3 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
8 T unsalted butter, softened, cut into 8 pieces
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c sour cream, at room temperature
2/3 c milk, warmed
Paprika for garnish
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover by at least 1 inch. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover, and cook until the potatoes are very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan over medium heat. Cook, shaking the pan and stirring so the potatoes don't stick, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the potatoes are floury and have formed a film on the bottom of the pan.
Remove from the heat and break up the potatoes with a handheld mixer on low speed. Gradually drop in 6 T of the butter and beat until it is absorbed. Refrigerate the remaining 2 T butter. Gradually add the cream cheese and sour cream, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk a little at a time. You want the potatoes to be fluffy and light. If they seem to be getting too wet, don't add all the milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking dish and spoon the potatoes into it. Smooth the top, then use a spatula or fork to swirl or score the surface to leave little peaks that will brown nicely during baking. Covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Dust the top of the potatoes with paprika. Cut the remaining 2 T butter into small pieces and scatter them over the top. Bake until the potatoes are heated through and the top is lightly golden, about 1 hour. (Expect it to take only half the time if the potatoes haven't been refrigerated.) Serve hot.
Time: 1 hour Servs: 10-12
I found this recipe on the epicurious site: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/PARTY-POTATOES-236303. I like the recipe because you can make it the day before. It also holds its heat well so you can leave it out a while before serving in order to free up oven space.