What secret ingredients, if any, will make my Idaho® mashed potatoes sparkle when I serve them to my family?
OK, get ready for a couple of straight forward tips that may surprise you. One is the water you boil the potatoes in. Always start with cold water. Warm water from the tap could contain extra mineral deposits from being heated and from the plumbing lines, and you just don’t need that flavoring the potatoes. Same with water softeners, you are adding stuff in you may not want. Alkaline water can make the potatoes turn gray, just the same as oxidation or exposure to air. So once the potato is cut, don’t add extra air, cover the potatoes in water for example. To help offset the PH neutrality of potatoes and keep them from turning gray, here are some other secret ingredients…add in something acidic such as a teaspoon of concentrated lemon juice, white wine vinegar, cream of tartar or even a vitamin C tablet. The type of salt you use can make a big difference. I love to use sea salt or kosher salt. The granules are a little bigger so you can easily see how much you are applying and the flavor (pinch a little and taste) is much cleaner to the palate. Same with fresh ground pepper versus the kind in your pepper shaker. Dried spices taste like, well, dried spices. Splurge and buy some fresh chives, scallions, green onions, a head of garlic, etc. You won’t regret it when you take the first bite.
Very few people buy buttermilk anymore, but you need to know that the fat in this or real cream will shout out when combined with Idaho® potatoes. Save the skim milk for your latte or cold cereal. Add in butter, just do it!