Baked Feta Mashed Potatoes

Baked Feta Mashed Potatoes

We took inspiration from the wildly popular baked feta pasta recipe of TikTok fame and reimagined it to create a big-batch thanksgiving side dish. The best part is no more boiling water and crowding your stovetop. Instead, we put all the ingredients together in one dish and then bake it in the oven. Cooking the dish covered helps simmer and steam the potatoes at the same time, making them smooth and fluffy when mashed. The baked feta bubbles and melts into the potatoes to lend a subtle and delicious tanginess.

9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for the dish

7 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces

5 cups half-and-half 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 10-ounce block feta cheese

1/25 cup sour cream

4tablespoon chopped chives

Special equipment: a 13-by-9-by-2-inch casserole dish (3.75 quarts); a potato masher
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch (3.75-quart) casserole dish with butter.
Put the potatoes in the prepared casserole dish, add the half-and-half and stir to combine. Spread the potatoes in an even layer and place the block of feta in the center, on top of the potatoes. Season with 1 tablespoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and dot the butter over the potatoes. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake until the half-and-half is simmering, the cheese is bubbling and the potatoes are cooked through and very tender when pierced with a small sharp knife, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. 
Remove and reserve the aluminum foil. Use a potato masher to mash the ingredients in the casserole dish until well combined, smooth and fluffy. Fold in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Cover the mashed potatoes with the reserved foil and return to the oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Top with the chopped chives and a few grinds of pepper. 
The potatoes can be made a day in advance. Cool the mashed potatoes in the casserole dish to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. To reheat, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees F until heated through and steaming, 25 to 30 minutes.
Potatoes are an extremely nutritious, root vegetable. Potatoes are a good source of starch and fiber. This plant is one of the most widespread perennials and one of the cheapest basic food products, especially important for the poorest population in the world. Botanically, potatoes belong to various perennial subspecies of solanum tuberosum from the family solanaceae.
The plant grows from 30 centimeters to half a meter in length, and underground produces more root fruits. The fruits are usually round to oval in shape and vary considerably in size. Inside the fruit, the flesh has a creamy white, pinkish-red or brownish tinge, depending on the variety. All potatoes have a moist texture and a special taste of potatoes.
White / yellow skin and flesh – Yukan golden potato, Finnish yellow potato, Russian banana, Milva.
Red Peel and Meat – Ida Pink Potato, Norland, California Red Potato, French Fingerling.
Brown skin and meat – Burbank, Ranger, Utamila.
Health benefits of potatoes
Potatoes are one of the richest sources of starch, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They contain very little fat (only 0.1 grams per 100 grams) and do not contain cholesterol.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber contained in the stool increase the volume of the stool and thus help prevent constipation, reduce the absorption of cholesterol ingested through food and thus reduce the level of bad LDL cholesterol. In addition, the abundance of fiber helps protect against colon cancer.
The fiber content helps slow down the absorption of starch and thus keeps blood sugar levels in the normal range. For the same reason, potatoes are still a favorite source of carbohydrates for diabetics.
These roots are one of the richest sources of B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B6, niacin, pantothenic acid and folate.
The peel and flesh of fresh potatoes are a good source of antioxidant vitamins and vitamin C. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance to infectious agents and accumulate harmful free radicals that cause inflammation.
Potatoes also contain adequate amounts of many essential minerals, such as iron, manganese, copper and potassium.
Red and brown potatoes contain solid amounts of vitamin A and flavonoids, such as carotenes and zeaxanthin.
Recent scientific studies by the Agricultural Research Center (by plant genetics researcher Roy Navarre) suggest that the flavonoid antioxidant quercetin works to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.