Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Classic mashed potatoes reveal their chameleon side with the addition of cheeses, spices and even veggies. If you leave the skin on the potatoes, mash them with a potato masher rather than an electric mixer (because the skin will get caught in the beaters). If you want to use a potato ricer, wait to add the butter until after you've passed the potatoes through the ricer.
Prepare Perfect Mashed Potatoes as directed. Transfer to a bowl; cool slightly. Cover tightly; chill for up to 48 hours. Place potato mixture in a greased 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until heated through. Stir before serving. Or place cooled potato mixture in a greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Cover tightly and chill for up to 48 hours. To serve, preheat oven to 350°. Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until heated through.
Creamy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Use about half as much milk, replacing it with sour cream to taste. Stir in a couple tablespoons of prepared horseradish and a splash of lemon juice. Garnish with cracked black pepper and melted butter.
Broccoli-Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
When the potatoes are nearly cooked (about 5 minutes remaining), add fresh or frozen broccoli florets to the Dutch oven. (Use about 1 cup per pound of potatoes.) After mashing, add shredded cheddar cheese with the milk, salt and pepper.
Asiago Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Mashed Potatoes
After mashing potatoes, stir in shredded Asiago cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto with the milk, salt and pepper. (If you like, substitute basil pesto for the sun-dried tomato pesto.)
Bacon-Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes
In a medium skillet, cook a few slices of bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels; set aside. After mashing the potatoes, stir in crumbled blue cheese to taste with the milk, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and sliced green onion.
Spicy Double-Smoked Mashed Potatoes
Boil whole peeled garlic cloves with the potatoes, using one clove per pound. Mash cooked garlic with potatoes, then add shredded smoked Gouda cheese and a teaspoon or two of finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.