The beauty of mashed potatoes is in making them the day before and reheating.
I like to keep the pan of drained, cooked potatoes in the refrigerator until ready to reheat, mash and serve. The cooling of the cooked potatoes makes fluffier mashed potatoes. The starch molecules tend to explode when reheated, making a fluffier mashed potato. This way, they can be mostly made the day before. I have discovered the hard way that potatoes other than Russets or Yukon Gold tend to whip into a gloppy paste of unappetizing goo. Get out that potato masher for best results or beat minimally with a hand mixer on very low speed.
1Â½ teaspoons salt
1 cup whole milk or in combination with cream or half and half
Â¼ to 1/3 cup unsalted butter
White pepper and additional salt, if desired
• Drain potatoes in a colander, then return to pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until cooking liquid is gone (about 2 minutes). Add milk and butter to the pan, reheating over moderate heat until butter is melted. Mixture should be steamy hot but not boiling.
• Begin mashing potatoes with potato masher, incorporating them with the hot liquid. Alternatively, use a hand mixer on low speed to blend potatoes and milk. Taste and add additional salt, if desired.
• Cover pan to keep warm until serving time. Mashed potatoes can be made the day before and reheated in a heavy pan with 1/3 to Â½ additional cup of milk. Cover and reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally. Keep covered. In a 300-degree oven, heat in a covered baking dish for about 30 minutes until heated through. Mashed potatoes can be reheated in a microwave in a covered dish. Microwave for 2 to 4 minutes, according to manufacturer's recommendations.
• Cook's notes: Do not overbeat potatoes or they will become like glue or wallpaper paste. Large red potatoes have higher gluten content, making them less suitable for traditional mashed potatoes.
• Source: Sherrel Jones.