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Rustic Mashed Red Bliss Potatoes with Cream Cheese and Chives

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2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter), unpeeled and scrubbed
Kosher salt
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm
1/2 cup cream cheese (4 ounces), at room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)

 

Place potatoes in large saucepan and cover with 1 inch cold water; add 1 teaspoon salt and bay leaf. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until paring knife can be inserted into potatoes with no resistance, 35 to 45 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain potatoes. Return potatoes to pot, discard bay, and allow potatoes to stand in pot, uncovered, until surfaces are dry, about 5 minutes.

While potatoes dry, whisk melted butter and softened cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth and fully incorporated. Stir in sour cream and  2 tablespoons of reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, chives (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using rubber spatula or back of wooden spoon, smash potatoes just enough to break skins. Fold in butter/cream cheese mixture until most of liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain. Add more cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, until potatoes are slightly looser than desired (potatoes will thicken slightly with standing). Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

 

- Recipe courtesy of James Moore

 

James Moore has been a cooking enthusiast since childhood and started blogging as a way to share favorite recipes with friends and family. His site, Cook Like James has grown to include restaurants, cookbooks, wines, and favorite places.

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