May 24, 2011

An Artist at the Stove

Love, happiness and - yes, even fame - can be yours.  How, you may ask? Simply by achieving true greatness in the art of cooking at your kitchen stove. Little did you realize when you sauteed those pork chops tonight that you were on your way to control the destiny of the world!

But how will you know when you have achieved true artistry? When will others be forced to acknowledge your mastery? Well, it turns out that the Mystery Chef has a very simple and specific test that will answer just those questions: "The way you serve mashed potatoes shows whether or not you are an artist at the stove." I clearly have a ways to go, since my mashed potatoes generally come from a box.  But if your plans for world domination are being held back by your inferior mashed potatoes, never fear. The Mystery Chef lays out his very own methods for achieving potato perfection.

Once you are master of the world, please be kind to us mere mortals; we are suffering enough with our pathetic boxed potato flakes.

The way you serve mashed potatoes shows whether or not you are an artist at the stove.  Never serve watery mashed potatoes, nor should there be a lump of potato unmashed. Here's the way I cook and mash potatoes: First remove every eye and black speck from potatoes before boiling. Boil in covered pot. Start in cold water, and when water boils, turn flame low for a slow boil. Boil for 30 minutes then drain ALL the water off and put the potatoes through a ricer. Rice them in the pot they were boiled in. Then add a level tablespoon of butter to each 2 potatoes (4 TBS. butter equals half a 1/4 lb. print). [?? That's what it says. What it means I have no idea] Then add a little milk. Place the pot over a slow flame and beat the potatoes vigourously with a large spoon. The more you beat, the better your potatoes will be. The addition of 1/4 teaspoon of Davis Baking Powder to each 4 potatoes used will help to give you light, fluffy mashed potatoes. The amount of butter and milk to be used should be decided by the artist at the stove. Mashed potatoes prepared in this way will reheat perfectly. (See Tip 24, p. 77)


Use a double boiler. Fill the bottom pot with boiling water and into the upper pot put a tablespoon of butter - depending on the amount of potatoes you are reheating - use your own judgement. Let it melt. Now put your cold potatoes in and add some milk. Mix the milk and butter in with a fork and then beat with a spoon - heat well until they are hot and smooth again. See if they are not just like freshly mashed potatoes.

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