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Dayton-Style Smashed Potatoes

My husband and I first had potatoes served this way (tender, creamy, salty, and most importantly, smashed only briefly so they're still kind of chunky) at a wonderful down-home country restaurant in Dayton, Ohio. This recipe is my tribute to the welcoming, friendly people of Dayton who made us feel so at home during our brief time there with the military.  Nobody does country living and hospitality better!

Serves: 3-4
Allergen list: dairy

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound yellow creamer potatoes, about 8-9 smallish potatoes
Butter, heavy whipping cream, salt, and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Scrub potatoes with a potato brush, cut out any eyes/sprouts/bad spots, peel, and cut into eighths.  As you do so, watch out for any potatoes with a greenish tint inside, and throw those out: green potatoes aren't the best for you.  Place in a deep stockpot and cover with filtered water--enough that there's about 2-3 extra inches of water on top of the chopped potatoes.  

Bring water to a boil, and cook the potatoes at a boil (but not so much that the water splashes everywhere) unit the potatoes are so soft that they crumble apart when you stick a fork into one, about 45-50 minutes.  Watch the white foam on top so it doesn't boil over and make a mess of your burner.  Depending on the variety of potato you're using, it can take longer or shorter than this timeframe to cook potatoes, so test them every so often and see where you're at. (I've had potatoes that obstinately took well over an hour to soften up to the point where I could mash 'em).  If you absolutely have to have your potatoes ready at a certain time, I would recommend boiling them up first, then draining them and setting them aside: it's easier to re-heat them quickly in the microwave or by adding a little water and turning the burner back on before you mash them, than to have everything else done and be held hostage by potatoes (not a pretty sight).  

Drain the cooking water and add butter to the pot.  Mash with a pastry cutter or the back of a large spoon just until they're starting to be creamy, then stop: trick here is to have a slightly chunky consistency still.  You can turn the burner on low to melt the butter as needed.  Add salt, pepper, and whipping cream, and mix it all up.  Add as much cream as you like, depending on how you eat your mashed potatoes.