Each year, while developing new and exciting holiday content, I try to walk the line between “wow, this is uniquely delicious” and “she is a mad woman who must be stopped.” This results in praise (from people who are already onboard with my bullshit), but it also brings a lot of festive shouting.
The shouting is how I know I’m doing something right. Making the same food over and over can get boring. This is why you should add French onion dip to your mashed potatoes.
I’m not talking about fancy homemade onion dip; I’m not even referring to the kind you find refrigerated with the cream cheese and sour cream. I am talking about the beige, canola oil-based dip that come in a glass jar—the kind that is so completely emulsified and shelf-stable that it jiggles a little coming out of its container.
Haters will say I’m trolling, but store-bought French onion dip does indeed make truly insane mashed potatoes. Just like my mayo mashed potatoes before them, the emulsified oil product helps marry the hydrophilic with the hydrophobic, creating a velvety, creamy bowl of spuds with a surprisingly subtle oniony flavour and just enough umami.
No one will take a bite and be all “What the hell?? These taste like onion dip!” No, they will not. Instead, they’ll consume a scoop, pause, go back in for more, then ask you what your secret ingredient is. They’ll demand to now how you got these mashed potatoes so savoury, so smooth, and so dang delicious. But you’ll never tell. (Or maybe you will. I, personally, am not great at keeping secrets.)
You can add French onion dip to any mashed potato recipe, keeping a ratio of half a cup of dip for every pound of potatoes, but you really don’t need many other ingredients. Potatoes, butter and dip are enough for an excellent batch of mashers. To make them, you will need:
900 grams of potatoes either russets, Yukon golds, or a mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) of salted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup of French onion dip (preferably Lay’s)
Peel and cut your potatoes into 2cm cubes. Boil them in a large pot of salted water until a piece can be easily mashed with a fork. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and return the potatoes to the pot, cooking and stirring them for a few minutes to drive off excess water. Give the potatoes a few mashes with a potato masher (or use a ricer for waxy potatoes), then add the butter. Continue mashing until the butter is melted, then add the dip. Give everything another couple of mashes, then stir with a wooden spoon until the potatoes are smooth and uniform in colour.
This article has been updated since its original publication.