The traditional way to make creamy mashed potatoes is to add loads of butter and cream. But that can hide the flavor of the potatoes, so in this episode of MDRN KTCHN, host Scott Heimendinger explains how a common ingredient called diastatic malt powder can be used to make incredibly smooth and creamy mashed potatoes on the molecular level. You can check out the full recipe here, and buy diastatic malt powder here. Want to learn more? Come back every Sunday for a new episode of MDRN KTCHN, and check out Modernist Cuisine's new cookbook, Modernist Cuisine at Home!
Most granola is a fancy twist on toasted oats—consider that when contemplating the exorbitant prices retailers charge for it. The thing is, granola is incredibly easy to make at home, and for a fraction of the cost. This recipe is a granola base to which you can add whatever dried fruit, nuts, or other tasty bits make you happy. Feel free to tweak this with other spices, a little less honey, more salt—it’s quite forgiving, and customizing your own blend is the fun of making your own. If you want to experiment even further, try using other rolled grains such as spelt or barley and wheat instead of oats.
Basic Chocolate Mousse
Simultaneously rich and light, chocolate mousse just requires a little bit of finesse, and the freshest, best-quality ingredients (eggs, chocolate, and cream) you can procure. Be sure to chill your cream very well and get every speck of water out of the bowl and whisk you'll use for the egg whites, then use a light hand when folding in the whipped cream, and you'll have a perfectly fluffy and decadent dessert.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes with Margo True
Sunset magazine food editor Margo True has learned the rights and wrongs of mashed potatoes from a reliable source—her mother. Here, she demonstrates the wrong way (undercooking waxy potatoes, skimping on the cream, or, horror of all horrors, employing a food processor to mash) and the right way (using russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cooking them as long as possible, drying them over heat before adding lots of cream, and topping with herbs). This approach elevates mashed potatoes to their rightful status as much more than a side dish. (Click here for Margo's mashed potatoes recipe.)