Wh0: Mollie Catherine Mullis
Where: Oven & Tap, Bentonville
What: Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Dighero’s Insights: Mollie Mullis is one of the kindest, most positive people embedded in the culinary landscape of the High South. As partner in the esteemed Oven & Tap restaurant in Bentonville, she seamlessly applies passion and nuance to the work she does every day. She is a breath of fresh air as a female powerhouse in an otherwise male-dominated industry. Trust when I say that her Perfect Mashed Potatoes, the best I’ve ever had, are just one of her many talents and virtues.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
4 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 teaspoons kosher salt (plus more for boiling potatoes)
1 cup Irish butter (regular butter will also do), melted
2 cups heavy cream
Special Equipment: Food mill with fine-dish attachment
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a large handful of salt (water should taste like the ocean) and bring to a boil. • Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, 20-25 minutes. • Drain, and briefly rinse with cool water to remove any excess starches, then set aside. • Warm the butter, cream and 4 teaspoons of salt in a small saucepan over medium until it comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes. • Remove pan from heat.
Pass hot potatoes through food mill into a large bowl (cold potatoes will become gummy), adding 1 ½ cups of the butter and cream mixture while milling the potatoes. • Once all of the potatoes have been milled, pour the remaining butter and cream mixture into potatoes, ½ cupful at a time, folding the liquid gently into the potatoes. Be careful not to overwork the potatoes. • Serve mashed potatoes topped with a few pads of Irish butter and cracked black pepper.