Sunday, January 16, 2011

Make-ahead baked mashed potatoes

This recipe comes from my Aunt Nancy. You can make it with instant mashed potatoes, or make 'em from scratch. Honestly, it tastes creamy, rich, and delicious either way. Just mulitply the recipe to reach the number of servings you need. This is EXCELLENT for big meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas, when you can do the messy peeling and the steamy boiling, draining and mashing days ahead, rather than dealing with it all at the last minute when kitchen space is at a premium.

non-stick cooking spray, plain or butter flavored
6 servings of mashed potatoes, prepared without butter.
4 oz cream cheese
1 egg, beaten
1-2 Tbsp butter, cut into small bits.

Optional additions:
Cheddar or parmesan cheese (mixed in and/or sprinkled on top)
1/2 tsp garlic powder or flakes
1/2 tsp onion powder or flakes
1/2 tsp butter flavoring, or 1 tsp Butter Buds or similar
crumbled bacon (to sprinkle on top)

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray (1 qt size for a single 6-serving batch). Prepare mashed potatoes by your preferred method, but omit any butter in the recipe. Allow the potatoes to cool somewhat- they should be hot enough to soften the cheese, but not hot enough to cook the egg. Blend in the remaining ingredients, except butter. I often mash the potatoes in my stand mixer when making a large batch, then simply continue adding ingredients. Transfer potato mixture to baking dish, dot with butter, and top with cheese or bacon if desired. Allow to cool completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate up to 3 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F, uncover dish, and bake 30 minutes. Potatoes should rise slightly in the dish and develop a nice crust on top, but will be fluffy and delicious inside.

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