Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is from one of my favorite holiday cookbooks. I use quite a few of the recipes all year, these mashed potatoes being one. You cannot tell, at all, that these mashed potatoes were made ahead. Some foods have that telltale leftover taste, but not this dish. I make them the night before, and that saves quite a bit of time on Thanksgiving, between peeling, cooking, mashing and washing up the dishes. It's nice to know when I wake up Thanksgiving morning that I don't have to prepare everything that day.

This year I'm switching things around and making an oven sweet potato dish, instead of my usual stovetop recipe. And since I have just one oven (poor little me), I have to make certain I have enough room in the oven and on the stovetop when I plan my dishes. This year, instead of baking the potatoes, I'm going to put them in the crock pot. So when I make them the night before, I'll spoon them into my slow cooker crock and refrigerate them overnight. Then, in the afternoon (we eat around 6 p.m.), I'll pull them out, put them in the slow cooker base on low, pour the milk/butter mixture on top and just let them warm up. Lovely.

I do not make the rich mashed potatoes version for Thanksgiving, since this is one meal that really doesn't need "richening." I have made them before, and they are good. I would save that recipe for a meal with a simple meat and vegetable. I use russets for mashed potatoes, and I highly recommend them for this dish. This recipe can also be found here.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
8 servings

3 lb. potatoes (about 9 medium), peeled and cut into pieces
¾ cup milk
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup butter or margarine
1 t. salt
dash pepper

Place potatoes in a 3-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover.
Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat.
Simmer, covered, 20-25 minutes or until tender; drain.
Shake pan with potatoes over low heat to dry.
Mash with potato masher or electric mixer until no lumps remain.
Heat milk, cream, butter, salt and pepper over med-low heat, stirring occasionally,
until butter is melted; reserve and refrigerate 1/4 cup of mixture.
Add remaining milk mixture in small amounts to potatoes,
mashing after each addition, until potatoes are light and fluffy.
(Amount needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy depends on kind of potatoes.)
Grease a 2-quart casserole.
Spoon potatoes into casserole, cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

(If using a slow cooker, butter slow cooker and spoon in potatoes. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

When ready to heat, heat oven to 350.
Pour reserved milk mixture over potatoes (do not stir).
Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until hot. Stir before serving.

(If using slow cooker, place crock in cooker base -- or if one unit, plug it in -- pour milk/butter mixture over top and cover. Heat for several hours or until heated through. Stir a few times during heating process.)

For garlic mashed potatoes: Coat six unpeeled garlic cloves with oil.
Wrap in foil or place in a baking dish.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Cool slightly and peel.
Add to mashed potatoes while mashing.

For extra rich mashed potatoes, omit the milk, cream and butter.
Instead beat 8 oz. cream cheese, softened,
and 8 oz. sour cream into potatoes before spooning into casserole.
Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Pour 1/4 c. melted butter over potatoes in casserole and bake as directed.


1 comment:

Dominique said...

This looks delish and I love a make-ahead. Heavy Cream and butter hide such transgressions as "reheating" lol