There is no such thing as too many starchy dishes on the holiday buffet table, right? For many families, Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without mashed potatoes. Deliciously different from russet potatoes, mashed Yukon golds are creamy rich with a buttery texture and a lovely golden hue. They have a higher moisture content and are lower in starch than the russet potato, and therefore require a different proportion of milk and butter when puréed.
6 large (about 2 1/2 pounds total weight) Yukon gold potatoes
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt plus extra for seasoning
1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter melted
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Freshly ground pepper
Peel the potatoes and rinse under cold water. Cut each into quarters and place in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Cover with cold water, partially cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Uncover, add the 1 teaspoon salt, and reduce the heat so the water boils gently. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the milk and cream just until hot, but not boiling.
Drain the potatoes, return to the warm pan, and stir over low heat for 1 minute to evaporate any excess water. Use a potato masher, ricer, or food mill to mash the potatoes. Blend the melted butter and Parmesan into the potatoes. Stir the milk mixture into the potatoes, a little at a time, until the potatoes are as soft and moist as you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
To avoid the last minute chaos in the kitchen, know that it works perfectly well to cook and mash potatoes up to 2 hours in advance. They can be kept warm in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, or reheated in a microwave oven just before serving. If you use the do-ahead plan, be sure to add an extra pat of butter or two.