Company Baked Potatoes

Serves 4-6      I adapted this recipe from one I saw on Center Cut Cook food blog. It looked too good to pass up.  I do love baked potatoes but don”t serve them very often.  However, this dish is easy to make and can be done ahead and served to a group. They are also delicious the next day, warmed up for breakfast and topped with some scrambled eggs.

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds yukon gold potatoes – washed, peeled, and cut into quarters

2-4 cloves garlic – rough chop

Enough water/chicken broth to cover the potatoes in a large stock pot

1/2 of an 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons) at room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream 

1/4  cup milk (or half-half if you’re feeling decadent)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese or mixture of cheddar and gruyere  – divided

3-4 slices bacon, cooked, drained well and crumbled  – divided

2 green onions, sliced – divided

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375º

Butter a 9 x 13 casserole dish, or other dish deep enough to hold the mixture and set aside

 

In a large stock pot, arrange the potatoes and garlic. Add enough water or chicken broth to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Use a ladle to remove about 1/2c of liquid from the pan and set it aside. Then drain the rest of the liquid from the potatoes (try not to lose the garlic pieces) and cover pan with clean kitchen towel and let it rest for about 5 minutes. (This makes the potatoes mealy and easier to mash)

 

Add in butter, cream cheese, sour cream, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until most of the lumps are removed.

 

Alternate adding in the milk and the potato liquid, a little at a time, and continue the mashing until the potatoes are smooth and fluffy. You don’t want the mixture to be too stiff  since you will be baking it again but you also don”t want it soupy.  You can also use a hand or stand mixer to get the potatoes extra fluffy and smooth. but I prefer mine with some “character” (also known as lumps). Correct the seasoning.

 

When the potato mixture is at the desired consistency, fold in 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese and half of the cooked bacon crumbles and green onions. Mix carefully to combine. Spread the potatoes into the casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bacon.  If you are not going to bake this right now, cover it with saran wrap and put it the refrigerator. Take it out about 30 minutes before you”re ready to put it in the oven.

 

Bake, uncovered,  for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with remaining green onions and serve.