Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Smoked White Cheddar and Chives, and Mushroom Gravy

Mashed potatoes have to be one of my favorite comfort foods of the holiday, heck year round actually! They are just so luscious, creamy, and oh so satisfying. A recent trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Oregon inspired me to make this recipe. We were in heaven! I brought home various cheeses including a Smoked Sharp White Cheddar that had been aged for 18 months. This past Thanksgiving I tried it in my mashed potatoes and the flavors went through the roof! I just had to order more for Christmas dinner! I serve it with a rich mushroom gravy with thyme and shallots, and it’s a winning combination!

 -Mel

Health tips: cheat meal

Mashed Potatoes Ingredients (10-15 servings) 

  • 5 lbs. russet potatoes, washed and peeled
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened, plus extra to top with when serving
  • 8 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s reduced-sodium seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped, plus extra for garnish when serving
  • 2 cups smoked extra sharp white cheddar, shredded (If you can’t find smoked extra sharp white cheddar, you can use a combination of smoked gouda and extra sharp white cheddar, or just extra sharp white cheddar.)

Steps

  1. Wash and peel potatoes. Cut in 1 1/2-2″ chunks, and make sure they are around the same size for even cooking.
  2. Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water, about 1″ above the potatoes.
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  4. Salt water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat a bit to a light boil, and cook potatoes until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Drain potatoes and put back in pot over low heat (Tip: It’s important to put potatoes back in the pot so extra liquid evaporates.). Mash potatoes.
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  8. Add in butter, cream cheese, half-and-half, sour cream, shredded cheese, chives, salt and pepper and mash in. Season as needed.
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  11. You can serve right away and garnish with some melted butter and chives on top. You can also make this a day or two ahead of time. On the day you heat back up and serve, add more half-and-half if more liquid is needed. Garnish with melted butter and chives on top.
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Mushroom Gravy Ingredients (10-15 servings)

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • A few whole sprigs of thyme, plus extra, about a teaspoon, chopped
  • 16 oz. mushrooms, sliced (If they are big mushrooms, you can chop more.)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart low-sodium beef stock (1 box; 4 cups) (Tip: Gravy will be even richer if you incorporate actual beef drippings from another dish, but it’s still delicious without it!)
  • 1 tablespoon-1/4 cup half-and-half (I used 1/4 cup, depends how creamy you like it.)

Steps

  1. Heat butter over medium heat in a saucepan until it foams. Stir in shallots and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add thyme sprigs and mushrooms and cook until liquid evaporates, about 20 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. It looks like a lot of mushrooms but they will cook down.
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  4. Stir in the flour, cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes. Add about 1 cup of beef stock, stirring briskly until incorporated, then pour in the remaining stock and mix thoroughly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring often. If you need it to thicken more, take a bit of the liquid and mix in some cornstarch in a cup (You can start with a tablespoon and go from there.).
  5. Add half-and-half and some fresh chopped thyme. Season with a more salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon) and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!
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