OK, I admit it. I teased C about these endlessly when he first asked me to make them for Christmas dinner. But, in my defense, when I asked him what the ingredients were, he listed "ranch dressing" as one of them. So, really, can you blame me for being unable to keep a straight face?
Anyway, after much pleading, cajoling and bargaining, I told him to get the recipe from his mom. And get this - NO WHERE IN THIS RECIPE DOES IT CALL FOR RANCH DRESSING!
It does, however, call for an obscene ratio of fat-laden dairy products to potato... now THAT is my kind of recipe.
• 8 to 10 med potatoes (Yukon Gold)
• 1 8oz package of cream cheese
• 1 cup of sour cream
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp garlic salt
• dots of butter (lots)
Of course, dear readers, you know me. And you know that I can't leave any recipe un-bastardized somehow. So, I increased the number of potatoes as I was using fairly petite Yukon Golds. I had probably 12-14. Then, instead of sour cream, I used lebneh (greek "yogurt-cheese"). I also don't own garlic salt so substituted garlic powder, and added a sploosh of half-and-half.
I peeled and boiled the potatoes in heavily salted water, and started to mash with the cream cheese and lebneh. C came in and said, "no, no, you have to use the cake mixer... it had to be really smooth!"
So out came the trusty cake mixer. And the half-and-half. Whipped those potatoes to within and inch of their lives... beat plenty of air and fluff into 'em. Then pour them out into a trusty casserole, and, remember those "dots of butter (lots)"? Yeah, you'll be using those now. I probably used 1/2 a stick of unsalted Plugra on a rather small casserole pan. This is how it looks before baking:
Baked it at 350° for about 30 minutes... I turned the broiler on for the last minute or two to get nice browning on the top. This is how it looks after it comes out.
Leftovers reheated amazingly well, and make an awesome accompaniment to hearty, beefy stew the next day.