Saturday, November 29, 2008

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

You may have already seen this recipe on the internets, (it's a Ree Drummond recipe) but I'm posting it here because it's a great one. Not only are the mashed potatoes creamy and fabulous, but you can make them one or two days ahead of time, which is a lifesaver when you're planning on a house overflowing with company.

I am making my mashed potatoes Wednesday, as soon as I empty and load the dishwasher for the trillionth time. They will be all ready to heat up Thursday for dinner, and I'll be able to relax just a bit more.

Mashed Potatoes

5 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 to 3/4 cup half and half
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper

Peel and cut the potatoes into a large dice. Add potatoes to a large pot of water and bring to boil. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or until potatoes are done. When cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost (but not quite) 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 butter, cream cheese and about 1/2 cup half and half. Mash together. Add more half and half if needed. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of Lawry's Seasoning Salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, stir well, then taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. (I use about 1 teaspoon of Lawry's and just 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper).

Stir well and place in a large baking dish. If you are going to serve them the same day, follow instructions below for baking to make sure they're nice and hot.

To Make Ahead (one to two days in advance): Allow to cool, then place a few more pats of butter over the top of the potatoes. Cover and refrigerate. Remove potatoes from the refrigerator about 2 to 3 hours before serving time, to allow them to come to room temperature. Bake as directed below.

To Bake: Bake in a 350 degrees F oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

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