Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Delia shows how to make Perfect Mashed Potatoes: the first thing you are going to need is the best quality potatoes.  

These are a variety called Desiree. They have what we most want from cooking potatoes and that is quite simply flavour. The potatoes are washed and to begin with you need to know that paring off the skin as thinly as possible helps to retain the flavour and the vitamin C content, which is nutritionally very important. That's why a potato peeler is a vital piece of equipment its very simple, uncomplicated and does the job perfectly.

When the potatoes are peeled, cut them into even size pieces, if they are small halve them and if they're bigger quarter them - because when they are all the same size they cook at the same time. 900g is enough for 4 people. When cooking potatoes remember the enemy is water so again to preserve flavour its best to steam them.  Delia shows a fan steamer, which fits inside most saucepans.  Place the pan on high heat, have a kettle of boiling water ready, pour in the water to roughly below the steamer base, add the potatoes, then sprinkle on a dessertspoon of salt, put a lid on. Turn the heat down and let it simmer gently for about 25 minutes.

To test to see if the potatoes are done insert a small skewer. They should be tender in the centre, but be careful its better to slightly overcook them than undercook them.  Then drain off the water, tip them out of the steamer and place a tea towel over them for about 4 minutes to absorb the steam.  Now add 50g of butter, 4 tablespoons of milk and 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche, you can use whatever you prefer. Delia shows the quickest and easiest way to mash potatoes with an electric handwhisk.

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