I love mashed pototoes. I mean, I really, really love them. With a little, ok a lot, of melted butter on top. Mmmmm! These potatoes are some of the best I’ve ever had. And the best part, especially at Thanksgiving time, when you’re frantically cooking and baking and up to your elbows in dirty dishes, is these can be made a day ahead. Trust me, they’re fantastic when made that way, and no one will be able to tell you didn’t cook them that morning. Here’s how you do it…
Start by peeling 5 lbs of russet potatoes. I toss them into a bowl of cool water after I peel them. When I’ve got them all with their skins off, just drain and rinse. Then cut them into similar sized pieces. You don’t have to cut them up small, just so that all the pieces are about the same size, so they’ll cook evenly.
Place them into a stock pot, and add cool water until potatoes are covered by about an inch of water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender enough that a fork slides thru without any resistance. It usually takes about 20 – 25 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the dry, warm stockpot. Turn the burner on low heat, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Smush ‘em up until all the chunks are almost gone.
Then turn off the heat and add in your softened butter and cream cheese. Yup, I said cream cheese! It’s the secret ingredient that takes these potatoes from just creamy, to dreamy. It’s really the stuff dreams are made of!
Mash together until it’s all combined well. Then add in half and half. Sprinkle on a little seasoned salt and pepper. You can really add any seasonings you want, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, whatever floats your boat. But since it’s Thanksgiving after all, and there are so many other flavors already on your plate, and you’re gonna top these with yummy gravy, it’s best to keep it simple here. Stir it all together until its all combined. Taste it here, and add more seasonings as needed. It’s important to get the flavor in there, you don’t want bland potatoes.
Transfer it to a oven safe dish. At this point you can either bake it, or refrigerate it for 1-2 days. If you decide to refrigerate it, cover tightly with foil. Remove it from the fridge a few hours before you need it. Allow it to come to room temperature on the counter. Then, top with a few more pats of butter and bake, covered, at 350 until the butter is all melted and the potatoes are warmed through. If you don’t want to refrigerate it for a later use, just top it with some butter and place it in a 350 oven until the butter is melted.
Mmmmmm! So yummy!
Now for some gravy…
You’re gonna need some turkey drippings. So pour off the liquids from your roasting pan, and allow it to sit for a bit and let the fat seperate. Take a couple tablespoonfuls of fat and add it to a warm skillet. Make sure to scoop up some of the turkey bits left in the pan.
Stir on a few tablespoonfuls of flour and whisk to combine. You want this to be pasty, not greasy and not cakey or dry. If it’s too greasy, add a little more flour, if it’s too dry, add a little more fat. When you get it to the right consistency, cook for a few more minutes until the color darkens.
Stir in a little whole milk, whisking constantly until all combined. Sprinkle on some black pepper. Cook for a few more minutes until thickened.
****This is not traditional turkey gravy, which is usually thinner. If you like it that way, use low sodium chicken broth instead of milk. I just like my gravy creamy, like my potatoes.****
here’s the printable….creamymashedpotatoes