Monday, November 24, 2008

Mashed Potatoes--Creamy & Rich (make ahead)

My Aunt Joanne cooked many a meal for her brood of five children, extended family, and many friends. She knew how to please a crowd with her food...and endless supply of candy and soda pop! These potatoes are one of her crowd-pleasing recipes. After tasting these super creamy and rich mashed potatoes, you won't go back to the plain dab-of-butter-and-bit-of-milk mashed potatoes again.

What, you say, could make this recipe even better? These spuds can be made ahead of time, refrigerated, then baked on the day of your special meal. These are one of our Thanksgiving meal favorites.

5 lbs. potatoes, your favorite kind (our crew likes Yukon Gold)
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 TBSP Lowrys seasoned salt (using regular salt is okay too)

Dice potatoes to a uniform size--about 1-1/2 inches. You can peel the potatoes if you prefer, but if I'm using potatoes with a thin skin like Yukon Golds, our crew prefers them unpeeled. Cover with cold water; add 1 tsp. of salt to the water and bring to boil until fork tender. Drain all moisture out very thoroughly. With potatoes put back into the pot, add the cream cheese, sour cream and salt and allow them to warm together for a few minutes. Add the softened butter and mash potatoes by hand with a masher until you reach your desired consistency. If the potatoes aren’t smooth enough after using a masher, use your mixer briefly to whip them to your liking, being careful to avoid overmixing.

If making ahead: Store potatoes in a greased oven-proof covered casserole dish overnight. When ready to reheat, place foil covered casserole dish in the oven at 350 degrees (or whatever moderate temperature other food is being cooked) for at least 1-1/2 hours. You can reduce reheat time by setting out the potatoes for an hour or two before reheating them in the oven.