Every week I’ll watch the mini-marathons on Monday and Friday evenings. And so help you if you try to stand in my way and prevent me from watching the show because I will take you out.
I even have an app on my phone (TV Diner, awesome, you should totally get it) to help me find spots featured on the show.
It’s a great way to introduce local and independent restaurants to folks plus I learn a lot of great tips. On one episode I saw, a diner soaks their fries in water for 24 hours before frying them. It helps them achieve a really crispy fry.
You don’t say?
I’ve tried it and it does help make for a crispy fry, and I make my fries in the oven.
This Thanksgiving, I wondered if I could apply that concept to making mashed potatoes.
It occured to me that if I soak the cubed potoates in a lightly salted bowl of water, that might help remove some of the starch and result in a fluffier mashed potato. Because potatoes have so much starch to them, sometimes they turn into a very thick and glue-like mess of mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are easy to make but they can be tricky to get the right consistency and texture.
In theory, removing some of the starch should help make for lighter and fluffier mashed potatoes, right?
Since I’m all about experimenting, I gave it a go. The day before Thanksgiving, I peeled and cubed my potatoes and placed them in a large bowl. I sprinkled in some salt and filled the bowl with cold water. Stirring everything together and I set that in the fridge letting it hang out till I was ready to use it.
On Thanksgiving day, I drained the potatoes, dumped them in a pot and filled the pot with cold water. Brought it up to a boil and went about the normal routine of making mashed potatoes.
The experiment totally worked! We had the creamiest and fluffiest mashed potatoes!
Soaking the potatoes removed a good bit of the starch which meant they weren’t a heavy mess.
This technique also decreased the cooking time to bring the potatoes to fork tender, probably by about 10 minutes.
I also had less lumps and a much smoother texture. I used Yukon Golds which are creamy potatoes on their own but this was a whole other level of creaminess.
I definitely will be doing this from now on when I make mashed potatoes. I would imagine a full 24 hour soak isn’t necessary, just a few hours should do the trick.