You know, I will freely admit that they can make some darn tasty instant potatoes these days. Of course, the way they make them tasty is by adding milk and gluten, but that’s beside the point. Wait, no, I mean it’s precisely the point. Most GFCF instant potatoes are, how shall we say… mediocre at best. Plus, they usually have these preservatives called sulfites in them, that are really not good for anyone, but most especially for some autistic kids who are sensitive to them.
So what’s a GFCF mom to do? Well, making great homemade mashed potatoes isn’t hard at all, if you have a good recipe. And hey, if we’re bothering to make our own mashed potatoes, we might as well make them perfectly, right?
First, peel your pile of potatoes. (And say that ten times fast.) This is approximately 2.5 pounds of potatoes, based on the fact that it’s about half of a standard 5-pound bag. Use the other half for Potato Salad or Tandoori Chicken later in the week. Or, double the recipe and save the leftovers for Shepherd’s Pie. Oh humble potato, is there anything you can’t do?
Chop them into decent-sized chunks, and boil for about 20-30 minutes, until they are really thoroughly cooked. When you stab a fork in to check them, the piece should pretty much just fall in half. This is more cooked than you would want for, say, potato salad, where you expect the potatoes to retain a little firmness.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. See how they’re all falling apart on their own back there? Now add 4 Tablespoons (aka 1/4 cup) of Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine. Make sure you do not use the Original flavor; only the unsalted kind is dairy-free. [As always, the brands I use were GFCF at the time of posting, but manufacturers can change formulas without warning. Always check your labels!]
Stir everything around until the margarine is melted, then pour in about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of almond milk. You’re never going to get exactly the same amount of potatoes in any given batch, and the threshold between dry and soupy can be very thin. So start with a little less and add with caution as needed.
Look at that fluffy, perfectly smooth texture! You’d never believe I managed that with a spoon and a bicep. Actually, that’s because I didn’t, I used the hand mixer like any normal human being. That thing will hunt down and decimate any remaining lumps in no time flat. If you have persistent lumps, that’s a good indication that the potatoes weren’t boiled for long enough. It’s really very hard to overboil potatoes.
You’ll want to add at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt, especially since we used unsalted margarine. Some people may prefer more, but 1/2 teaspoon is a good starting point.
And if you want to be all snazzy, add a teaspoon of parsley and declare them to be herbed mashed potatoes.
You could also add a teaspoon of minced garlic if that’s your thing, but I like them just the way they are: perfect.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
2.5 pounds russet potatoes
4 TBS Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine (NOT Original flavor)
1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley