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perfect mashed potatoes with a food mill

mashing potatoes into the pot with food mill, with green onion mixture in saute pan on the right side.

Mashing potatoes into the pot with food mill, with green onion mixture in skillet on the right.

There is a kitchen tool that many of you don’t have, but should invest in… a food mill.  I swear by it, there is not better way to make lump-free, perfectly textured mashed potatoes.  The food mill consists of three parts: a slanted bottomless bowl, interchangeable disks with holes in various sizes, and a crank with a bent metal blade which mashes the food and pushes it through the disks as you turn it.  There are generally three corrugated feet on the bottom of the bowl to old the mill in place on the rim of a pot or pan.  The bowl may be plastic, stainless steel or aluminum and the disks and blades are usually made of stainless steel.  I prefer the style with the plastic bowl, for easier clean-up.  Not only is the food mill used to make perfect mashed potatoes, but also removes the sees when making tomato sauce from cooked tomatoes or to remove pulp from other cooked foods when making a sauce or puree.

Prices range from $20 to $100, I own several (because of the cooking school), but almost always use the $20 plastic model. You can find a food mill at most well-stocked kitchen stores or online.

Green Onion-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
Salt for water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green portions (about 1 cup)
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons fat free half-and-half
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender.  Drain.   Process through food mill into same pot or return to pot and mash with a hand mixer or potato masher.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add green onions and garlic and sauté until onion have softened, about 2 minutes, stir in half-and-half. Stir into potatoes. Add Parmesan and mix until combined.   Season to taste with freshly ground pepper.  Season with salt if necessary, sometimes the Parmesan added plenty of salty taste, so be careful to not over-salt.  If the potatoes aren’t creamy enough for you, just heat a tablespoon or 2 more of the half-and-half in a microwave and blend until you achieve the desired consistency.

Serves 4

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