Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homemade Weekends - Loaded Mashed Potatoes

   I haven't done one of these in a while so I thought it was time to bring it back.  I can't say how regularly I'll be able to post these again, but I'll try to do them more often.  Unless you guys would rather not see food posts.  Let me know in the comments if you want the occasional food post or not.
   This is probably going to sound a bit conceited, but I make awesome loaded mashed potatoes.  A few people have asked for the recipe in the past so I figured here was a good place to share it.  I made a batch for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago and actually remembered to take pictures.  
   My recipe is for a family size portion, approximately 5-8 people, so if you're making these for a just a couple people you should probably cut the recipe in half unless you want a lot of leftovers.  Which you might or if you're like me and eat 2  people's worth yourself.  You can also double/triple the recipe if you're cooking for a big gathering.  Here's the ingredients:

   I also used salt of course, but forgot to add that to either picture.  These are the ingredients I use, you can add or take out anything you want for your potatoes.  The most important thing is to start with a good base.  If your plain mashed potatoes aren't good, it does not matter what you add to them, they will never be as good as they could be.  So taste and season your base before you start adding anything else.  
   First step is of course cooking the potatoes.  I peel mine, but if you like a more rustic potato you can leave the skins on, just make sure to thoroughly wash them first.  Cut the potatoes into small pieces approximately the same size.  This will help the pieces cook evenly/be done at the same time and speed up cooking time a little as well.  I drop the pieces into a large pot as I go to free up space on my cutting board.  Once all the potatoes are cut and in the pot, fill with water to cover.

   Boil the potatoes until they easily break apart with a fork, stirring occasionally.  If you leave your spoon in the pot it will help keep the starch in the water from foaming up and boiling over.  Once cooked, drain and return to the pot.  Add 2 sticks of butter and begin mashing.  I recommend a masher that is S or sine wave shaped not the standard waffle shaped one.  I like the S one because the potatoes don't stick in the holes. 

   When the butter starts melting and the potatoes start melding, add about 1/2 cup heavy cream.  You may want to add a little less at first to see how the consistency is first.  Also add salt to taste at this point and finish mashing until you get a nice creamy texture.  I usually leave a few lumps but that's a personal choice.  Your basic mashed potatoes should look something like this:

   Make sure you taste the potatoes now and are happy with them.  If you wouldn't want to eat the potatoes as they are at this point, adding more stuff won't fix it.  I know I'm repeating myself, but this is really important.  
   Now it's time to start adding other yummy stuff.  Basically, anything you want.  I go with bacon, cheese, and sour cream.  Green onions could be another good option, but I don't like them so I don't use them.  If you add bacon, make sure it is cooled and crumbled ahead of time.  

   Doesn't that just look tasty?  I am a big fan of bacon and cheese, so I add lots of each.  This is about a full pack of bacon and I used about half a bag of cheese in the potatoes.  Sour cream is again to taste.  I'm more fond of it than most people so I kept that down, using around a cup.  The sour cream can make the potatoes a little on the thinner side, so if you are serving immediately either cut down on the sour cream or use less heavy cream when mashing for a thicker starting consistency.  However, if you are making these in advance, which is perfectly acceptable and probably a good time saver, and will need to reheat before eating being thinner is actually good because the potatoes will firm up again in the oven.

   You could be done at this stage.  Just pour into a serving dish and bring to the table, I used foil because we were driving with these to Thanksgiving lunch at another couple's house so it was safer for travel and disposable to save on dishes.  OR, if you're like me you need more cheese still.  I added another half bag of cheese to the top before reheating.

   Depending on how cold the potatoes are when you reheat them, will depend on how long they will need to go in the oven.  And I highly recommend reheating in the oven, not the microwave.  I made these the morning of Thanksgiving and never had them get refrigerator cold so they only needed about 10 minutes or so to reheat.  Really just long enough to melt the cheese on top.  But if you make them the day/night before you will need to put them in for longer.  Just check on them every so often to make sure the cheese doesn't burn.

Ingredient List:

5 lbs potatoes-these can be standard baking, yukon gold, or a mix of the two
2 stick butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
1 lb crumbled bacon
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese- I used two different blends but straight cheddar or other cheese is fine too

Aside from the potatoes and butter, all measurements are approximate and can be varied to taste.  I make no claims for these to be low fat, low carb, or anything else besides comforting and delicious. 


  1. OMG YUUUMMMMMMY~ I need to make this!

  2. Oh god, that looks SO tempting. Surprisingly enough, I've never thought about making loaded MASHED potatoes, only baked, since it's the most common type I've seen cooked. I think I'm gonna have to try this out this weekend, since I happen to have all the ingredients. ;x


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