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.
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.