Place potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in 3-quart saucepan; cover with water. Cook over high heat until water comes to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook until potatoes are tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain potatoes; return to saucepan.
Meanwhile, heat half & half in 1-quart saucepan just until warm.
Add butter to potatoes; mash potatoes until about two-thirds are mashed and one-third remain lumpy. Gradually add half & half to potato mixture; mix well. Stir in sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
TIP: Buy potatoes that are firm and smooth. Avoid potatoes that are withered, wrinkled or have sprouting eyes. Make sure brown spots and blossom ends are trimmed from potatoes, even though they are not peeled. Cut off any green areas as they will taste bitter when cooked.
Ranch S’mashed Potatoes: Omit 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in 2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix and 1/4 cup chopped green onions with the sour cream.
Chipotle, Green Chili & Cheddar S’mashed Potatoes: Stir in 1 teaspoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce, 1 (4-ounce) can well-drained diced green chiles and 1 cup shredded LAND O LAKES® Cheddar Cheese.
Caramelized Onion & Swiss Cheese S’mashed Potatoes: Stir in 1/2 cup caramelized onions and 1 cup shredded LAND O LAKES® Swiss Cheese. To caramelize onions: Melt 3 tablespoons butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet until sizzling; add 2 cups sliced onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown (15 to 20 minutes).
Roasted Garlic & Buttermilk S’mashed Potatoes: Substitute 3/4 cup buttermilk (do not heat) for the half & half. Stir in mashed pulp from 1 bulb roasted garlic. To roast garlic: Heat oven to 350ºF. Remove some of papery skin from outside of garlic bulb without separating cloves. Cut off top 1/2 inch of garlic bulb. Place bulb in 8-inch square piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil; drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Wrap tightly in foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until garlic is soft and tender. Cool 15 minutes. Carefully separate cloves. Squeeze out pulp; mash.