Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli au Gratin: Comfort Food For A Cold January Day

If you read yesterday's post, you'll know I gave a birthday party this past weekend. On the menu was mashed potatoes, a favorite of the birthday girl and I made several toppings having a mashed potato bar for our guests.

I hate stereotypes but being Irish must have increased our family's love of the savory spud because it was, and is, a popular menu item for dinner in our home. However, I had never made 'make-ahead' mashed potatoes being a bit of a potato purist but since I had to make a lot, I didn't want the last minute mess. I'm always ready to give anything a try.

The potatoes were enormously successful and so I'd like to share the recipe with you today. These can be frozen or stored in the fridge for at least a week, a great side dish for a cold January weekend.

Broccoli au gratin makes a scrumptious topping for potatoes especially if you don't have gravy. I'm adding an easy recipe for you to try. It might not be low in calories but at least it's green! By the way, both of these take less than 15 minutes to prepare.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup half and half
2 teaspoons kosher salt
black pepper to taste

  • Bring potatoes to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mash potatoes adding cream cheese, sour cream, milk, salt, and pepper. 
  • Transfer to a casserole dish.
  • Cover, and bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven.
Broccoli au Gratin

1 1/2 lb. fresh broccoli
3/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. grated Cheddar cheese
Toasted bread crumbs

  • Cook washed fresh broccoli until tender.
  • Place in greased casserole dish. 
  • Combine butter and flour thoroughly to magke a roux adding milk gradually, stirring to make a paste. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. 
  • Add cheese, salt and cook until melted. 
  • Pour over casserole. 
  • Top with toasted bread crumbs. 
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly.

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