Light, fluffy mashed potatoes that literally seem like little, delicious, creamy clouds of starch when you eat them are a wonderful thing. They might even be my all-time favorite side.
Until I mess up and they're all watery.
It seems to happen a few different ways: maybe I add the wrong amount of milk, or don't drain all the cooking water, or (most embarrassing), maybe the potatoes are overcooked.
What's a busy cook to do? Break out the cheese grater.
A "Grate" Fix!
Don't worry, there's no cheese involved. Just the grater and a few more raw potatoes are going to help you fix those mashers real quick.
- Grate 1 or 2 raw potatoes on the course section of the grater.
- Put them in a skillet, and just barely cover them with water.
- Bring it to a boil.
- As soon as it boils, check the potatoes! they're probably already good and soft.
- Drain the water, add a little salt and pepper.
- Mash them; don't add any milk!
- Mix them in with the watery mashed potatoes to thicken them on up.
Does This Really Work?
In the craziness of a professional kitchen (where I once worked), it was a little too easy to lose track of the potatoes and let them over-boil. I was lucky enough to alway have hashbrowns around, so this was how I rescued them.
Just remember: they're going to cook really quick, and you might need more than you think. But once it's working, those mashed potatoes are going to be nice and creamy.