After a draining evening trying to perfect the mashed potatoes, it’s only fair to want to plate them elegantly.
When it comes to doing so however, there are quite a number of tricks and tips to take note of, and we’ll be discussing them all in this article.
Use premium serveware
Serving mashed potatoes elegantly isn’t really hard, so long as you’re using the right kind of serveware.
Make the best tasting and best looking mashed potatoes if you like, but when they are served in awfully attractive bowls that look like they came out from the landfills, your mashed potatoes aren’t going to look that elegant.
The medium you serve your mashed potatoes dictates, by a far greater degree than you imagine, how enjoyable and elegant they turn out.
So invest in/use a premium bowl that is good looking, for example a coconut bowl with wooden spoons that bring back the 1950’s vibe, or small decorated bowls made from ceramic or glass.
You can even use wide mouth plates and serve with nicely decorated spoons. All your choice. Just make sure the medium looks clean, so whatever you plating on it would stand out.
Now that we are done with half of the job, let us explore the various ways you can actually plate mashed potatoes to make them look elegant.
Use piping cones
One of the easiest and best ways to serve mashed potatoes elegantly is using a piping cone which extrudes the mash into different shapes and forms depending on the type of nozzle your cone has and the technique you’re applying. You can make pines, stars and various other complicated designs depending on how creative you wish to get from just a couple of piping cones.
And then the best part, bake the shaped mashed potatoes in the oven for about 15 minutes to get a nice light brown golden crust that contrasts with the creaminess of the potatoes and makes them look premium.
For browning the tops, you don’t actually need to oil the surface of the mashed potatoes, although you can if you choose to. The ridges created from the piping would be so narrow that some of it would burn quickly and give the nice caramelized edge you’re looking for.
If you don’t have piping cones at home, then do not despair, you can actually spoon the mashed potatoes onto a cookie sheet in several rows and then brown them at the top using the heat in the oven. Make sure to never leave mashed potatoes for longer than 25 minutes which can cause them to burn or over cook.
Plate them and form a rose on the top then fill with liquid butter
Another very easy way to serve mashed potatoes is to place them on a wide mouth plate, and then form a rose like design on the surface. Fill those ridges of the design with melted butter to create a beautiful scene on your mashed potatoes.
Sprinkle some chopped greens on it
Not only do chopped greens present a healthy addition when used on mashed potatoes, their bright green color contrasts popping from their strewed positions beautifully contrasts with the soft cream color of mashed potatoes which creates a really interesting look for the guest.
When it comes to the greens you can use, opt for fresh parsley, basil, mint etc., and make sure to mince them and strew over the potatoes.
Make mashed potato muffin topped with cheese
If you’re looking to go adventurous with your “plating desires”, make mashed potato muffins and top them with cheese and fresh herbs.
Bake these at 350°F for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is fully melted and the mashed potatoes are completely heated through..
When stuffing mashed potatoes in a muffin tin, it is very important to grease the tin with butter or a healthy oil to allow for the mashed potatoes to slide out easily.
Serve mashed potatoes in a bowl with cubes of butter
Another simple way to present mashed potatoes in a way that doesn’t scream boring is to first serve them in a nice looking bowl or plate, then tossing in a few cubes of high quality butter on top. You can go with more, the larger the quantity, but two is a great place to start, especially for guests.
Serve with sauteed kale and onions
In this method, mashed potatoes are made separately, then kale and onions are sauteed together and folded into the mashed potato until fully incorporated.
The sauteed kale and onions add to the existing depth of flavor, then add some texture and more importantly, the green color of the kale disturbs the softer color of the mashed potato in a way that is so pleasing to the sight.
Serve with meat and green beans
For a more fuller mashed potato experience, serve it with very tender meat cuts and fully cooked green beans or peas.
Do not mix the mashed potato, the meat and peas together, remember, the goal is to plate elegantly. Instead, give each portion a space of its own on the same plate. It’s best to use a white mouth plate for this serving.
Use purple potatoes for the mash
One of the best ways to make your mashed potato stand out is to use purple potatoes for the mash. This looks so gorgeous when plated especially using some of the techniques mentioned above.
When boiling the purple potatoes, some color would leak into the boiling water, and while that may be a little concerning, the resulting lighter shade of color the mash assumes is what makes things even better.
Do you serve mashed potatoes hot or cold?
Serving mashed potatoes hot or cold is really a matter of choice as some people prefer them hot from the stove while others swear by the light pleasurable bite of cold milk and spices.
Mashed potatoes that have gone cold, though, do undergo something called starch retrogradation which is the readjustments of starch molecules in the potato that cause them to expel water and pick up a more crystalline state, which makes them hard.
And that hardness, though still light, is what most people hate about cold mashed potatoes.
Still yet, one caveat on mashed potatoes. They could be harboring pathogenic bacteria which can make you sick when you consume it, especially when the mashed potatoes were never refrigerated after bringing them down from the heat.
If you must serve mashed potatoes cold, then make sure you put them in the refrigerator within 2 hours of bringing them down from the heat. This would slow down the growth of pathogenic bacteria or even spoilage bacteria and make the food safe to eat directly from the refrigerator.
How much mashed potato per person?
If you are confused about how much mashed potatoes to serve per person, go with this universal rule.
Serve 1 cup of potatoes per person which equates to around ½ pound. For kids,serve ¼ cups to 3/4 cups if they are between the ages of 2 to 12.
What can you serve with mashed potatoes
When it comes to the things you can serve with mashed potatoes, they are aplenty. You can opt for meat, really tender meat cut, salmon, roasted veggies, nuts, seeds, butter, cheese, onion rings, garlic etc.
We have written an extensive article on how to make mashed potatoes better, make sure to read that.