Food: For mash get mechanised
Mashed potato is back in fashion, both at home and in restaurants. Nikki Spencer investigates.
Thursday 25 September 1997
Mashed potato is now the most popular way of eating potato in the home, it increasingly features on restaurant menus and the supermarkets are getting in on the act too.
Sainsbury's has recently launched a range of ready prepared mashed potato for those who want the comfort food without the hard work. Not that making your own mashed potato has to mean lots of elbow grease.
The must-have gadget that has been popping up all over the place this autumn is the potato ricer - for the uninitiated it's a bit like a giant garlic press..
The presenter and writer Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has been enthusing about his in the latest issue of Good Food magazine and those daytime TV chefs have been whipping theirs out at every opportunity.
Hugh bought his circa 1920 ricer from a stall in Portobello Road but new ones are now available through cookware shops such as Divertimenti who say that our current consuming passion for mashed potato means they have been inundated with inquiries for the energy-saving gadget.
You just put your cooked spuds in, press down the handle and hey presto out come lots of tiny bits of beautifully smooth potato. At a stretch of the imagination it could be said to look like rice, hence the name.
Alternatively, a kitchen fork and bit of muscle power works wonders too.
THREE STEPS TO PERFECT MASHED POTATO
1 First choose the right variety of potato. Floury potato mashes best. Try King Edward, Portland Squire or Maris Piper.
2 Cook the potatoes (about 2lbs) in lightly salted boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender, drain well and return to the pan. Some chefs say you get the best possible mash if you cook potatoes in their skins but peeling them can be a real fag, unless you have a minion to do it for you.
3 Add between 1/4 and 1/2 pint of hot milk and a large knob of butter and mash until smooth. Season and serve immediately just as it is or with horse-radish, garlic, chopped fresh herbs, caramelised onions or whatever takes your fancy.
THREE THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT POTATOES
1 Elvis ate mashed potato every night for the last year of his life.
2 In the Second World War people were encouraged to eat mashed potato sandwiches.
3 In 1829, The Times pronounced potatoes acceptable for the well-to- do, but prophesied that if the working classes ate too many Britain would become a "nation of miserable turbulent drunkards".
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...