purê de batatas
Brazilian Mashed Potatoes


We discussed the possibility of making mashed potatoes for several days -- and that a potato masher would be useful. . . and we told each other that we each have a potato masher -- and then we sent photos, because my potato masher was gracefully aged, and Regina's belonged originally to her grandmother, and then we learned we were using identical words -- each of us using them correctly -- to describe very different objects.

And so, the mashed potatoes story is not about potatoes.


From: Regina Pinto
To: Martha Deed
Sent: Wednesday, February 7, 2007 6:18:36 AM
Subject: Re: Mashed Potatoes ...

Dear Martha, 

Here you have a recipe of mashed potatoes (purê de batatas) which I always did. It was my grandmother who taught it to me:

Para o purê, descasque as batatas e cozinhe em abundante água fervente até estarem macias, escorra e passe
pelo espremedor diretamente em uma panela, acrescente uma gema e meio copo de leite, leve ao fogo e vá mexendo sem
parar até que o purê esteja com uma textura firme porém cremosa, apague o fogo e acrescente um pouco de manteiga
cortada em cubos pequenos, misturando sem parar até que esteja totalmente incorporada, acerte o sal.
gema = the yellow portion of the egg 

Perhaps you would like to try it, if you understand the Portuguese..

From: Martha Deed
To: Regina Pinto
Sent: Wednesday, February 7, 2007 6:18:36 AM
Subject: Re: Mashed Potatoes ...

Here is my translation of your grandmother's mashed potatoes recipe.  Of course, I will try it and photograph it once I am certain my translation is accurate -- if not elegant. 

In order to mash, peel the potatoes and cook them in plenty of boiling water until they are soft, drain and pass them through the potato masher*directly into a casserole, adding an egg yolk and a half glass (half a cup) of milk, lower the flame and mix them until they are smooth yet with the firm creamy texture, turn off the flame and add a little butter cut into little cubes, mix without stopping until it has become totally blended together, add salt to taste.
Yes, it seems to me that the English version is correct. Sometimes my grandmother put parmesan cheese on mashed potatoes, so that, if you like you can do the same.
*I would mash them in the pot after draining them. 


If I am right, I will do this.  I think the egg is the main difference, and that is a nutritious and interesting ingredient.  And of course, by using the egg yolk, you do have to keep cooking the potatoes so that the egg is cooked. 

That is it.
The pepper I use is black pepper -- it seems to be the same as what you used.  (from your photograph, this is what I think.)
So, it is the same pepper, thanks for clarify me.
As to cheese -- I used a ground cheddar cheese with my potatotes and usually I use ground parmeson cheese on pasta.  However, parmesan cheese on potatoes also sounds very good.
Parmesan cheese is very good on potatoes, you should try it.

Do these mashed potatoes look right to you?  They are smoother and creamier than mine usually are, but I suspect (because of the potato masher I use) they are not as smooth as yours. (Martha to Regina, February 11)

From: Regina Pinto
To: Martha Deed
Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 11:43 AM
Subject: Re: Mashed Potatoes ..

Dear Martha, 

I am glad that you liked my mashed potatoes! I never know the quantities, I put more milk if I need more potatoes and less if I need very few potaoes, the same to the butter, the cheese and the yellow portion of the egg. Parmeson is delightful, have you tryed it on soups? I love !!! 

Your mashed potatoes seem just like mine!!! ... and your meal made water in my mouth!!!