|Creamy Mashed Potatoes, prepared in the usual manner, then tossed with cheese, baked and topped with more cheese. That's some cheesy goodness there y'all!|
Cheesy Baked Mashed PotatoesIt's been a gorgeous spring week here in south Mississippi, just gorgeous. What? You say it's winter still? Well, not in the Deep South! We never have much of a winter to speak of down here anyway. Basically there are one or three quick overnight freezes, just about enough to brown over everything, but the next day it's likely to be in the 70s. I noticed in my Google reader one blogger disappointed about having too much snow and the very next blog, about having no snow. What's the winter been like your way?
The mild weather, added to my own procrastination - something that I am very good at in these older years of mine these days - and I really haven't had enough time to give you very many wintery, comfort foods - not that I need cold weather to enjoy those really. You're liable to see me post a casserole in the heat of the summer, simply because I wanted it! Yeah, even in the heat of south Mississippi, because that's the way I roll. I cook what I want, when I want it, and I don't let Mama Nature interfere.
Praise the Lord for modern air conditioning is all I can say about that, and by the way, did you know that a Florida doctor actually invented air conditioning? Sure did! I found that out in that little documentary video featured over there in the right hand sidebar, You Don't Know Dixie. Seems we southerners have invented quite a few things Americans all across the country enjoy and that's a pretty cool video if you're so inclined to know that sort of stuff.
This potato casserole might fall in that comfort category - well, it certainly does for me. Unlike many southern bloggers, you don't see so much in the way of sweets on my site as you do savory dishes, and potatoes are certainly one of the many carbs I crave after. This is just a little way to fancy up a pot of mashed potatoes really, but everybody will smile like you made them feel special when they show up with all their cheesy goodness on your supper table.
I used my newly acquired electronic pressure cooker to prepare the potatoes. I've been trying a few things here and there that I am sure will find their way on my site at some point, even though they may not appeal to but a handful or two of y'all who happen to own an electronic pressure cooker. That barbecue chicken pictured with the potatoes was actually cooked in my new pressure cooker also, and I can already tell you one thing for sure about it. It's my new favorite way to prepare a fresh whole chicken to have cut up chicken for a casserole, just sayin'.
Anyway for the potatoes, I peeled and cut them into chunks, place them in the pressure cooker with 2 cups of warm water and 2 teaspoons of the bacon drippings. Depending on your cooker, it'll take about 10 minutes or so to come up to pressure and starting actually cooking, but then the potatoes cook up in about 6 minutes. You do a quick release, then drain them and mash them as usual. Not really a huge time saver time I guess for a small recipe like this, but still pretty cool.
Speaking of cheesy goodness... I realize that we southerners do tend to overdo the bacon and cheese thing, piling on far more than really what is needed, but it's just so darned tasty! I only use 2 slices of bacon and one cup of cheese here, but hey, I am not above adding a little more of both at times myself, so go right ahead and use what you like. If loving cheese, like loving bacon, is wrong, well, I don't wanna be right! And I apologize if that song is stuck in your head right about now.
Mama didn't use much evaporated milk when I was growing up because we always had fresh milk delivered to our door by the Borden's milk man, who ironically must not have been much older than me as a teenager, because he now delivers Schwan's frozen foods in my neighborhood. Small world. I've taken to keeping a few cans in my pantry here lately though because it seems to add a bit of extra creaminess to potatoes. You can, of course, use good ole milk, half and half, or if you're feeling particularly indulgent, some heavy cream.
I used an 11 x 7 ceramic baker here - gotta love that naturally non-stick thing - but a 1-1/2-qt. baking dish should work just fine too. If you're baking this for a church supper, potluck or a hearty eating family, go ahead and double it.
Here's how to make them.
Recipe: Cheesy Baked Mashed Potatoes©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 pounds of large russet potatoes (about 4), peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter
- 2 ounces of cream cheese, cubed
- 1 (5 ounce) can of evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
- 1 to 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook bacon until crispy; drain, cool, crumble and set aside. Meanwhile boil potatoes until tender; drain well, add butter and cream cheese, mash. Stir in milk, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and 1/2 of the cheddar cheese; taste and adjust seasonings. Transfer to a 1-1/2 quart buttered baking dish.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove, uncover, top with crumbled bacon and the remaining cheese, return to the oven and bake until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
Cook's Notes: If you use regular, salted butter, adjust the added salt accordingly. Double ingredients for a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
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