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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mashed Potato Puffs

If you only ever try one recipe from my blog, let it be this one.

This is by far the best mashed potato recipe I've ever tasted. I got this recipe originally from my mother-in-law and then one day surfing around, I found the exact same recipe on the LCBO Food and Drink Website. I made this recipe many many times before I managed to get it right, but I'm glad I kept trying.

The eggs in this recipe make the potatoes puff up and become light and fluffy. You can make this in a casserole dish, or in individual muffin tins, or ramekins as I did. This is also something that you can make ahead quite easily.

My first tip is to weigh the potatoes. The recipe calls for three pounds, so don't guess.... "well there's 10 potatoes in this 5 lb bag, so divided by 5 equals 2 potatoes times 3 equals 6 potatoes".... don't do that! That is calculus, not cooking! The consistency of the potato mixture before you cook it should be a little runny and if you use too many potatoes it won't work right.

Another tip, is to cook this at high heat 450°F, the original recipe calls for a much lower temperature and I found the eggs didn't puff up enough, and the cottage cheese didn't quite melt (you could still detect curds of cottage cheese in the mashed potatoes). This recipe will serve about 8 people (the LBCO recipe says FOUR people, but I don't know who those people would be - giants maybe).

Mashed Potato Puffs
adapted from LCBO Food and Drink

3 lbs potatoes, peeled
1 cup cottage cheese
4 eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 green onions, diced (white part only)
salt and pepper (use white pepper if you don't want flecks)

1. Boil the potatoes well. Boil the crap out of them. Drain and return to the burner. Continue to cook the potatoes over low heat for about 5 more minutes (stir so they don't stick) this will get all the extra water out of the potatoes.

2. Mash the potatoes very well. We want NO LUMPS. I put the potatoes through a potato ricer which takes care of that nicely.

3. In another bowl, with a hand mixer, beat the eggs, butter and cottage cheese until fluffy. Add in the potatoes and onions and beat with hand mixer until all mixed together.

4. Put the mixture into a greased casserole dish, or muffin tins. This is where you can let it cool and refridgerate, if you are making them ahead (let them come back to room temperature before baking though).

5. Bake in a 450°F oven for about 25 minutes (a little more if you are making them in a big casserole dish). The potatoes should puff up and get a little brown on top.