No extra butter, yet great flavor and good texture. Use Yukon Gold potatoes for best flavor. Use Russets if you must; I never try to mash or freeze red potatoes. If potatoes look watery before freezing, don't worry; the liquid will be absorbed as the dish reheats. Preheat 3 gallons water (20-40 minutes).
12 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes 1 tablespoon oil added to cooking water to reduce foaming 24 ounces neufchatel or cream cheese* 4 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, parsley flakes or dried chives, salt and pepper to taste
Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch chunks. Remove any gray spots; they may be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) fungus. Likewise any green just under the peel; it's mildly toxic. Place in 8 to 12 quart pan; add preheated water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat to a steady simmer.
Cover and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well, you need warm, dry potatoes to avoid lumps. If you are not going to mash immediately, you have to keep them hot and dry. Place colander into the cooking pan to keep draining, and place pan lid on top the colander to help keep in the warmth. If it will have to set a few minutes, place a paper towel in between the lid and the potatoes, to absorb steam.
Return potatoes to the pan. Mash potatoes with a potato masher until light and dry. Add no liquid until the potatoes are as smooth as you like!
Stir in cream cheese and milk, mash until smooth. * garlic-flavor Boursin or Rondele brands soft cheese or other herbal soft cheese,is delicious, or 4 tablespoons crushed roasted garlic, or 1 tablespoon garlic salt adds even more flavor. Add parsley flake or chives, salt, pepper to taste.
Cool potatoes to room temperature. Divide potatoes into 2 oiled 9x13" pans or 3-4 9" to10" pie pans oven safe casserole dishes. Cover with foil; freeze. Or, place prepared mashed potatoes in freezer bags in meal sized portions, squeeze out all the air and seal.
May be heated frozen or thawed overnight in the refrigerator. For the oven, reheat covered at 375 degrees, 40 minutes for thawed potatoes, 90 minutes straight from freezer.
Heat thawed mashed potatoes in the microwave,covered, stirring every 2 minutes.As the potatoes get hot, they will thicken and return to their original texture.
Higher protein variation. You can also use these in place of the cream cheese and buttermilk: substitute 4 cups of cottage cheese beaten smooth with 1 dozen eggs. Slightly grainier texture, but high enough in protein to act as an entree by itself. I often use this for non-vegan vegetarians.