Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy!

Today, instead of making a salad, or cooking soup, I thought we would make some mashed potatoes. Pretty much the ultimate comfort food. You can make potatoes with the skin on or the skin off. I made these with the skin off. Mashed potatoes are one of my husbands favorite dishes, and he likes potatoes with the skin off. 
Here's what we need to make mashed potatoes:
Boiling Water
Beef Base
Cold water
Boiling Water (again)
I don't know why I put the sour cream in the pic(!!???!!)

There are many different varieties of potatoes to choose from. I chose a russet potato grown right here in Nevada. I like the texture. I thought about buying the Yukon Golds. I have used them in several restaurants in the past. The skins are thin and delicious and they have a natural buttery flavor. But I decided on the russet because it is grown locally, and russets have a high starch content, which help them bake well and yields a light and fluffy mashed.
Wash and then dry your potatoes.
Peel your potatoes.
Chop them into bite size pieces. The smaller the pieces,
the quicker they cook!
Boil your potatoes for about 12-15 minutes. Check to see if
they are done by poking a couple pieces with a fork. If the fork
goes thru the piece, your potatoes are done.
Drain your potatoes.
Heat about 1/2 cup of milk to 150 degrees.
Pour some of the milk onto the potatoes, and begin to mash
with a potato masher. Add more milk if needed.

They should look like this. (I wish this was a clearer picture!)
 Maybe a little better.?!

Now lets make the gravy. Here is what you need:

Beef Base
I followed the directions to make the pint of gravy.
I used:
2 1/2 teaspoons Beef Base
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Cold Water
1 1/2 cup Boiling Water
Put the base and the flour into the pan, and mix together.
Boil water.
While you are waiting for the water to boil
add your cold water.Your base and flour should look like this
after the cold water is mixed in.
Add the boiling water, and stir until smooth.
Bring gravy to a low boil.
Add seasoning. I only added pepper. The base is really
salty already.
Enjoy the mashed potatoes & gravy!

I hope you liked the mashed potatoes and gravy today. We could have done a few things differently if we were so inclined! We could have baked the potatoes instead of boiling them. Baking them, before mashing them, results in a totally different flavor. We could have boiled the potatoes in milk instead of water. The potatoes would have been much richer as a result. If we didn't want to make the gravy, we could have added
garlic or grated cheese to the potatoes.

I usually like to make my gravy to include drippings from the meat instead of using the beef base, but with a dish like meatloaf, there are no drippings that are usable. The juice from the ground beef is too greasy to turn into gravy, and therefore the beef base makes a really good substitute. I used the Tone's brand that I purchased at Sam's Club. It is less than $4.00 for the 1 pound container,and a little goes a long way. I have used beef base in kitchens for years, and it is amazing how many times you will reach for it once you get used to having it around.

Tomorrow we will make our entree~Meatloaf!!!
Join us!!

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