Grab a fork and put on your fat pants
Happy Thanksgiving week to you all! This is one of our all-time favorite holiday side dishes.
It never disappoints whenever we bring it to a potluck. It’s easy to make, travels well, and reheats beautifully. It’s also unapologetically NOT low fat. (Lovers of old-school indulgent holiday dishes, unite!)
For this recipe, you mash up 5 lbs. of creamy Yukon Gold potatoes, add a practically illegal amount of butter, cream, and cheese, then top it with more cheese and crispy panko breadcrumbs and bake it until golden.
Add your own twist
This is also one of those recipes that it’s really easy to customize to fit various tastes and menus. Here are some ideas for stuff you could stir in after you add the cheese.
- A few handfuls of crispy, crumbled bacon (come on, you knew I’d say something like that)
- A tablespoon or two of freshly chopped herbs (rosemary, parsley, chives, and/or thyme would all be great)
- A minced clove of fresh garlic (vampires beware, keep in mind that the garlic won’t have much time to mellow/cook in the oven)
- Chopped, caramelized onions
You get the picture. Just don’t add anything that’s going to give off a lot of moisture when it’s warm. Too much liquid will make your mashed potatoes runny.
Oh, and if you want to switch out the cheeses, be sure to pick cheeses that melt well. Fine Cooking magazine has a great list of cheeses here.
Let me know what you come up with!
A note on salt
Aside from the cooking water for the potatoes, I don’t add any extra salt. The cheese already has a lot. By all means, if you think it needs it, toss a little extra in at the end when you taste it, before it goes into the oven.
Three-Cheese Mashed Potato Casserole
5 lbs. white or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
water for boiling
8 Tbls. butter (that’s 1 stick)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1 cup Asiago, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated + more for topping
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Peel & dice the potatoes
This bag of potatoes would feed a small army. I used about half of it for this recipe. I’m saving the other half for later on this week. (If we’re feeding you around the holidays, guess what we’re serving?)
Alrighty. Grab your potatoes. Since I’m going to peel them, I don’t bother washing them. (That said, these spuds were pretty clean.)
Relieve them of their jackets with the sharpest peeler or paring knife you have.
Whack them into small-ish pieces. The smaller (and more evenly) you cut them, the faster they’ll cook.
Toss them into a pot. Cover with cool water by an inch or two. Add a little kosher salt and give the pot a swirl to combine.
Boil the potatoes
Set the pot on the stove over high heat and bring it up to a boil. Cook uncovered, at a rolling boil, until the potatoes are tender when you stick them with a fork.
When they’re cooked through, drain them well. I like to let them sit in the colander for a few minutes to get all the extra water off them. (Too much water = soggy mashed potatoes.)
When the potatoes are well drained, toss them back into the cooking pot. Whack the butter into a few pieces and toss them into the pot. Add the cream.
Mash the potatoes to smoosh them and incorporate the butter as it melts.
Toss in all that glorious cheese (the mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmesan).
Toss in a little ground white pepper to taste. Mash well to incorporate. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning as you see fit (more cheese, more pepper, etc.). If you’re adding any extra ingredients, throw them in now and stir to combine.
Bake the potatoes
Scoop the mashed potatoes out into a glass baking pan. I used a 7″x9″ pyrex baking dish. Don’t bother greasing it. Just toss the potatoes in. There’s a ton of butter in them, and they’re not going to be in the oven long enough to stick to the pan.
Smooth the potatoes down in a relatively even layer. Sprinkle the top generously with panko breadcrumbs. Then sprinkle on a layer of grated Parmesan. (To add your own twist, you could layer on some fresh, chopped herbs, or even some chopped walnuts or pinenuts.)
Slide the pan into your preheated 350-degree oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, until just golden brown on the top.
Serve, inhale, enjoy!
When the topping is nice and brown, yank the pan out of the oven. Serve warm.
How to reheat
Just in case you don’t polish off the whole pan in one sitting, reheat the potatoes in a 250-degree oven. Cover the pan loosely with foil.
Next up: The Angry Chef’s Whiskey Glazed Roasted Turkey
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next installment of our Thanksgiving for Under $50 series. We’re doing the bird next. It’s actually a whole, bone-in turkey breast, which is a little more manageable than a Godzilla-sized bird.
Talk to you tomorrow!