Cheddar Mashed Potato Souffle

There must be a thousand variations of mashed potatoes out there. Thin versions, thick versions, versions with milk and butter and olive oil and…probably tofu. Somewhere, in Hell, that recipe probably exists.
But this is one of my favorites. Don’t worry…no tofu in sight. 
Preheat the oven, first, to 325 F.
 Start with plain mashed potatoes at room temperature – they can’t be hot. Simply boiled, mashed potatoes that you have mashed with a potato masher or a fork…or, if you are Herman Munster, your fists. Figure on one potato per person you are serving.
Also have some grated cheese on hand. Gruyere or Fontina work well here, but I can’t help it. I just LOVE the taste of plain old extra sharp cheddar. About 1 cup per 2 potatoes.
Now you are going to toss in some eggs. One egg per potato – this is why the potatoes can’t be hot. If they are, the eggs will scramble. And duh…that would suck. Make sure you mix up the potatoes until the eggs are JUST combined – otherwise, too much gluten will develop and make the potatoes gluey.
Now toss in a healthy handful each of salt and pepper (more pepper than salt, because the cheese is salty. And potatoes LOVE pepper. They are so smooth and comforting, the need the sharp and spicy zing of freshly cracked pepper. So don’t be shy here.).
 Now throw in 3/4 of your grated cheese and enough whole milk to make the potatoes mix easily – about 1/4 cup per potato or so. Don’t use skim milk here. If you do, I will hunt you down.
Now mix it all up well – but remember, just until it is mixed. Don’t want to develop that gluten.
 Now throw the potatoes in a casserole dish, top with some pats of butter (just use your common sense here – obviously, more is better)…
top with the cheese, and throw it in the oven! You really just need to cook it until the dish is warmed through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. The eggs cook quickly, and everything else is already cooked. It is done when the bottom of the casserole is hot and the cheese…
Looks like this. And the taste…
Well, the taste is really pretty damn outrageous, mostly because…well, there IS nothing outrageous about it. IT is creamy but not overly so. Luxurious but not fatty. Cheesy but not greasy. Flavorful but not aggressive. It just really tastes like it should. Like potatoes, tangy, bubbly cheese, a quick bite of pepper and the smooth counteraction of cream. The eggs make the potatoes puff up slightly and give an airy juxtaposition to the heavier ingredients. That moment when you break through the cheesy crust and the puff of steamy air releases and gives ways to those rich and buttery potatoes…well, it is just heaven.
And, what did I tell ya? No tofu in sight.

Comments

  1. Coastalpines says:

    These look a~m~a~z~i~n~g. All of my basic food groups are here…carbs & dairy. Jotted this down and it's goin' in my box!

    I am a huge fan of your blog and a recent follower. Your city reviews are going to be useful for my husband and I, as we plan to spend more time up there. We live down the shore, so if you are looking for a reco's for places down here, give me a shout.

  2. Hungry says:

    This is healthy b/c it's vegetarian, right? Hahah! Carbs + dairy = my friends.

  3. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Coastalpines-thank you so much!!! Just took a look at your blog and I think its wonderful!!! I will give you a shout out this summer, since my friends and I are excited to take some road trips!

  4. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Hungry-um, everything I make is low calorie. Duh. ;)

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