Normally, I don’t trust a skinny, Italian chef. I expect someone with a little “meat” on their bones. It shows me that they make great food and eat well. And that’s okay; it’s how it should be. However, Giada De Laurentiis has changed my mind. She’s skinny, beautiful and makes amazing dishes. I do admit that it does annoy me that she continues to stay skinny. I would say bring her to the South and we would fatten her up with some good southern cooking, but I think she is showing us a thing or two about making southern dishes even better. This recipe for mashed potatoes with parmesan and mozzarella took my favorite side dish to the next level.
This last Sunday Ray and I hosted our neighborhood’s Christmas dinner. We were planning on 15 people and so I wanted to make dishes that were easy but could be made in advance (only have one oven and limited space). This recipe fit the description perfectly. You can actually prepare and chill this for 6 hours ahead of time, perfect for party planning. My friend Rob and I made a few adjustments to Giada’s recipe to fit our taste. We doubled the recipe because the amount of people but I kept the recipe for 6-8 servings. Here’s how you make it.
Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan and Mozzarella
1 tablespoon butter
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 cup whole milk
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside. Cook the potatoes and garlic in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return the potatoes to the same pot and mash well.
Mix in the milk, melted butter and sour cream.
Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the mashed potatoes. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead of time; cover and chill.) Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
#1 – W hen peeling potatoes, put a paper towel in the bottom of the sink to keep
from clogging the drain. Simply pull up the paper towel and discard peelings. By the way, potato peels are not good for the disposal.
#2 – When boiling potatoes, always start with cold, salted water. Starting in hot water makes the potatoes gooey.
#3 – If you don’t like the manual mashing, do what my friend Rob does and use the blender or Kitchen-Aide mixer.