I wish to over-prepare after I host Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve a job that enables me to get follow reps in; I wish to make lists; and I even schedule out the large day to find time for each dish. (You possibly can too, with our customizable timeline.) Regardless of all this, I’m all the time open to brief cuts. My favourite shortcut thus far is for mashed potatoes. Cook dinner your spuds quicker by steaming them.
Mashed potatoes are hands-down my favourite facet dish. Whereas they’re simple to make and even simpler to eat, they positive take a very long time to cook dinner. The boiling is time-consuming, particularly for a crowd. You might not flinch at boiling a small pot of spuds for your self, however a six- to eight-quart pot normally calls for an entire house in your Thanksgiving timeline. A gallon of chilly water with potatoes can take 20 to half-hour to boil whereas coated with a lid, relying on the kind of heating ingredient you will have, and longer for those who want extra water. As soon as the water involves a boil, a big pot of potatoes can take 10 to twenty further minutes to cook dinner by means of, relying on for those who like to chop them or depart them entire.
Why steaming is healthier
Steaming provides you a significant bounce on the boiling course of. As an alternative of ready for 4 to 6 quarts of water and potatoes to return to a boil, you’re solely boiling a few half-inch of water. No matter what number of potatoes you’re cooking, you’re boiling the identical quantity of water. In a steaming situation, the potatoes are stacked up on a raised platform (a steaming basket). The pot is roofed with a well-fitting lid, and the small quantity of water boils beneath the platform, by no means touching the potatoes. The pot fills with scorching steam as a result of it’s coated, and cooks all the pieces inside evenly.
These steamer baskets have overlapping sides to suit totally different pot sizes:
A half-inch of water solely takes two or three minutes to boil in a normal pot (forged iron, or a Dutch oven like in my image, takes about 5 minutes) and the potatoes start cooking. This trims the boil time down considerably and leaves you with simply the cooking portion, a mere 10 to twenty minutes. With a good lid, you received’t need to prime up the water degree. The small quantity of water results in much less waste, and a cup of water is much simpler to stroll over to the sink and dump out.
The way to steam potatoes
Credit score: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann
Put together the potatoes the way you usually would, whether or not that’s peeling and cubing, leaving the pores and skin on, or leaving them entire. The water degree will rely in your steamer basket. The boiling water shouldn’t bubble up across the potatoes on the underside, or else these could be boiled potatoes and cook dinner at a special charge than those above. Measure the foot of the basket first, or you’ll be able to eyeball it. The nubs on my basket are about three quarters of an inch, so I put a few half-inch within the pot.
Put the basket into the pot. For those who see the water splash by means of or it’s inside an eighth of an inch, take away a little bit of water. Fill the basket with potatoes. You possibly can stack the potatoes all the best way as much as the lid of the pot if you must. Cowl the pot so it’s safe, and never cracked open wherever. Flip the warmth on medium or excessive and let it rip. When you hear the water boiling, begin your timer.
Verify on the potatoes after 10 minutes for cubed, and quarter-hour for medium-sized entire potatoes. Put on an oven mitt and/or be aware that the steam will billow out if you take away the lid. Hold your face again, too. Take a look at a potato with a knife or fork such as you usually would. It ought to slide by means of to the middle simply. If it’s supplying you with resistance, cowl the pot and examine once more in three to 5 minutes.
As soon as your potatoes are fork-tender, flip off the warmth and allow them to cool barely with the lid off. Switch the potatoes to a different pot, or wherever you love to do your mashing. Use the additional half hour for no matter fell by the wayside, or the straightforward pleasure of checking off your to-do record.