1 1/2 pounds Russet baking potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
3/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh chives (chopped) or thinly sliced rings of green onion tops
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Penetrate the skin of each potato, in various places, 10 times with a fork.
Bake potatoes until they are soft (approximately 1 hour).
Scoop out interior from shells.
Use a potato ricer to rice the potato interiors into a bowl.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
Heat riced potato until warm.
Gently mix in 2 pieces of butter, one piece at a time.
Then add each piece of cream cheese and gently mix in with the fork.
Add sour cream, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Mix lightly with a fork until all ingredients are incorporated.
Cook’s Note: Potatoes should be fluffy and light. Avoid over mixing the potatoes or they will become thick and heavy.
Butter the interior of an oven-proof casserole dish that is large enough to hold all of the mashed potatoes.
Place mashed potatotes in casserole dish.
Cover the casserole dish with a lid or tin foil.
Bake 20-30 minutes or until hot.
Place the hot mashed potatoes in a serving dish.
Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces and sprinkle them over the top of the mashed potatoes.
Finely grate a small amount of Parmesan or Romano cheese over the top.
Sprinkle with shopped chives or green onion.
Sprinkle with paprika.
Cook’s Note: Mashed potatotes may be made ahead and kept chilled, then reheated at 350 F. for one hour, or until hot.