I am sucker for mashed potatoes.  I try them everytime they come with meals and spend 364 days a year dreaming about Thanksgiving so that I can have huge servings of my sister-in-law’s mother-in-law’s mashed potatoes.  I’ve heard a few reasons why hers are the best: brown butter, cream cheese, the Bosch mixer, but no matter what I do, I’ve never been able to recreate them.  However, this recipe is so close it’s almost a clone.  I had posted on Facebook Friday night that it was going to take all my willpower to not serve them in the morning with big spoonfuls taken out and I wasn’t kidding.  Yesterday as I scraped out the last bits of the leftovers, I wondered if I had made a good decision in only making 2 and a half pounds.
The 2 1/2 pound measurement is taken after the potatoes are peeled and washed.  Then, those potatoes are tossed into a pot of salted, boiling water.  It is very important to salt your potatoes while they cook.  Not only does the salt flavor them from the start, but I feel that they are less water laden when you go to mash them.  After you’ve drained the potatoes, return them to the pan and put them on the warm stove.  If you like to use a potato masher, go for it.  I use an immersion blender.  I have to stop and clean out the blade a few times if the cream cheese gets packed in there, but I like it better than the traditional wire beaters on a hand mixer.
Because you’re keeping the potatoes warm, they don’t cool as quickly as they would in a mixing bowl therefore become that strange “mealy” texture.  I get the mashing process started before I add in the butter, cream cheese and milk.  A little salt and pepper to taste and then my favorite: horseradish.  Add as much or as little as you like, but I promise you, it brings a whole new dimension of flavor to the potatoes.  It wins over even the most skeptical of dinner guests.
Mashed Potatoes:
  • 2.5 lbs. Idaho potatoes, washed, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. horseradish
Boil a large pot of salted water and add the potatoes.  Cook until they are fork tender.  Drain the potatoes and then return to the pan.  Place over a warm burner and mash using the tool of your choice.  Mix in the butter and cream cheese, streaming in the milk to help mix.  Add the salt, pepper and horseradish to taste… in my opinion, the more horseradish, the better!

**I made these the night before and put them in a baking dish instead of a serving bowl and then covered them and refrigerated them for the night.  The next day, while the turkey was resting and then being sliced, I put a few pats of butter on top and then put them back in the 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.**

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