Beer Goddess make-ahead mashed potatoes
(with comments from her assistant, Chef Mongo)
4 ½-5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, halved (don't substitute Idaho or others)
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled (more or less to taste)
6 oz. cream cheese, warmed to room temperature and cut into chunks
1-2 tsp. onion powder (optional)
1 c. light sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper and salt
2 egg whites, slightly beaten, or 1 whole egg
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
In a large saucepan, add garlic and potatoes and cover with water. (You can add a cup of a malty beer in place of 1 cup of the water if you would like -- just don't use anything too bitter.) Bring water/beer to a boil (Mongo likes to add kosher salt to the water until it's about seawater-salty) and lower heat to medium. Cook potatoes and garlic, (yes, boil the garlic!) covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.
If you have a potato ricer, run potatoes and garlic through it into a bowl. If not, cut them into small pieces and put them into the large bowl. Then, use an electric mixer (or by hand, but Goddesses shouldn't have to work so hard), beat potatoes and garlic until well blended. Add cream cheese, sour cream and egg whites or egg and beat until fluffy. Season with remaining salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a 3-quart casserole dish lightly coated with cooking spray or butter. Dot the top of the potatoes with butter. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.)
If refrigerated, bring potatoes to room temperature before baking.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake, covered, until heated through, about 50-55 minutes. (The Beer Goddess likes to take the cover off the last 10 minutes or so to get a nice crust on the top.)
NOTE: To make these a Mongo-style Meal, add some chopped bacon, shredded cheese, or even chopped-up leftover turkey!
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