Chef John des Rosiers cuts potatoes into thin, uniform pieces so they'll cook quickly and evenly. We've called for a potato masher (which most people have in their kitchens), but for the fluffiest, most finely textured potatoes, use a ricer, as des Rosiers does in the photo above.
4 pounds large baking potatoes, peeled
2/3 cup warm half-and-half
1/4 cup extravirgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Cut each potato lengthwise into quarters; cut each quarter crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with warm water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until just tender.
Drain potatoes; let stand 5 minutes. Return potatoes to pan. Add half-and-half and remaining ingredients; mash with a potato masher until desired consistency.