Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

BEWARE: If you start making these potatoes, and sharing them with people, you will be asked to make them for every holiday that you are ever invited to. You will no longer have to ask "what should I bring?" because the answer will always be the same: "Bring your famous mashed potatoes!" I have been making these potatoes for several years. I don't even remember what cookbook the recipe is in, I just know that it is one that sits on my Mom's kitchen counter with all of her other cookbooks. I started making these for Thanksgiving, and they were a definite staple. Then, it got expanded to other holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. This is why I am writing this post now, I just finished a batch for our Easter dinner tonight. I am quite honored that I got asked to bring these potatoes to Easter dinner because we will be eating at my In-laws' house, and my Mother-In-Law has her own version of regularly requested potatoes. I think this means that she is admitting defeat, but I am not sure.
After that long-winded introduction, here are the "Famous" Mashed Potatoes:

8 Large Baking Potatoes
1 Stick Butter softened
12 OZ Cream Cheese softened
1 Pt Sour Cream
1 Small Bunch of Green Onions Very finely chopped (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Scrub your potatoes, or if you prefer, peel them. I like the texture of the skin in the mashed potatoes, but that is simply my preference.

Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters depending on how big they are. The smaller you cut them, the faster they will cook.

Place your cut-up Potatoes in a big kettle/soup pot, whatever you have. Add some salt, and put in enough water to just cover the potatoes.

Cover the pot and put it on the stove (duh) and bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, and then start to test for done-ness. You will know that the potatoes are cooked when you can easily poke them with a fork, and if you try to lift them out of the water with a fork, they fall off.

While the potatoes are cooking, chop up your green onions.

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain out all of the water, and transfer them to a big mixing bowl.

Add the Butter

Cream Cheese

And sour cream (sorry sour cream by itself is really not photo-worthy, it mostly just looks gross)

Mix this all up with a hand mixer, stand mixer, or potato masher. Whichever you prefer will work. Mix until they reach your desired consistency. I say this because some people like their potatoes really chunky, and some like them really smooth. Go with whatever you like best, they will be great either way!

Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add the salt slowly, and just keep tasting them as you go in order to make sure that you do not add too much.

Now that everything is all mixed up just how you like it, add the chopped green onion. Use as much green onion as you like. You can eye-ball it as you go if you want. Mix this in by hand.

Now, you can either serve the potatoes, right away, or stick them in a covered casserole, and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to heat them up. When you are ready, just pop 'em in the oven until they are heated through, and serve. It is nice to top them with some fresh chives or ground nutmeg if you have it.

Tada! All done! Easy right? Now you can sit back, relax, and listen while everyone tells you how wonderful of a cook you are :-) Enjoy, and Happy Easter!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I do not feel I need to say too much about these potatoes. These are the absolute best mashed potatoes I have ever eaten in my entire life. The only potatoes that I can think of which might rival these would be the Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes at Stoney River, but that is a completely different mashed potato recipe and it would be unfair to compare the two. Head to head it would probably be a draw.

    I've had plenty of mashed potatoes in my day. Growing up I was always a huge fan of my mom's mashed potatoes. I think the recipe was very similar to this one, but I never took the time to learn it. Anyway, mashed potatoes were a huge area of conflict for Shawna and I when we first started dating - she believed that she made the best mashed potatoes ever, while I contended that they simply couldn't be better than my mom's recipe. I was very, very wrong.

    These potatoes are am-az-ing. It is making me hungry just writing about them, and were it not for the fact that this batch has been long gone for a few days now, I would go get them out of the fridge. But alas, poor Yorick! There are no potatoes to be had.

    I don't recall exactly when it was, but I believe that either Thanksgiving or Christmas of 2007 was when we had two mashed potatoes at our family gathering. On one end of the table we had the underdog - Shawna's mashed potatoes. On the other end we had my mother's famous mashed potatoes. By this time I had tried Shawna's potatoes once or twice, but I wasn't ready to make a decision as to whose was better without trying them side by side. With my family and I as the judges, we tried both batches and Shawna's recipe was the clear winner. My mother's famous potatoes were defeated, a new champion was born, and now we have Shawna's mashed potatoes at all of our family gatherings.

    It wouldn't be right for me to write this post and leave out the fact that the potatoes Shawna made above for Easter this year were her absolute best ever. In past years, Shawna did all the mixing and mashing by hand - literally - we didn't even have a hand mixer. This year we bought a KitchenAid stand mixer. Now, I'm not exactly sure how much the KitchenAid had to do with any of this, but there was something different about these potatoes. They had that special ... something. There was none of the chunkiness that you always get in mashed potatoes, regardless of how hard or long you mix the potatoes. She also left the skins on the potatoes, which added just a little bit of texture and flavor to them. If you look at the last picture in Shawna's blog entry above, the potatoes had the exact consistency of how they look in that picture. They were as smooth as whipped apple butter.

    I am going to wrap this up because the more I write the more I wish I had some of these potatoes to eat right now. I would give this recipe 6 stars out of 5. That may seem unfair, but these potatoes are to die for and I don't think I can do them justice by writing about them. You simply have to make them and try them for yourself.

    Seriously. Go to the store right now. Get yourself a bag of potatoes and everything else the recipe calls for. Bust out your hand or stand mixer and make them, then invite me over so that I can eat them all for you.