Thursday, March 25, 2010

Taste of Tribeca's Tip for the Perfect Mashed Potato

This article first appeared in Tribeca Citizen on March 20, 2010. We appreciate being allowed to reprint this article.

In anticipation of Taste of Tribeca, the benefit for P.S. 234 and P.S. 150 on May 15, I’m asking the neighborhood chefs who are participating for cooking tips that mere culinary mortals might use at home. Henry Meer, chef and owner of City Hall, shares the method behind City Hall’s luscious mashed potatoes.

First, scrub the potatoes. Use Yukon Golds, and leave the skin on—it’s where the nutrients are, and besides, I love the flavor. Set a pot of cold water, with a little salt, to simmer. Never boil your potatoes—instead, you want a long, low simmer. If you boil them, all the starch ends up on the bottom of the pot. Now the real key is that all the ingredients have to be hot. So the milk and butter should be brought to boil and combined with the potatoes while still hot, then mashed with love. If the potatoes or milk are cold, it’ll make the potatoes pasty, not creamy, fluffy, and yummy.* Garnish with fresh dill and olive oil, and season to taste.

City Hall is at 131 Duane (between Church and West Broadway); 212-277-7777,

* Tickets are now on sale at And if you buy before May 1, you’ll get a discount.
** Meer insisted I try City Hall’s mashed potatoes, and I can vouch that they are indeed all that. See for yourself….

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