Potato Purée

May 8, 2009

I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.
~Nora Ephron

This method is indeed a labor of love, but—elegant and silky, this homey dish will awe your table. The ratios and amounts of butter and milk may vary some according to the potato, time of year, and your tastes.

POTATO PUREE

3 lbs Russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1 1/2 to 2 C whole milk
3 to 4 (24-32 T) sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pads
Sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
White truffle oil (optional)

Place the potatoes in a large heavy pot of salted water. Simmer over medium high heat until a fork easily pierces them, around 30 minutes. Drain in a colander.

In a heavy saucepan, heat milk until just about to boil. Remove from stove.

Peel the potatoes, then pass them through a finely gridded food mill. Place the potatoes in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir the potatoes thoroughly in order to dry them some. Add the butter, a couple of tablespoons at a time, still stirring vigorously, until butter is entirely incorporated. Slowly add most of the milk while stirring, reserving some for later if needed.

Again pass through the finest grid of the food mill into another large, heavy saucepan. Stir vigorously throughout, adjust the amounts of milk and butter to your preferrence. The texture should be smooth and creamy. Add salt, freshly ground white pepper and a moderate drizzle of truffle oil. Stir vigorously and serve immediately. Truffle oil can be quite potent, so a light hand is recommended.

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