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Smashed Potatoes

White potatoes can be used instead of Red Bliss, but their skins lack the rosy color of Red Bliss skins. Try to get potatoes of equal size; if that's not possible, test the larger potatoes for doneness. If only larger potatoes are available, increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes. Check for doneness with a paring knife.

2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter), unpeeled and scrubbed
Table salt
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and warm
1/2 cup cream cheese (4 ounces), at room temperature
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)

Instructions 1. Place potatoes in large saucepan and cover with 1 inch cold water; add 1 teaspoon salt and bay leaf. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until paring knife can be inserted into potatoes with no resistance, 35 to 45 minutes.

Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain potatoes. Return potatoes to pot, discard bay, and allow potatoes to stand in pot, uncovered, until surfaces are dry, about 5 minutes.

2. While potatoes dry, whisk melted butter and softened cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth and fully incorporated.

Add 1/4 cup of reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, chives (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Using rubber spatula or back of wooden spoon, smash potatoes just enough to break skins. Fold in butter/cream cheese mixture until most of liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain. Add more cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, until potatoes are slightly looser than desired (potatoes will thicken slightly with standing).

Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper; serve immediately.


1. For the best flavor and texture, boil whole, skin on potatoes. Leave a measuring cup nearby as a reminder to reserve some cooking liquid.

2. While the potatoes are drying, whisk together the cream cheese and butter

3. When smashing the potatoes, use a spatula or large wooden spoon; both work better than a potato masher or a fork. Smash just until the skins are broken.

4. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the potatoes gently, adding more reserved cooking liquid if the potatoes look dry.

TO MAKE AHEAD: The potatoes are best made just before serving, though see the related Quick Tip for a suggestion on how to hold mashed potatoes.

TO DOUBLE: The Smashed Potatoes recipe and variation can easily be doubled to serve 8 to 12. To accommodate the increased volume, you will need to cook the potatoes in a Dutch oven or stockpot instead of the specified saucepan. Depending on pot size, the cooking time will increase by 5 to 10 minutes.