not to quibble, but German potato salad is properly eaten warm, with lots of crumbly bacon bits on top. And it should be served alongside an assortment of Würste. Yum-O!
Tell that to the deli counter at the grocery store. At the brauhaus I'm ordering spaetzle 100% of the time, so it's neither here or there for me.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:09 PM
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You are wrong. Mashed potatoes because they are creamy, buttery starchy love. Also, Europe is not a continent. Prove me wrong on either!
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:22 PM
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My fave mashed potato recipe contains riced potatoes, a ton of butter, cream, goat cheese, lemon zest, and rosemary. Plus kosher salt. Food coma!

ricing them before mashing them is key for creamy mashed potatoes

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Old 06-11-2019, 02:30 PM
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The beauty of well-made mashed potatoes, for me, is that every bite is consistent.
Which reminds me of this exchange from Frasier, ep 7.9, "The Apparent Trap":

Martin: Wait, wait, what are you doing?!
Daphne: I'm mashing the potatoes.
Martin: By hand? You're supposed to whip potatoes, therefore every bite tastes the same.
Daphne: Isn't that a bit bland?
Martin: Hello? Welcome to potatoes!

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Old 06-11-2019, 03:01 PM
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Martin: Wait, wait, what are you doing?!
Daphne: I'm mashing the potatoes.
Martin: By hand? You're supposed to whip potatoes, therefore every bite tastes the same.
Daphne: Isn't that a bit bland?
Martin: Hello? Welcome to potatoes!
A Brit complaining about bland food? That is hilarious!*

*Just kidding. To borrow a line from WC Fields, I love British cuisine ... so long as it's properly prepared!
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:05 PM
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Let's see what you say when all your teeth are gone.
Hate to have to tell you this, but....
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:10 PM
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At the brauhaus I'm ordering spaetzle 100% of the time, so it's neither here or there for me.
So long as you pronounce it correctly. (There's no "-lee" at the end.)
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:13 PM
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Bad mashed potatoes exist, but like bad pizza, they are almost invariably salvageable through liberal application of butter, salt, gravy and heat.
I'm not inviting you over for pizza if you're just going to put butter and gravy on it.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:26 PM
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I've never met a method of potato preparation I didn't like, therefore, OP is disproven.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:28 PM
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I've never met a method of potato preparation I didn't like
I have: forgetting you have them and leaving them in a bag in the back of the cupboard until they putrefy.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:53 PM
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I have: forgetting you have them and leaving them in a bag in the back of the cupboard until they putrefy.
Well, sure, if you're including failed experiments, but my use of the term method clearly excluded individual samples.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:04 PM
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I'm not inviting you over for pizza if you're just going to put butter and gravy on it.
Are you suuuuurrre?
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:14 PM
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Let's see what you say when all your teeth are gone.
I just remembered the line from Boeing, Boeing (Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis, 1965), where Tony's French fiancée ate soufflé for breakfast while his German fiancée ate Knockwurst: "Soufflé iss for people mitout teeth!"

(His English fiancée, of course, had kidneys for breakfast. "They're good for the complexion." Ew! )
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:19 PM
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Christmas dinner is a stressful affair because my mom always insists on making mashed potatoes. Doesn't matter that there will be mac and cheese, dressing, corn soufle, and dinner rolls on the table for folks to carb up on. She believes that we can't celebrate Christmas without mashed potatoes. So she puts me to work peeling potatoes when I'd love nothing more than to help her with something else.

I wouldn't mind this if people actually ate the mashed potatoes. But they always go untouched and then tossed into the garbage. I think if they were the only starch served, then we would eat them. But who is going to put mashed potatoes on their plate when they can have baked mac and cheese? There ain't enough gravy in the world to put mashed potatoes on the same level as baked mac and cheese.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:23 PM
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Doesn't matter that there will be mac and cheese, dressing, corn soufle, and dinner rolls on the table for folks to carb up on.
Soufflé iss for people mitout teeth!
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:24 PM
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The difference between mashed potatoes and other ways of preparing potatoes is precisely one of texture. If you don't like the texture of mashed potatoes, then, that's pretty much definitive: They're just not for you. No shame in that.

I've never understood why I ought to be upset that different people have different tastes than me. That's a good thing: It means we're not competing for the same foods. There'll be more mashed potatoes left for me, and more of whatever it is that Alpha Twit likes for him. Win-win.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:28 PM
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Shepherd's Pie.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:32 PM
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Soufflé iss for people mitout teeth!
OK, this post cracked me up, but I'm not sure I'm laughing for the same reason you are.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:35 PM
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Generally, I like potatoes. You can put them in front of me in almost any form and they are a welcome part of the meal - just as long as you don't mash them. Mashed 'taters lack any palatable texture to me. They're just utterly pointless. If you're looking for a potato based gravy/butter delivery vehicle, fine, hash brown the things. Better yet, bake them whole. There's a family owned lunch counter near me that serves a proper chicken fried steak (hand breaded and pan fried to order), real mashed spuds, real gravy, salad, Texas toast and choice of veg every other Friday. This is a proper plate of ol' country home heart disease but I always ask for gravy on home fries instead of mashed because it's just better.

I submit that there is no justifiable reason to mash potatoes. Any meal that would welcome a side of mashed would be better served with potatoes plus crispy goodness and I defy you to prove me otherwise.*


*This statement clearly proves that I'm stunningly full of crap (and gravy) but I really just don't see any reason for mashed potatoes.
Bless you, Alpha. Everyone here at Chateau Pepperwinkle loves 'em mashed, but I cannot abide 'em.
  #48  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
OK, this post cracked me up, but I'm not sure I'm laughing for the same reason you are.
Does it have anything to do with Vladimir Nabokov?
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  #49  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
I wouldn't mind this if people actually ate the mashed potatoes. But they always go untouched and then tossed into the garbage. I think if they were the only starch served, then we would eat them. But who is going to put mashed potatoes on their plate when they can have baked mac and cheese? There ain't enough gravy in the world to put mashed potatoes on the same level as baked mac and cheese.
Amen to the deity I have serious doubt about MONSTRO! I do have problem though with your post. Why on Earth are you discarding the uneaten mashed? That's just wrong on so many levels. Granted, I've got no use for mashed spuds on my dinner plate in their original form but they're pure leftover gold right there. Save them for tomorrow's breakfast and I'll make some killer latkes and I dare you not to beg for seconds. Still got leftover mashed for dinner? Sounds like gnocchi time to me. Pan fry them with butter, onions, garlic, salt pepper and sage and as Babish says "it'll join the clean plate club."

And when all else fails -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I've got no great problem with shepherd's pie but it doesn't do much for me either. You can improve it by using a good short pastry crust to turn it into a pit pie or replacing the mashed with tator tots. Granted this turn it from traditional Brittish Isle rustic cookery into pure white trash/cafeteria "stuff that will fill you up if you can keep it down" food. It has all the style and elegance of an anvil, and is almost as dense but damn it's tasty.
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  #50  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:29 PM
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There is never any left over mash in my house. I've had a can of salmon at the ready for such an occasion for quite some time now. Sure, I can make Salmon Cakes with cakes-specific made potatoes but it just done not come out the same unless the potatoes have been half eaten and left in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
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