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Makes about 4 cups (6-8 servings)
2 pounds potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed (pick potatoes that are uniform in size for even cooking--Russet are best for flavor; Yukon Gold are best for texture)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup half-and-half, gently warmed
Ground black pepper
1. Place potatoes in large saucepan and cover with 1 inch water. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potatoes with very little resistance), 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.
2. Set food mill or ricer over now empty but still warm saucepan. Spear potato with dinner fork, then peel back skin with paring knife (this is easier if you let the potatoes cool for 10 minutes first). Working in batches, cut peeled potatoes into rough chunks and drop into hopper of food mill or potato ricer. Rice potatoes into saucepan.
3. Stir in butter with wooden spoon until incorporated; gently stir in half-and-half and salt and pepper to taste.
These are really good plain, but also nice with 1-2 Tablespoons of prepared horseradish or wasabi paste mixed in at the end.
These can easily be prepared 1-2 days ahead and reheated in the microwave.