4 large boiling potatoes, peeled
4 Tbsp butter
2/3-3/4 c milk (heated)
Optional: garlic, butter, pesto, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, strong cheese
Cut the potatoes into circles 1 inch thick, cover with salted water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain, return to saucepan and add butter. Crush the pulp with a masher using an up and down motion. Don’t over mix. Add the heated milk and mix with a gentle up and down motion. The potatoes should be fluffy. It is better to have them a little thin at first as they "set up" as they sit. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garlic: 2 Tbsp chopped garlic sautéed in 1 Tbsp butter and folded into potatoes.
Pesto: 2 Tbsp prepared pesto that has been lightly sautéed and folded into potatoes.
Confetti: 2 Tbsp chopped garlic, chopped basil and 2 Tbsp chopped reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes sautéed in 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Cheese: 1/2 c any cheese, The strong cheeses are very nice, like Swiss , goat or blue.
I personally don't like the flavor of white pepper and don’t use it. Some don't like to see black specks in their food. It is up to you.
A ricer is an option instead of a masher. It is hard to get the right texture by using an electric beater. It tends to over whip and the potatoes can get gummy.