Mashed Potatoes: This Year’s Secret Ingredient

November 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Well maybe it’s not so secret, and I really can’t take credit for it, but I can tell you it’s really really good. This year I’m putting cream cheese in our Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.  Yep, cream cheese!

Do you guys cook with cream cheese?  I’m a little bit obsessed with it.  Yes I love it on bagels but I find when I have some around, it’s always useful in whatever I’m cooking, whether I’m thickening a sauce or making a dish a little bit more indulgent. And in mashed potatoes it is unbelievable.  We can’t credit this one to Ina, it’s full on Pioneer Woman. I haven’t talked  much about Ree Drummond here but I’ve always liked her recipes, and I think she’s a solid go to when it comes to fool proof comfort food. I made a variation of these mashed potatoes a few weeks back and shortly after I told my mom we had to have them at Thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to top them with gravy and cranberry sauce.

I modified the recipe a little bit by cutting back on the butter.  I know, I know, me of all people! I really do love butter,  but the amount used was even a bit too indulgent for my tastes.  It is Thanksgiving though, so feel free to go all out! Either variation is sure to be delicious.  Oh, and the best part?  You can make it a day ahead! You can never have too many make ahead dishes on Thanksgiving.

I’ll be back a little later tomorrow with some super simple tablescape ideas that I’m very excited to share. And, in case you need it- here’s a stellar sweet potato recipe. Happy holiday prepping!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes slightly adapted from the Pioneer Woman
Serves 10

  • 5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 cup (to 3/4 cups) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.

Turn off the stove and add the butter, cream cheese, and milk. Mash until very smooth with a potato masher. Next, add salt a pepper. Taste for seasoning and add a bit more if necessary (do not under salt!).

Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish or oven proof bowl.  Place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until potatoes are warmed through (15-20 minutes).

Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

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