Ingredients for 6 servings:
1. 3 lbs yellow-fleshed potatoes or 3 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
2. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus any additional salt to taste
3. 1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4. 1 cup half-and-half, plus
5. 2 tablespoons half-and-half, heated
6. white pepper
1. In a large bowl, combine the potato pieces with water to cover and let stand for 5 minutes to remove excess starch, then drain.
2. Bring a large sauce-pan 3/4 full of water to a boil.
3. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and the potatoes and return to a boil until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
4. Drain well and return to the empty pan.
5. Place the pan over high heat and, turning the potatoes to prevent scorching, heat to evaporate the moisture, 1-2 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat.
7. Using a potato masher, mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
8. Add the butter, mash, and the half-and-half, a little at a time, switching to a spoon when the potatoes are smooth.
9. The potatoes should be creamy but not soupy.
10. Season to taste with salt and white pepper, transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.