I love mashed potatoes. Who doesn't? I made this Mashed Potato, Cheese, and Chive Gratin tonight as a "test drive" for Thanksgiving. It's not the brightest idea to have Thanksgiving (or another holiday) be your first try at a recipe - especially when you are cooking for your husband's persnickety extended family.
This recipe is from Epicurious.com, and was sent to me by my foodie friend Amber. She made these last year for a holiday and said they were fantastic. After making them myself, I am a believer! Ryan said - "These are the best homemade mashed potatoes I have ever had." And he is somewhat persnickety. So...whip these up on a chilly winter night. Mmmmmmm :)
MASHED POTATO, CHEESE, AND CHIVE GRATIN
From Epicurious.com, tweaked by Kira
3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature *
1/2 sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup chopped fresh chives (about 3 bunches) **
1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Grated parmigiano-reggiano or parmesan cheese ***
Salt and Pepper to taste
Butter 6 to 8 cup ovenproof dish. Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until
tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes; return to same pot. Add cream cheese and mash well. Mix in sour cream and milk, then chives. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon potatoes into prepared dish and dot with chilled butter (Can be made 2 hours ahead; let stand at room temperature).
Preheat oven to 375. Bake potatoes until heated through and beginning to brown on top, about 30 minutes.
* If you are halving this as I did for tonight, Philly Cream Cheese makes these darling little 3oz packages that are just perfect! I used one of those and then tossed in a few tablespoons of butter to make up the rest. I have to admit to a weakness for butter in my mashed potatoes.
** I used scallions because the ghetto grocery store next to the Y did not have (!!) fresh chives. The scallions were great, though, and contributed toward these tasting somewhat like sour cream & onion potato chips. That's a good thing!
*** I added some freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese both to the mixture (add it after the chives) and then to the top after the potatoes were in the baking dish. The parm-reg has a really fantastic nutty flavor that complimented my "chives" nicely.