This is pure self-indulgence. Kids love it. Guests love it. I love it. And the measurements are totally flexible. Better yet, the oven temperature can vary, depending on whatever else you're baking or roasting. I WILL NOT CLAIM THIS IS ORIGINAL; I DON'T THINK IT CAN BE; IT'S TOO GOOD AND EASY-- BUT I DID COME UP WITH IT MYSELF . . . —Paula Brody
1 quart casserole
medium to large Idaho or russet potatoes
shallots, diced and/or medium to large onion, diced
Peel potatoes; cut in quarters and place in salted water to cover. Boil until fork tender. Drain, then return potatoes to pot and place over very low flame. Shake the pot over burner for a few seconds. (This gets rid of excess moisture and makes the potatoes fluffier.) Put potatoes through a food mill. Beat in 3-4 Tablespoon hot milk or cream, then 1-2 Tablespoon butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Melt 2 Tablespoons butter over medium flame flame. Add diced shallots and/or onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for four or five minutes. If the pan seems dry, add 1-2 more tablespoons butter. Raise flame to medium high. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms give up their liquid and pan is almost dry.
Combine mashed potatoes and mushroom mixture. If it seems dry add a little more hot milk or cream and/or more butter. Place in buttered casserole. (Do not smooth top.) Dot with bits of butter. Bake at any convenient temperature--or 350 degrees-- until top is a bit crusty and interior is hot.