Glazed Party Potatoes

It sometimes seems that every formal dinner buffet I attend, from Maryland to Arkansas, includes what are commonly called “party potatoes.” Some versions are smooth as silk or slightly chunky, others are relatively bland or overly spicy, and still others are appropriately moist or so dry they should be put down the disposal. Simple to prepare, party potatoes can be utterly delicious when they remain creamy yet have a crusty top. If I have any suspicion that the potatoes might be drying out (I poke them with a knife or fork), I add a little more milk or, if they feel cooked, take them out of the oven momentarily, then run them quickly under the broiler till the top is glazed.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium russet potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
  • cups whole or 2-percent milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 6 scallions (part of green tops included), finely chopped
  • 2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Method

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer till the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain the water from the pot, add the butter, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher till they are smooth. Add the milk, egg yolks, scallions, cups of the cheese, salt and pepper, and nutmeg, and stir till well blended and creamy. Scrape the mixture into a -quart buttered dish or shallow casserole, sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top, and bake till the top is glazed and slightly crusty, with a few dark spots, but the potatoes are still creamy and moist, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve piping hot.