Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
From Lynne Rossetto Kasper: Use this technique with any kind of flavoring. It's the method that is remarkable and easy. I've done the entire procedure a day ahead and reheated the mashed potatoes in a 375° oven.
From Shirley Corriher: Precooking potatoes at 140-160° and then cooling swells (gelatinizes) and recrystallizes the starch, making it no longer soluble in water, therefore you have fluffy mashed potatoes. A little vinegar in the water adds a hint of flavor and helps prevent discoloration caused by hard water or stem-end blackening.
"Vegetables are perishable, so we don't have any indication of what they looked like 500 years ago," says James Nienhuis, a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin.