Baked Mashed Potatoes: What are they?

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Baked mashed potatoes involve cooking potatoes twice, often by boiling and baking. Choosing the right potato is important, and adding herbs, butter, and milk can create a silky texture. The dish can be refrigerated and topped with breadcrumbs, butter, and cheese before cooking.

Baked mashed potatoes are a savory dish that involves cooking potatoes twice, often by boiling and baking or double cooking. This simple dish is easy enough for beginners and can be imagined with dozens of variations and additions. Choosing good ingredients and the right serving style can help make baked mashed potatoes a signature dish for family dinners or holiday events.

The first step to baked mashed potatoes is choosing the right potato for the job. Traditional white potatoes, such as russets, are a popular choice, but they can become starchy if overmixed. If you plan to serve in a casserole, thin-skinned varieties like red potatoes or Yukon gold can be an excellent option. Baked mashed potatoes can also be delicious with exotic varieties, such as purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, or garnets.

Most recipes for baked mashed potatoes call for boiling the potatoes first. Potatoes may be skinned or de-shelled for an earthier texture and are often boiled for about 20 minutes. Adding garlic, salt, and pepper to the water can help enhance the flavoring process. The boiling process can be speeded up by cutting the potatoes into quarters or halves. If the potatoes are served in their skins instead of as a casserole, they can be baked in the oven for about an hour.

Boiled potatoes then need to be drained, while baked potatoes are split and have the insides collected in a bowl. To mash potatoes, use a large fork or potato masher and mash to desired consistency. At this point, herbs, butter and milk are added to create a silky texture. Cheeses such as Parmesan, cheddar or mozzarella can also be added to the mix. Mashing and mixing must be done with care, as over-blended mixtures will have a glue-like consistency.

Once you have the ideal mix, the mashed potatoes can be scooped into a baking sheet or in their already cooked peels. At this stage, baked mashed potatoes can be refrigerated for up to a day, allowing cooks to prepare this dish ahead of time and finish cooking just before serving. As serving time approaches, a topping of breadcrumbs, butter and cheese can be sprinkled over the dish before cooking, in order to create a crispy, golden topping. The mashed potatoes can then be cooked in the oven until the dish is heated throughout and the topping is golden brown. If the dish has not been refrigerated in the meantime, the still hot mashed potatoes can be fried under a low rack in a few minutes.

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