If you have ever read this blog before (if you haven’t, hello, welcome!), than you know that I feel very strongly about making as many things as you possibly can before your Thanksgiving meal. Mashed potatoes were one of those things like gravy, that I was making right before everyone sat down to dinner. By that time, I was over it. I had been cooking for days, I just wanted to sit down with my guests, and have a big glass of wine. Now I know that you can make them ahead of time, and they are even better than the ones that I was making moments before we sat down for dinner.
My friend Corey introduced me to this method, and I need to publicly thank her for introducing me to the richest, creamiest, fluffiest, mashed potatoes on the planet. You start by boiling your potatoes, and putting them through a food mill (Corey uses a ricer, but I much prefer a food mill, same result, less time). You add warm cream, cream cheese, butter, salt and pepper. And then there is a secret ingredient. When Corey told me what it was, I thought that she was nuts, how could this ingredient make such a difference? But it does. It is cream of tartar. Trust me on this one, try it. The best part (other than the deliciousness), is that you can make it a day ahead of time.
You could also use this recipe as a base, and add fresh herbs, roasted garlic, Boursin cheese, caramelized onions, whatever you like.
5 pound bag Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup warm heavy cream
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 block cream cheese at room temperature
salt and pepper to taste (you will need a lot)
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
Start the potatoes in cold water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until a fork comes out easily. Use a fork and not a knife, it will give you a more accurate measure of if the potatoes are cooked through.
Drain the potatoes in a colander.
Add the butter, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and cream of tartar.
Add about half of the warm cream. Save the rest to get the right consistency. You can always add, but cannot take away, so it is better to start slow.
Whip until light and fluffy.
Spray a casserole dish (mine was 2 quarts) with cooking spray.
Spread the potato mixture into the casserole dish. At this point, you can cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge overnight.
If you are baking this straight away, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Put it under the broiler for a few seconds to crisp up the top. If you are taking this from the fridge, let it sit out at room temperature so that it is not ice cold, and then bake.