I’m hosting the Big Feast at my house this year along with my hubby and the kidlet. We’ll have about 12 or so people total, and while that may not be a lot of folks to some of you, it is to me. And I get a little obsessed with what all can be done ahead of time, to make the mere idea of hosting a nice dinner for guests feel less stressful. I wasn’t going to bother with mashed potatoes, and certainly not a blog post on them, but got to thinking said guests might sorely miss mashed potatoes and, well, here we are trying out what is basically a make-ahead mashed potato recipe.
This is gonna be exciting. Hold onto your potato mashers!
You know what makes me laugh? Reviews for recipes that say there’s too much cheese. Know what doesn’t make me laugh? When we think that means it’s just right for us probably, but later I don’t taste no cheese. Know what that means? Next time I’m putting more cheese in or opting for something like white cheddar, which might have a little more flavor than mozzarella. But anyway, too much cheese? Who’s ever heard of such a thing? Big ‘ole pffffttt to that mess.
This was about 4 pounds of russet potatoes, which came in a five pound bag. Next time I’m just using the whole five pound bag as it was, like, two or three potatoes left over. This makes a whopping big pile ‘o taters, plenty for my 12 or so guests coming on the big Feast Day. You know, what with all the other goodies in casserole dishes to choose from. It’ll be the Casserole Parade!
No rocket science here folks – tho do make sure your potato masher is fully functional. We just boil them there taters and mash ’em up! Except, my potato masher broke when Sis Blogging Partner went all serial masher on them. Whoops! Giggle, too, but, yeah, whoops.
And how do we make it up to taters for smashing the heck out of them? We give them milk, of course!
And we give them melted butter, you mashed tater lovers, you!
And we give them cheeeeeeese! Yes we DO!
Just an aside here, but you could also give them some sour cream or some heavy cream instead of milk or even cream cheese. You know, anything bad pretty much goes for big Feast Day mashed taters.
OK, then salt, pepper and stir. Taste! Salt again maybe? Stir. Taste! Do that till you get the flavor you like.
Normally I would just spray a casserole dish like this before ker-plopping my taters into it, but what the heckity heck, it’s Feast Day! We buttered the dish instead, as called for. It makes the edges nice and crispy and browned. Ahhh, happy Feast Day smiles.
And last, but not least, a modest amount of cheese (no really, it really was modest this time) plus a very small amount of bread crumbs finishes it all off.
And when it’s all baked and ready and warm and a little cheesy gooey – it’s Feast Time!
And here we have what I lovingly like to call Mt. Tater, which has obviously exploded like a volcano, and in it now rests the glorious Lake Gravy. How do you like to eat your mashed potatoes? Do you hollow out a lake/pit for your gravy, too? Hence allowing for MORE gravy? Or do you just spoon gravy over a heap of taters and let it run everywhere? I go so far as to close gaps that might allow gravy to escape as I’m eating from my own Mt. Tater. These baked mashed potatoes tasted like – you guessed it – regular mashed potatoes. What I super liked about the recipe tho is it’s a good make-ahead recipe. You could make this up in the morning, then bake it right before you need it, allowing for fresh-tasting mashed potatoes but not all the effort up to the last minute. Time Savers R Us, yep! Hope you enjoy this time saver if you try it and have a happy Feast Day!
Baked Mashed Potatoes
from Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese & Bread Crumbs by Giada De Laurentiis via FoodNetwork.com
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: about 35 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 8 or more
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside.
Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return the potatoes to the same pot and mash well. Mix in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the mashed potatoes. Recipe can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead of time; cover and chill.
Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
If you’re planning to make this ahead of time and refrigerate till ready to bake, take it out of the fridge about thirty minutes prior to baking. Allowing some of the chill to come off will help keep your baking time down. Know, though, that we baked ours right away and it needed a little longer than 20 minutes to brown on top to our liking. More like 30.
When serving these a couple of days later leftover to hubby and myself, I mashed them pretty good again and added some more milk so they wouldn’t be dry, put them in a casserole dish again and warmed them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Not bad! And, incidentally, we could taste the cheese more that time.