The Sauce: Cream Cheese – Soften a brick of cream cheese and it becomes a creamy thick, rich mix-in for mash potatoes. The heat of the freshly cooked Russets turns it into a mesmerizing melted cheese sauce.
When I was in college, a friend from church decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner just before everyone left for the holiday. It was a pot luck affair. I don’t remember what dish I made but I remember what Dave brought. He made the most heavenly bowl of mashed potatoes. Unsuspecting dinner guests served up some and upon the first bite asked, “Dave, these potatoes are fabulous. What’s in them?” Dave’s secret was cream cheese. I became an instant convert.
Going forward they became my Thanksgiving potatoes and slowly crept into everyday mashed potatoes. They’re a bit deceiving because they’re so white they look about as plain as possible. They need absolutely no butter, cream or Half & Half, just a little skim milk to reach the perfect consistency.
2011 AniversaRecipe – Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Recipe: White Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Yield: 12 Servings | Level: Easy
- 5 lbs Russet potatoes, about 11 medium
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 – 2/3 cup milk
1 Peel and cut the potatoes in small, even chunks or slices. Place in a large pot and cover with tepid water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until fork tender, 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the chunks.
2 Drain the water from the pot. Run through the potatoes with a potato masher breaking down the potatoes. Cut the cream cheese in a few clumps and add to the pot. Continue mashing and combine the cheese into the potatoes. Add milk as needed for the desired consistency. Adjust salt.
Cut the potatoes in even size chunks to ensure even cooking and reduce lumps.
Use tepid water because hot water will cause uneven cooking and cold water takes a longer time to come to a boil.
For homemade potatoes with some texture, don’t mash out all the lumps. For smooth creamy ones, mash until smooth then add the milk to desired consistency.
Idaho Russets cooked to fork tender mash up into fluffier potatoes than red potatoes. Russet rule of thumb – they work well for for fluffy, softer applications like baked and mashed potatoes. Reds rule of thumb – they hold their shape better so they work well for roasting and salads.
- Exchange milk for Half & Half or heavy cream.
Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: November 13, 2012