Q: My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary by dining at the restaurant at Middleton Place. As consummate Southerners, born and raised, I have had more than the entire population of South Carolina’s fair share of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
So imagine my surprise when my entree arrived and a curious lady from New Hampshire eyed my plate with envy and said, "I wish I had ordered that." After the first bite, I responded with a resounding "This is the best fried chicken and mashed potatoes I’ve ever had in my life!” Perhaps I should have been more subtle and contained my excitement to avoid rubbing it in, but I just couldn’t.
I have desperately searched to find the secret to those mashed potatoes. I bought every Edna Lewis cookbook, hoping she was the inspiration, to no avail. I used heavy whipping cream and butter: That's not it. I added sugar to the boiling water: That's not it. And just this Thanksgiving, I used white sweet potatoes: That's not it.
Please send help.
A: Return your sugar to the shelf! According to Middleton Place Restaurant chef Chris Lukic, the only secret to the potatoes is careful cooking (although you were on the right track with heavy cream.)
Here’s the recipe, so you can replicate the deliciousness you enjoyed at Middleton for Thanksgiving 2018, or enjoy sooner alongside other dishes from Edna Lewis’ books. Happy belated anniversary!
Middleton Place Mashed Potatoes
4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tablespoons salt
3 ounces salted butter
12 ounces heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and cut all potatoes into roughly 2-inch squares.
Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil.
While potatoes are cooking, combine butter and heavy cream in a sauce pot and bring to a light simmer. Once the butter is melted, reduce heat, keeping the mixture warm.
When potatoes are cooked, meaning they can be easily pierced with a fork, pour them into a colander to drain. Return the pot to the stove. Using a hand ricer, rice the potatoes back into the pot. Slowly add the warm cream and butter mixture to the potatoes and whisk briskly until it they reach desired consistency.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
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