Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Oh, yum. These might have been my favorite mashed potatoes ever. Well, besides the ones they serve at The Cheesecake Factory, but as far as I'm concerned there's no beating those. Either way, these were DELICIOUS and interestingly enough I was probably more worried about this piece of our Mother's Day meal than any of the other things I made. Most likely because I have seen Dan and his siblings in action with a bowl of mashed potatoes, and I was terrified of not making enough to feed the crowd. And in all honesty, you're taking this from a girl who thinks potatoes alone are a satisfactory meal, so I KNEW a recipe that yields 10 half-cup servings was going to have to be at least doubled for our dinner. Point being - mashed potatoes are a hit with both of our families - so the ones I decided to make had better be good, and there had better be a lot of them.

Cue me sitting in Dan's recliner Saturday night pouring over all my old Food & Family magazines. I had dessert nailed down, I found a recipe for asparagus that I knew would be easy and tasty, and all I needed was a potato... and then I found these. Potatoes with cream cheese and sour cream in them?! And boiled in chicken broth instead of water? Yes please.

Below is the original recipe from Kraft Foods. I basically worked with the ingredients list and just threw in enough of everything to serve all of us at dinner. The lack of exact measurements worked out (for the most part)... my notes on that following the recipe.

(Image also from Kraft Foods)

Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

2 lb. red potatoes (about 8), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup chicken broth
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

1. Put the potatoes and broth in a large saucepan, cover to boil.
2. Bring heat down to medium and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Uncover and simmer 5-6 more minutes, until potatoes are tender and most of broth is absorbed.
4. Over low heat, add cream cheese, sour cream, and parmesan - mash until potatoes are smooth and heated through.

A few things I learned while making this dish:
1. A potato masher is a wonderful thing. Let's be honest - Dan and I are longtime fans of instant mashed potatoes, so who needs something like a potato masher when you just mix up the flakes with a fork? WELL, I bought a bag of potatoes for 50 cents with a coupon awhile back and I'm not sure I'll ever use instant again. Yay! I'm officially converted to real life mashed potato goodness! Either way, mashing real potatoes up with a fork is a pain, and we all know I'm a fan of a new little kitchen gadget, so a $4 masher was the highlight of our morning trip to Jewel that day.
2. I used just 3 small potatoes shy of a 5 pound bag for our dinner - and it was pretty close to being the perfect amount. That being said, I wasn't sure of EXACT measurements at that point... so I used 2 cans of chicken broth and a little extra water, nearly an entire cream cheese brick (I left enough for maybe 2 bagels), around a cup of sour cream, and a bunch of shakes of parmesan cheese. As with my other rare experiences where I didn't follow a recipe exactly, the fact that these turned out was just another reminder that I am actually learning a little bit about cooking through all of this!
3. Red potatoes are (duh) very very red. In order to not muddy up the color of the finished dish, I sort of half peeled my potatoes and just left the skin on sparingly. I read that a ton of a potato's flavor is in the skin and just underneath it, so I figured leaving some of it on would be a good happy medium.
4. As I mentioned before, I added about a cup of extra water to the broth because the potatoes were not completely covered in the pot. This was not necessary and I ended up dumping out a good cup and a half of liquid after the potatoes were tender (before mixing in all of the other ingredients). This didn't matter in the final product, but next time I'll keep the liquid more to a minimum.

Seeing as there were no leftovers, I'm thinking of forgetting about my thoughts of using the extra cream cheese on bagels and throwing another couple servings of this together for Dan and I to have with dinner some night this week!


Caili said...

You are a DREAM!

Let's plan lunch soon, and by lunch I mean let's eat those leftovers. Together.

Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

Those sound super!!!

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