Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

Source: Raghavan Iyer/SJ Mercury News

Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh chives


Peel the potatoes and give them a good rinse. Quarter them, place them in a medium pan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pan and gently boil until the potatoes fall apart quite easily when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the cream into a small sauce pan and add the cream cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the cream bubbles, the cheese softens and becomes smooth, and the butter melts, 5 to 8 minutes. Keep me warm over very low heat until the potatoes are done.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and give it a gentle shake to remove excess water. Return the potatoes to the pan. Dry them over low heat until the surface appears dry, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick.
working in batches, transfer the potatoes to a ricer and press them through into a serving bowl (or use a potato masher and fluff them very thoroughly with a fork when completely mashed). Pour the pepper-speckled cream over the potatoes and sprinkle with the chives. Full together with a spatula just until the liquid is incorporated. Don’t overmix it. Serve hot.