Every cook employs little tricks to get everything to the table on time during the holidays, and those tricks usually include making as much as possible in advance. At busy times such as Thanksgiving, I routinely prepare the potatoes a day or two early. It’s cold at this time of year in the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where I Live, so I cover and store food that needs chilling on the deck, saving precious fridge space. We also have an electric cooler (these gadgets are wonderful!), that plugs in on the deck for foods that need refrigeration. A cooler with an ice block serves well, too.
I always prepare my potatoes in advance of a large holiday dinner: Doing so relieves last-minute rush and stress. Today’s three make-ahead potato recipes are all delicious. One uses dairy sour cream, the second uses goat cheese, and the third uses cream cheese. Two are oven-baked as the turkey cooks or rests before it’s carved; one is baked in the microwave. If your preference leans to unbaked mashed potatoes made with butter and heavy cream or milk, you can still prepare these ahead. Transfer them from cold storage to a large slow cooker on low heat. Set it and forget it: Your potatoes will be fine for several hours.
Make-Ahead Whipped Potatoes:
5 lb. potatoes, peeled and cooked
1 c. dairy sour cream
¼ c. butter or margarine
Salt and pepper, to taste
Whole milk or heavy cream, as needed (about ¼ c.)
Paprika, as garnish
Combine hot potatoes, sour cream, butter, and seasonings in large mixing bowl. Using electric mixer, beat at low speed until well combined. Beat in just enough milk or cream to add richness and a thick, smooth texture, with no lumps remaining. Spoon into greased, microwavable 2-quart casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Microwave, covered, at high power setting 12-to-15 min., stirring twice, until completely heated through. Just before serving, sprinkle with paprika. Serves 12.
- With thanks to The Vancouver Sun