I am a mashed potato girl. They’re the best part of any meal – so warm and comforting. I love them plain or smothered in some type of sauce. I also love to experiment in the kitchen. I like figuring out ways to jazz up or change old favorites.
This past week, my family and I got to enjoy a HORMEL GATHERINGS™ Party Tray. I was inspired by the Sargento ® pepper-jack cheese, and began wondering how I could get my children to eat it. When I first offered the cheese to them, they turned up their noses – wanting to have nothing to do with cheese with “weird stuff” in it. I knew better.
I started to poke around the pantry, looking for a great dinner idea. As soon as I saw my bag of potatoes, I knew….and Southwest Mashed Potatoes were born.
And, I will admit – it was VERY hard not to be smug when my children (the very same children who refused to eat the pepper-jack cheese) told me that these were the BEST mashed potatoes I had ever made. And they were. (And I make a lot of mashed potatoes!)
You’re going to love them!
8-12 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup Sargento ® pepper-jack cheese
1 4.25 oz. can Chi-Chi’s ® diced green chiles
5 T butter
1/2 c. half n’ half (*You could certainly use milk if you don’t have half n’ half on hand.)
1. Start by peeling and dicing your potatoes. You could certainly use any type of potato, but I love the taste of Yukon Golds! I typically cut my potatoes in half, and then slice each half into quarters. This tends to yield fairly even-sized pieces.
2. Place your diced potatoes into a large cooking pot. I like to cook my potatoes in half chicken stock and half water. This time, I used 2 cups chicken stock. It is completely fine to “eyeball” the amount of stock you use. I like the extra flavor it adds to the potatoes.
3. Cook your potatoes until they are just past fork tender. Drain, but do not rinse.
4. I like to give my potatoes an initial “dry mash.” Dry mashing lets me know how much liquid I may need to add. *I like to use a traditional hand masher. I find that using something electric can sometimes cause the potatoes to be “gummy.”
5. Add the half n’ half and butter, and continue to mash.
6. Add the cheese. You can use grated, but I had some left-over slices from my fabulous HORMEL GATHERINGS™ Party Tray. (Seriously ladies, these trays are about the easiest way to entertain ever!) I used 1 cup, but I don’t think you can ever go wrong adding a bit more cheese.
7. Stir in the entire can of diced green chiles – juice and all. You want every bit of that flavor. (If you don’t have these in your pantry right now – stock up! I use these in SO many recipes, and always have them on hand.)
*If your potatoes are not at the consistency you enjoy, feel free to add more half ‘ half or butter at this point.
8. Season to taste. (And make sure to taste -season -taste again.) Serve and enjoy.
*This recipe fed my family of 6 with plenty of leftovers to enjoy the next day for lunch.
*This post is sponsored by Hormel. As part of the Hormel Extended Family Bloggers, I receive free product and information to help facilitate my posts. All opinions are my own.