I have discovered that the real trick to creamy, buttery, heavenly potatoes is to use Yukon Gold potatoes instead of Russets. According to the Food Network,
"Starchy potatoes, like russets, have high starch and low water. Starchy potatoes are great for baking and French fries, and good as mashed potatoes. When cooked in water, they disintegrate; when cooked by dry heat, they become crumbly and fluffy. All-purpose, or chef's potatoes, like Yukon Golds, have medium starch and medium water. All-purpose potatoes are great in stews, soups, mashed potatoes, or for roasting. When cooked, they are at once moist and fluffy: they keep most of their shape in soups and don't dry out when baked."
Here's our recipe for perfect Thanksgiving mashed potatoes:
3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered length-wise
1 teaspoon salt
8 Tbsp heavy cream
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp milk
Salt and pepper
Put potatoes into a saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add water until potatoes are covered. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until done - a fork can easily be poked through them.
Warm cream and melt butter, together, either in microwave or in a pan on the stove. Drain water from potatoes. Put hot potatoes into a bowl. Add cream and melted butter. Use potato masher to mash potatoes until well mashed. Use a strong spoon to beat further, adding milk to achieve the consistency you desire. (Do not over-beat!.) Salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: Serves 8.