Mashed Potato Casserole with Smoked Gouda and Bacon
- 8-10 slices applewood-smoked bacon, divided
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- sour cream
- 3/4 whole milk or half-and-half cream
- 1 stick butter, cut in cubes
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated smoked Gouda, divided
- 1 container Philadelphia Cooking Creme (Savory Garlic flavor)
Cook bacon until golden brown. Drain and chop/crumble into bits and place in a small bowl with the sliced green onions. Toss to mix and set aside.
Peel potatoes and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Place in a large pot, cover with cold water and stir in a little salt to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook with lid slightly ajar for 15-20 minutes or until a knife slices in easily. Drain well.
Return potatoes to pot and place pot on low heat. Cook about 2 minutes, shaking pan often, until potatoes are dry and a film is starting to form on the bottom of the pot. Add cooking creme, milk, and butter and mash with a potato masher until almost smooth. Add sour cream if potatoes seem too dry. Stir in 2 cups shredded Gouda and all but 1/2 cup of the bacon and green onion mixture.
Spread potato mixture into a buttered 13x9 inch baking dish and sprinkle with remaining Gouda. (Can be made to this point up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill potato casserole until ready to cook).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake potatoes until cheese melts and edges of potatoes are bubbling, about 30 minutes (longer if chilled). Remove from oven and sprinkle with reserved bacon mixture while casserole is hot.