potato

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

make-ahead-mashed-potatoes

Every year, I do a lot of holiday cooking and it’s often difficult to get everything made, photographed, and written up before the holidays come and go.  So this year, I made sure to at least snap photos and promised myself to catch up later.  These are make ahead mashed potatoes, which can be made year round, but are absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving because you make them the day before (I’m all about prepping the day before and just popping everything into the oven on the big day)!

They are just as creamy and luscious as any potatoes I’ve ever made on the day and the cheesy parmesan crust makes these Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes even better than the standard version of mashed potatoes!

This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes Recipe.

Ingredients:

Approximately 8 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

Milk, to taste

1 bar cream cheese

1 stick of butter

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Grated parmesan cheese

Boil the potatoes in a large pot until soft all the way through.  Drain the potatoes in a colander and remove all of excess water.  Immediately put the potatoes back into the pot, add the cube of butter and bar of cream cheese.  Put the lid back on the pot and let sit for five to ten minutes, so the butter can melt and the cream cheese can soften.

Using a hand mixer, blend the potatoes until they are broken apart and well blended with the butter and cream cheese.  Add the milk in small parts and continue mixing until they are smooth and have very few lumps.  Make sure the potatoes are a little runnier than you like, as they will lose some moisture in the fridge overnight.  This way, they will be the perfect consistency when you serve them.  Also, the cream cheese helps prevent the potatoes from drying out.

Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Put the potatoes in a buttered 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  Let cool completely, cover, and store in the refrigerator.  Take the casserole out of the fridge approximately one hour before baking time so they are at room temperature when you put them in the oven.

Sprinkle them generously with the parmesan cheese.  Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the cheese is browned on top and the potatoes are heated through.  A good way to test this is to insert a knife in the center.  If a good amount of steam comes out, then they’re ready!

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Tarragon Potato Salad

Tarragon Potato Salad

This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s Tarragon Potato Salad recipe, with just a few revisions.  I was looking for a potato salad recipe that incorporated red potatoes, tarragon, and a dressing that isn’t too heavy.  For this recipe, I used red potatoes instead of gold Yukon and omitted the dill and green onions.  All of Ina’s recipes are fabulous, so you can make it either way!

Ingredients:

2 lbs. red potatoes

1 cup good mayonnaise (Best Foods is always my first choice!)

2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 T. white wine vinegar

Kosher salt

Black Pepper

Red onion, chopped

Fresh tarragon, minced

Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces (typically in eighths, depending on the size of your potatoes).  Boil them until just soft.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Let the potatoes cool.

Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl.  Place the potatoes in a salad bowl.  Add the dressing and toss lightly.  Add the salt, pepper, onion, and tarragon, to taste.  Chill for at least two hours before serving.

Twice Baked Potatoes with Soy Chorizo

Twice Baked Potatoes with Soy Chorizo

Twice Baked Potatoes are always a crowd pleaser at potlucks.  This vegetarian version is topped with soy chorizo, cheddar, and cilantro!

I was inspired to make these when I had the Chorizo Potato Skins at Roberto’s Cafe’ in Mammoth Lakes.  Their version has bacon and meat chorizo (which is awesome and can totally be substituted in the recipe below).  However, I love soy chorizo and thought it would be a great substitute.  And I was right!!

Ingredients:

8 medium russet potatoes

8 oz. sour cream

1/2 cup butter

Seasoned salt

Pepper

Green onions, sliced

1 package of soy chorizo

Grated cheddar, lots of it

Cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Scrub potatoes and fork them on all sides.  Rub them with canola oil and place them on a cookie sheet with sides (otherwise the oil will drip down into your oven).  Bake for 1 hour.

Brown the soy chorizo in a little olive oil and set aside.

Slice the butter and put it in a mixing bowl.  Add the sour cream and stir.  Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and very carefully scoop out the insides, making sure that you don’t break the skins (you can leave a little potato in the jacket to help prevent them from breaking).  Add the potato to the sour cream and butter as you go.

When you’re all done, mash it all up with a potato masher.  Stir in the salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, and green onions to taste.

Fill the potato jackets with the potato mixture.  Top with soy chorizo, more cheddar cheese, and cilantro.

Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheddar is melted and the potatoes are heated through.

Potato Casserole

This recipe has been in my book for years and it came from Margie.  Recently, I almost brought this to a potluck, but decided on a salad instead.  When I got to the party, there were already two other versions of this casserole!   And they both got devoured.  You can’t go wrong with this one and it’s so easy!

Ingredients:

32 oz. frozen hash brown potatoes

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cup grated cheddar

1 – 16 oz. sour cream

1/3 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup margarine or butter

Heat soup and butter or margarine until melted.  In a bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, green onions, and sour cream.  Add heated soup and butter.  Put in a greased 9 x 13″ pan.

Topping:

3 T. butter, melted

1 cup cornflakes

Combine butter and cornflakes.

Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Add topping and bake for 20 minutes more (or until cornflakes are golden).

Tater Tot Breakfast Strata

Tater Tot Strata

 

This Strata is one of my family’s favorites.  It is also a great dish for a breakfast potluck, especially at the office.

Ingredients:

1 Package Tater Tots

8 Eggs

2 cups milk or half & half

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Grease a 9 x 13″ glass casserole dish.  Beat together the eggs and milk. Layer tater tots, cheese, and egg/milk mixture.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm with ketchup, salsa, or whatever you like with your eggs and potatoes!