15 medium (5 pounds) potatoes peeled and quartered
6-8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons onion powder
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 egg whites slightly beaten (or one whole egg)
2-4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped chives (optional)
Preparing Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes:
In a large pot, add cut-up potatoes and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Overcooking can cause the potatoes to become gummy.
Remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally. NOTE: Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jellify and may even increase in volume (becoming swollen and watery). That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after they are cooked.
In the same cooking pan, mash potatoes with a potato masher or potato ricer until there are no lumps.
TIP: NEVER use a blender, electric mixer, or food processor to make mashed potatoes.Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell. If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste.
Add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper, egg whites, and chopped chives (if desired); blend well.
Spray a large casserole dish with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Add potato mixture and dot with butter.
Cool mashed potatoes slightly, cover, and then refrigerate.
The prepared mashed potatoes may be made up to 7 days ahead of time. If preparing ahead, remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Place in an ovenproof baking dish if not already stored in this dish.
When ready to heat the potatoes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Take potatoes out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Bake, loosely covered, 40 minutes or until steaming hot in center.
Crock Pot – Slow Cooker Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Recipe:
You can use this crock pot/slow cooker version, if you need to free up your oven for other dishes when making my holiday meals.
Take the prepared mashed potatoes out of refrigerator about 3 1/2 hours before serving time. See Preparing Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes above. Place the mashed potatoes in the crock-pot/slow cooker. Cover and use low heat for approximately 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
When you are ready to serve the mashed potatoes, stir, and then add some additional dollops of butter.