Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cheesy Mashed Potato Pots

2 pounds red skinned or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, if desired and cut up
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Milk (optional)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup shredded American or cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a covered large saucepan, cook potatoes in enough boiling water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Season with the salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. If necessary, add a small amount of milk for desired consistency.

2. Grease four 10- to 12-ounce individual casseroles or custard cups or a 1- to 1-1/2-quart casserole. Spoon potato mixture into prepared casserole(s). In a chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl over); fold in cheese. Spoon cheese mixture over potatoes. Place casserole(s) on a baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through. If desired, sprinkle with additional black pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Velvet Mashed Potatoes

1 head garlic
2-1/2 lb. russet potatoes (about 5 medium)
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup dairy sour cream
2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup milk, heated
1 Recipe Mushroom-Sauce, (see bottom)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut 1/4 inch off the pointed end of the head of garlic to expose cloves. Drizzle with a little olive oil; wrap in foil. Scrub potatoes and prick with fork. Place potatoes in preheated oven; bake 20 minutes. Add garlic. Continue baking potatoes and garlic 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and garlic is soft and browned.

2. Holding hot potatoes with towel, split potatoes and scrape flesh into saucepan over low heat. Squeeze roasted head of garlic from the bottom to push cloves out of their papery skins and into potatoes. Add butter, sour cream, and cream cheese. Mash with potato masher. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Gradually stir or whisk in hot milk until potatoes are light and fluffy. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with Mushroom Sauce. Serves 8.

Mushroom Sauce

3 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, such as button, cremini, or stemmed shiitakes, sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/3 cup whipping cream
1. Melt butter in skillet, over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until browned. Add shallot; cook 2 minutes. Add dried tomatoes, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add wine. Cook and stir, scraping up browned bits from pan. Add cream; bring to boiling. Simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve with Velvet Mashed Potatoes. Serves 8.

Blue Cheese Mashers

2-1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup dry white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
Sliced green onion (optional)
1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook potatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt, covered, in enough boiling water to cover for 20 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot butter until onion is tender. Stir in wine. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup.

3. Drain potatoes. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Add wine mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon back pepper. Gradually beat in whipping cream to make potato mixture light and fluffy. Fold in blue cheese. Top with green onion. Makes 10 (1/3-cup) servings.

Thyme Potatoes Au Gratin

3 cups whipping cream
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
4 lb. red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Shaved Parmesan, Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, dried tomato slices (optional)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium saucepan combine cream and garlic; bring to simmer over medium heat. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, do not boil. Remove from heat.

2. Generously butter 3- to 3-1/2-quart baking dish. Layer one-third potato slices. In small bowl combine grated cheese, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and pepper. Sprinkle one-third cheese mixture; pour one-third hot cream. Repeat layers twice. Cover with foil.

3. Bake 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until potatoes are almost tender and liquid mostly absorbed. Uncover; bake 20 to 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and potatoes are browned and moist. If dish is broiler-safe, broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until top is crisp and brown. Let stand 10 minutes. Makes 8 servings.