A potato ricer resembles an enormous garlic crusher and functions in a similar way. Boiled potato is pushed through the mesh to achieve a smoother, creamier finish than that traditionally given by a hand masher tool.
Some people like to use a food processor to obtain the smoothest, softest mashed potato but the manual ricing method works best on potatoes, which can become glutinous and starchy if over worked.
Different uses for a potato ricer
Some models of potato ricer come with different discs to allow for varying textures and the ricers can often be used to mash other vegetables such as swedes or carrots, or even with some fruits to extract juice. Ricers are also a convenient way to squeeze the water out of spinach or vegetables and to squeeze the moisture out of grated potatoes for crispier hash browns. Press liver through the ricer for easy chopped liver or cold butter for making pastry. Some people have been known to press tinned tuna in their ricer to remove the canning liquid or hard boiled eggs for an even consistency in egg mayonnaise.
Certain dishes require a ricer for the best results, such as the chestnut puree, Mont Blanc, or German spatzle noodles and Italian passatelli pasta.
Creamy mash using potato ricer
Peel as many potatoes as you think you’ll need and cut into 2½cm chunks. Cook in gently boiling water for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes give when pressed with a fork, then drain.
Having fitted a disc into a ricer – you’ll probably need to experiment to work out which texture you prefer – spoon a few lumps of cooked potato into the ricer’s bowl. Hold the ricer over a bowl and push the handles of the potato ricer together. The cooked potato will be pushed out of the bottom of the ricer in strings into the bowl. Continue until all the potatoes have been riced, taking care not to overload and clog up the ricer bowl.
Add a little butter, cream and seasoning to the riced potato and stir until combined, using a wooden spoon. You may wish to reheat the potato a little before serving.
Kids will love using the ricer to make the German ice cream dessert spaghetti eis – an ice cream sundae that appears to be a bowl of spaghetti Bolognese. Press vanilla ice cream through the ricer into a bowl to make ‘spaghetti’ strings. Pour plenty of strawberry sauce on top to represent tomato sauce and top with some flakes of coconut, almond slivers or shavings of white chocolate to look like Parmesan cheese.