Chef Sara Moulton Answers Your Cooking Questions

While they are cooking, take out several tablespoons of butter (about a tablespoon per potato) and let them come to room temperature and heat up some milk, whole or low fat (or half and half or cream, if you feel like splurging, but I don't think you need the extra fat for mashed potatoes). You will need about ½ cup for 4 potatoes, depending on how loose you want the mash.

Drain the potatoes, put them back in the pot and cook them over low heat for a few minutes to get rid of any residual moisture. Let them cool a tiny bit so you can handle them, then put them through a food mill or a ricer (looks like a giant garlic press) or, if you don't mind lumps, just mash them with a hand held potato masher. Stir in the butter, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Add more heated milk if you like a looser texture.

Betsy Aashley-Jones: Sara, what is Almond meal, and where to purchase it?

Sara's Answer:

Betsy,

I looked back into one of my old "Eating Well" Magazine cookbooks, called "Secrets of Low-Fat Cooking" and what they recommended was using fruit purees such as apple butter, prune puree or mashed bananas to replace three fourths of the fat in quick bread recipes.

Almond meal (and almond flour) are nothing more than ground almonds. Almond meal can be made from blanched or un-blanched almonds, almond flour is made from blanched almonds. The two can be used interchangeably.

King Arthur Flour and Bob's Red Mill are two popular brands that you can buy on line and Trader Joes sells its own brand in its stores.

Or, you can make your own by grinding small amounts of almonds in a clean coffee grinder. Pulse them until they are just finely ground and then sift the mixture into a bowl or jar and add the coarse bits in the strainer back to the coffee grinder for the next batch. If you grind them too long you will end up with almond butter.

For more great recipes from Sara check out her website or follow her on Twitter: @saramoulton

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