A friend and I were co-hosting a dinner party at his place, and we were giggling like school kids about doing pommes purée à la joël robuchon or something equally poncy like that for the starch to go with the main course. In the end, the appeal of truffled mash kind of won out, and since the best mash (if I don't get crucified for calling Joël Robuchon's pommes purée a "mash") I ever had was at one of his l'ateliers anyway, we put as much fat as we could bear to into the potatoes since his ideal ratio is well, equal parts of potato to butter.
Jokes aside, mashed potatoes are one of THE most satisfying (side) dishes on the face of the earth. They are ridiculously easy to make, and oh god the pleasure of licking the extra potato off the wooden spoon........
The only point of contention I know about regarding potatoes is that the general view is that one should only boil the potatoes IN their skin, as this preserves the nutrients better (or something like that). And while this is found to have some truth in it according to the pile of food science books I've recently finished reading, I personally don't eat mashed potatoes for their nutritional content, and anyway smaller pieces cook faster. :P (Serves 6)
- Boil the potatoes until fork tender (yes, I go past the knife-being-inserted-with-no-resistance bit), whichever way you like - i.e. skin on or off, starting with cold water or hot, but whatever the case, PLEASE SALT YOUR WATER GENEROUSLY.
- When the potatoes are cooked through and on the verge of falling apart, drain the water from the pot, then return the pan to very low heat for a minute or two to steam the potatoes dry.
- Use a food mill or a potato ricer (NEVER USE A FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER AS THIS WILL TURN YOUR POTATOES GLUEY!) and pass the potatoes into an appropriately sized mixing bowl - I like using one with at least the capacity for at least twice the amount of potatoes I have. If you don't own a food mill nor potato ricer, just use the back of a wooden spoon to mash it in the bowl.
- Once the potatoes are mashed, add all of the butter, spreading it out. Fold the butter into the hot potatoes so it melts and is evenly distributed. Add the truffle oil and gently stir it through. Season now with salt (I prefer not to use white pepper as I want the truffle flavour to come through pretty cleanly, but go ahead if you want), then add the milk and beat it through quickly. It should turn into a silken, voluptuous cloud of heaven right about now.
- Serve immediately! PS: be a little more generous than I was in the picture.