Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mashed Potato Casserole

It's Thanksgiving week, people, and it's time to start figuring out how you're making your mashed potatoes.  Not if you are making them - not making them is not an option.

The beauty of this casserole is that you can still have mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving without standing at the stove, a masher in hand, when your guests are pretending to patiently wait for dinner.

The thing about mashed potatoes is that they don't really keep well.  If you mash them earlier in the day, they will be stiff and gluey by the time dinner rolls around.  And then, what's the point?

Mashed potato casserole is the perfect make-ahead dish because you can actually make it tonight (i.e. a few days before Thanksgiving) and then bake it off on Thanksgiving to share with your family.  I admit it's not exactly the healthiest recipe I've ever posted, but this is mashed potato casserole, guys.

On Saturday morning I got up at 7:30 and left about a pound of butter on my counter to soften while I went to the gym.  I needed the gym.  I was softening a pound of butter and planning on using about a pound and a half that day.  That's my kind of day.

Natalie and Mitch were having their annual pre-Thanksgiving potluck and I was bringing mashed potato casserole, crack pie, and apple tart.  No, we didn't need all those dishes, but I wanted to make them.  It's hard for me to explain to people why I love cooking so much, I just do.  I enjoy it so much that I will prepare so much food to bring to a potluck that I am cleaning out my stand mixer four times in one morning to get through all my recipes.  I guess I didn't love peeling 6 pounds of potatoes, but I didn't hate it either.  Just being in the kitchen with my toes getting covered in flour and my knuckles getting sore from all the chopping makes me happy.  Even if you're not a cooking fanatic, I promise that you'll enjoy at least the eating aspect of this mashed potato casserole.  The accolades around the Thanksgiving table are well worth the effort.

Mashed Potato Casserole
From the NY Times

14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons, plus one teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with butter.  In a large pot, bring the potatoes, roughly 4 quarts of water, and 2 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil.  Boil 15-20 minutes, until tender.  Drain potatoes.

Mash the potatoes with 10 tablespoons of butter, sour cream, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Stir in the diced chives.  Taste for seasoning.  Spread potatoes into greased pan.  Cover and refrigerate for up to three days or use immediately.

In a small bowl mix together the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese until coarse crumbs form.  Crumbs can also be refrigerated for up to three days or used immediately.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle crumbs on potatoes and bake for 30-40 minutes until crumbs are crispy and brown.  If baking the casserole right away (instead of out of the fridge), you can bake it for 20 minutes instead.

1 comment:

  1. It pains me a bit to look at the ingredients, but the mashed potato casserole was amazing. Thanks for making them, Kathy!


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