How to make the perfect mashed potatoes for your vacation dinner – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

When my son-in-law Matt is in town for vacation, he takes care of the mashed potatoes. He is a perfectionist when it comes to potatoes. He insists on cooking the baked potatoes in a vegetable mill, a practice that produces a nice texture, creamy but not whipped.

In his absence, I take liberties with the potatoes. For my delicious mash, I cook Yukon Gold potatoes in low sodium, canned chicken broth with peeled parsnips. Parsnips add an earthy sweetness to the dish, a concoction that also includes crème fraîche (or sour cream), butter, nutmeg and garlic.

Bring the potato masher. This can be done a day or two ahead and refrigerated.

Mashed potatoes with parsnips

Yield: 6 servings


2 large garlic cloves, peeled

1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces slightly larger than the parsnips

4-6 cups low sodium chicken broth

Salt, to taste

3/4 cup fresh cream or sour cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Big pinch of ground nutmeg, freshly grated preferably but not required

Lots of freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine the garlic, parsnips, potatoes and enough broth to cover the vegetables in a large pot. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

2. Take about a cup of hot broth and set aside. Drain the vegetables and return them to the pot. Crush with the crème fraîche and the butter, leaving the mixture slightly crumbly. (You can use a vegetable mill or potato masher if you prefer a smooth mash.) If the mash seems dry, add some of the remaining broth and save the rest of the broth to use just before serving.

3. Stir in the nutmeg and season with S&P to taste. To keep warm, place in a heatproof bowl and cover with foil. Place on a pot of barely simmering water. When ready to serve, add a little broth if necessary to obtain the desired consistency. OR, warm gently over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Source: Adapted from

Question of cooking? Contact Cathy Thomas at cathythomascooks @ gmail. com

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