My typical simple formula for mashed potatoes is usually: boiled potatoes, butter, and milk – mashed together and that’s it. Recently I’ve been adding another ingredient to it – cheese. It instantly becomes another kind of mashed potatoes – creamy and more flavorful. The cheese is added at the very end and the puree is cooked on the stove until the cheese melts into the potatoes. Yum! I saw this trick once at my friend Aysun’s house, an amazing cook. I made this dish a part of our Thanksgiving dinner this year. Can’t wait to make it again, for another happy occasion.
A few pointers to guide you in your mashed potato making adventure. You’ve probably seen many recipes for mashed potatoes before, most calling for peeling the potatoes then boiling them. This is a no-no for me. I don’t like to do it. Because, first, the skins keep the flavors inside, and second, the skins will prevent the boiling potatoes from absorbing a lot of water thus loosing most of its starch. So I say keep the skin on and peel it later.
About cheese: I use Turkish Kashar cheese (a local Turkish grocery store carries it), which is more known as Greek Kasseri cheese in the US. It is a mild milk cheese with a slightly salty flavor. The closest substitutes would be Provolone or mozzarella cheese. Or a combination of the two. Here’s Kasseri cheese, pictured below.