1.5cupsshredded Fontina cheesesubstitute with white cheddar
0.5cupshredded Parmesan cheese
8ozcream cheesesoftened (1 package)
2scallion stalkschopped finely, for garnish
½cupbuttermilkthe secret ingredient!
2tspsaltadjust to taste
Wash the potatoes thoroughly and peel them. Slice them into even cubes and soak them in cold water for a few minutes. Note: Typically, I have a bowl with cold water that I toss the potatoes in as I peel and chop them up into small cubes. Soaking potatoes releases some starch so they are fluffy and not gummy when cooked.
Add the chopped potatoes to a large pot or Dutch oven along with a clove of garlic. Cover with a few inches of water (I typically use about 5 cups of water for 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes). On medium-high heat, bring the water to boil first and then turn the hit to a medium to simmer. Check the potatoes after 15 minutes using a fork (if it pierces cleanly, your potatoes are done). If not, boil for another 5 minutes until tender.
Drain the potatoes using a colander and throw them back in the same pot. This keeps the spuds warm as you're mashing. Use a wooden spoon, masher or ricer to get the spuds into a a rough mash. Then, add butter to the mashed or riced potatoes and give it a good mash again until the butter melts and you get a smoother mash.Note: I prefer not to use a blender or hand mixer because I find the potatoes often get too gummy when over-mashed. A ricer or masher is your best bet to get it to the right consistency. It's okay if it's a bit lumpy at first (that's where the cheesy goodness comes in)
In a bowl, whisk buttermilk, cream cheese and Fontina together along with some minced garlic. Now, pour this mixture onto the mashed potatoes, and use either a rubber spatula to get them folded into the mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I like to garnish my mashed potatoes with a few red pepper flakes and chopped scallions before serving.
I prefer using Yukon Gold potatoes in my mashed potatoes since they're the perfect mix of starchy and waxy. You can also use Russet potatoes for a more traditional mashed potato dish. I'd stay away from Red Bliss and other "waxier" potatoes.
If you're baking your mashed potatoes, pour the mash into a casserole dish, top with even more Fontina and parmesan and bake for about 30 minutes at 350F.
I don't use a hand mixer or food processor or immersion blender because I find that they tend to over-mash the potatoes (and that makes them quite gummy!) A good masher and/or ricer will do the trick just fine!