I am certain everyone is aware of the renowned cherry blossoms here in Washington, DC. But what about riced russets?
Last evening Brian Beal Moore Catering hosted a tasting “underneath the cherry blossoms”, literally! I gathered some small flowering branches from the abundance of trees we have and our guests were enthralled. Ever so slightly fragrant and a joy to behold, it certainly surpasses the throngs who flock to the tidal basin this week.
It was a simple meal and the most remarked about item were… the mashed potatoes! I understand this, as they border on ethereal!
On this menu, we have called them riced russets. Why you might inquire? Well because that is what they are. First of all, russets are simply the exact potato that one uses for baked potatoes, you know the one, they look like what a cartoon potato looks like. They are perfect for ricing, as they are dry and fluffy, and easily absorb butter, milk, or anything one plans to incorporate. Second of all, the russets are not mashed, not at all. Nor are the whipped, pureed, macerated or pulverized. No, they are riced.
I discovered ricing more than a decade ago, and I have never mashed a potato since. The object one needs is a ricer, which looks and operates like a giant garlic press.
Pictured below is the best one as rated by America’s Test Kitchen, is under $20, is readily available online and at actual stores. The RSVP Potato Ricer is easy to use, easy to clean, and shall forever change your culinary life.
Brian Beal Moore Catering’s Riced Russets Recipe
4 lbs Russet Potatoes
1 stick of good quality butter (I like either Irish or Danish)
½ cup of heavy cream
Fill a large pot with cold water, salt generously, and place on your counter next to a cutting board, a vegetable peeler, a good knife, and a large bowl for the peelings.
One at a time, peel each potato over the bowl to catch the scraps.
Slice potato in half, each half in half, and chop into uniform pieces about ½ in thick and gently drop into the cold water.
Repeat until all potatoes are chopped.
Put pot onto stove-top, cover, set burner to high.
When pot reaches a boil, remove the cover, and let boil 5 - 7 minutes or until pieces are easily pierced with a fork. Do not overcook.
While the potatoes are boiling, in a large bowl over which the rice can straddle, cut butter into one tablespoon pieces and place in bottom of the bowl. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, warm heavy cream gently. (15 - 30 seconds, depending on the appliance)
Drain potatoes in a colander in the sink and return potatoes to pot.
Place pot back on the burner and dry potatoes over medium-high heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
Place ricer over the bowl containing butter, carefully fill the hopper with the dry hot potatoes and rice away! Repeat until all potatoes are gone.
Add warm cream, and gently, gently stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Do not over stir!
Switch out cream for ½ + ½, milk, sour cream, or my favorite: crème fraîche
To one’s liking, add roasted garlic, Parmigiano di Reggiano, Roquefort, Cheddar and chives caramelized Vidalias, bits of lobster (top each serving with a dram of caviar), and really just anything that makes your heart happy!