My mom, Dianna, has been making these rich, elegant mashed potatoes since I was a girl. They are a permanent guest at every holiday table, and I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't love them. Come to find out, she got the recipe from my Grandma Eva, who wasn't actually my grandma but holds that spot in my heart. Try them; they'll find a place in your heart, too. I adapted the recipe by replacing sour cream with creme fraiche, adding lemon zest and chives, but these buttery mashed potatoes are delightful in their original form, as well. —mariaraynal
large potatoes, cleaned, pared and sliced (Idaho or Yukon Gold)
Salt sliced potatoes and place in a large pot of boiling water until tender when pierced with a fork. Skim surface of pot as needed. Drain potatoes (save some potato water for gravy, if desired).
Place one stick of butter into a large bowl and put drained potatoes on top; cut remaining butter into pats and add on top. Allow butter to melt and combine.
Run potatoes through a potato ricer, or beat with handheld or stand mixer. Stir in hot milk and whip again. Add cream cheese, allow to melt for a moment, then mix into potatoes. Add creme fraiche and lemon zest and thoroughly combine. Taste and correct seasonings.
Put potatoes into a buttered 9x13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until lightly browned and golden on top. You can also make them ahead of time and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Finish with chives and serve. Enjoy!
I'm a self-trained home cook and freelance food writer who enjoys cooking and eating seasonally and locally whenever possible. When I travel, visiting the farmers' markets, local groceries and specialty food shops is as important as the shopping, museums and restaurants. I love to immerse myself in cookbooks, then go into the kitchen and experiment; and writing about food and the chefs who cook it is my latest pursuit. By day, I'm an executive speechwriter and event planner.