Cover 2 pounds whole russet or Yukon gold potatoes with cold salted water; simmer 45 minutes. Drain, peel and mash with 1/2 to 1 stick butter. Add 1 cup hot milk, and salt and pepper; mash until smooth and fluffy.
2. Chunky Red
Cover 2 pounds whole red potatoes with cold salted water; simmer 40 minutes. Drain; do not peel. Smash with 1/2 to 1 stick butter, 3/4 cup hot milk, and salt and pepper.
Make Classic Mash (No. 1) or Chunky Red Mash (No. 2). Use 1 cup sour cream instead of milk; top with fresh dill.
Saute 2 chopped red bell peppers and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves in olive oil, covered, until tender. Puree; swirl into Classic Mash (No. 1).
Make Chunky Red Mash (No. 2); replace the butter with 1/4 cup cooking water and use nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of milk.
6. Spicy Chipotle
Make Classic Mash (No. 1); add 1 tablespoon chopped chipotles in adobo sauce. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro.
7. Olive Butter
Pulse 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, 1/2 stick soft butter and 2 tablespoons each parsley and cilantro in a food processor. Dollop the olive butter on Classic Mash (No. 1).
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil with the grated zest of 1/2 orange, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds and 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes. Drizzle over Classic Mash (No. 1) or Pepper-Swirl Mash (No. 4).
Make Chunky Red Mash (No. 2); add 1/2 pound grated Monterey Jack, 1/4 cup sliced scallions and 2 minced seeded jalapenos. Top with sour cream and more scallions and jalapenos.
Make Classic Mash (No. 1); top with applesauce and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.