Saturday, May 26, 2012

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

A few weeks ago, I made dinner for my girls' teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.  I wasn't excluding the boys' teachers. The oldest boy has too many teachers due to his grade level, and the youngest child's teachers had a special lunch at their school.  Anyway, I gave the girls' teachers a choice in meals, and they both chose Crispy Cheese Chicken.  In the past when I have made that meal for others, I have taken a microwaveable bowl of mashed potatoes.  This year I was feeling adventurous. I decided to make some mashed potatoes.

But not the ones with the 22 dollar cheese, though those are SOOO very yummy.

I decided to search the Internet for some make ahead mashed potatoes since I make the meals and give them to the teachers to cook at home.

I found one aptly named Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes.  

Even better, they seemed simple.

So using that as a guide, I decided to try them out.

I made one batch following the recipe on that site (mostly, with an adaptation here and there).

And that one batch made PLENTY for two containers, one for each teacher.

After spooning it into the containers, I decided I should lick the spoon to test the potatoes.


Very creamy.

About a week later, I decided to make them for our family.  Except I went to the fridge and discovered that somehow I had NO sour cream.  Seriously? That is a staple around here.  I decided to try vanilla yogurt in its place.

Word to the wise.

Vanilla yogurt is NOT like sour cream.

The potatoes tasted like frosting.  Seriously.  They were sweet. And while I like sweet and frosting, I do NOT want that with my mashed potatoes.

Tonight I made the Crispy Cheese Chicken for our family.  I decided to try the potatoes again.  This time WITH sour cream.  Oh yum.

Here is what I made for us.  It was more than enough. We all had good helpings, and we even have leftovers which is a rarity around here!

2 lbs or so of golden russet potatoes (I only had 5, I think 6 would have been just right)
1 package cream cheese (I did use light)
1/2 container (8 oz) sour cream (again, I used light)
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp onion salt (Okay, I don't have onion salt, so I just used some freshly ground garlic salt then threw in a little chopped onion; I have also used onion salt and some minced garlic)
peppercorn to taste

Wash or peel potatoes.  I don't mind the peels in my mashed potatoes but some people in my family do. So I peeled them.

Cut the potatoes into small pieces.

Boil in lightly salted water until tender.

Drain potatoes.

Mash or use a potato ricer. I have been using the ricer which works well if the potatoes are really tender. I was tired of finding lumps when I just mashed. :)

Mix in cream cheese, sour cream, milk, onion AND/OR garlic salt, and ground peppercorn.

At this point, you can bake them at 325 for 50 minutes.

I didn't do that.

I stuck them in my 375 degree oven (which was baking my chicken) for about 20 minutes.  They were plenty hot and quite creamy.

If you make ahead, you can store them in the fridge.  Just pull them out around 30 minutes before baking.

One of the teachers came to me later and asked for the recipe; she said she couldn't believe how creamy they were.

I think this will be a fallback recipe for mashed potatoes.

Hmmm, suddenly I am craving the leftovers...

Happy cooking!

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