Thursday, November 17, 2011

Make-Ahead Goat Cheese Mashed Potato Gratin

For any large holiday dinner at which there are many guests and many dishes, I always keep a check list hidden in a drawer. This is my “cheat sheet” - brief notes that name each dishs cooking temperature and time. I sometimes note its location - e.g., “deck,” “microwave,” “fridge,” “laundry room” - to avoid a last-minute hunt or to prevent my forgetting to take it to the table! I know I’m not the first cook to forget to produce the dinner rolls or the salad I slaved over all day! That aside, here’s another terrific make-ahead potato dish for your Thanksgiving table! Of all the make-ahead potato recipes in my collection, this one’s my personal favorite.
Make-Ahead Goat Cheese Mashed Potato Gratin:
4 lb. large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
12 garlic cloves, peeled
⅔ c. heavy cream
1 c. butter
1 4-oz. (113 g) pkg. soft goat cheese (about ½ c.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ c. finely chopped green onions
In a large saucepan, cover potatoes and garlic with salted cold water by ½-in. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, about 15 min. or until potatoes are tender but are not falling apart. While potatoes simmer, combine cream, butter, goat cheese, and ¼ tsp. each of salt and pepper in small saucepan. Stirring frequently, cook 3-to-5 min. over medium-low heat until butter and cheese are melted and smooth. Keep warm.
Drain potatoes and garlic. Working over a large bowl, press potatoes and garlic through food mill fitted with medium disk or ricer (Note: I have neither. I simply mash the heck out of them). Using electric mixer, beat in butter mixture, green onions, and salt and pepper to taste just until potatoes are fluffy and smooth, and garlic is well mixed in. Do not over-beat. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 11x7-in. baking dish (Potatoes may be prepared up to this point, covered tightly, and refrigerated overnight). 
Remove baking dish from refrigerator and let potatoes stand at room temperature 1-½ hr. Reheat potatoes, uncovered, at 400 deg. F. for 20-to-25 min., or until heated through. Serves 8 to 10.

- With thanks to Gourmet Magazine

PS: The photos show you how we made this at home! 

Mash potatoes with garlic - or get fancy and use a ricer

Combine ingredients for cream sauce

Stir over medium-low heat until silky smooth
Add to potatoes, combining well

Beat until potatoes are lump-free, fluffy, and smooth

Stir in a flourish of green onions, refrigerating
overnight for later reheating

Freeze leftover potatoes
in zippered plastic bags
laid flat until frozen
Lay flat bags in covered,
solid-sided, airtight
container in freezer

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