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Thread: make ahead mashed potatoes without cream cheese

  1. #1
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    make ahead mashed potatoes without cream cheese

    Please educate me. Why can't I make just regular mashed potatoes ahead of time and then just heat with extra milk and/or butter. Why does every recipe call for cream cheese? I make mashed potatoes once a year and the cream cheese would be fine with me but I have a DD who can tell every time and says "these aren't real mashed potatoes". So being a neurotic Mother who likes to please but who doesn't want the confusion and mess as we are doing everything else, I need some help. Hopefully someone will have vast experience with the potato.
    Sharon

  2. #2
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    Why not make both? Cook, drain and mash the potatoes, remove some for your dd's tastes, and prepare both as you and she want them. This from someone used to dealing with my own picky eaters, knowing fulll well that you can only please all the people some of the time.
    Cheers! Andy

  3. #3
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    One of the things I do to reduce time and mess on a big day like Thanksgiving is to peel and quarter my potatoes ahead of time and place them in a containter covered in water. This way all I have to do is drain them, put them in a pot with fresh water and make them. If that's not an option, I did find some recipes for make-ahead mashed potatoes that did not have cream cheese (this is not all of them - just the "basic" mashed potato recipe). It looks like they just add additional milk and/or butter:

    Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

    Once you make Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes, you?ll never
    again do the last-minute mash!

    Prep: 25 min Cook: 30 min Bake: 45 min Chill: 24 hr

    9 medium potatoes (3 pounds)
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
    1/2 cup butter or margarine
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper


    1. Scrub potatoes. Leave skins on, if desired, or peel
    thinly and remove eyes. Cut into large pieces. Heat 1 inch
    water (salted if desired) to boiling in 3-quart saucepan;
    add potato pieces. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat.
    Cook covered 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Shake
    pan gently over low heat to dry potatoes.

    2. Heat milk, whipping cream, butter, salt and pepper in
    1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally,
    until butter is melted. Measure out 1/4 cup of the milk
    mixture; cover and refrigerate.

    3. Add remaining milk mixture in small amounts to potatoes
    in medium bowl, mashing with potato masher or electric mixer
    after each addition. (Amount of milk needed to make potatoes
    smooth and fluffy depends on kind of potatoes used.) Beat
    vigorously until potatoes are light and fluffy.

    4. Spray 2-quart casserole with cooking spray. Spoon potatoes
    into casserole. Bake immediately, or cover and refrigerate up
    to 24 hours.

    5. Heat oven to 350 F. Pour reserved milk mixture over
    potatoes. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until potatoes
    are hot. Just before serving, stir potatoes.

    Makes 8 servings

    Variation: Love garlic? Peel and finely chop 1 or 2 cloves and
    add to the potatoes before mashing in step 3.

    Nutritional Info Per 1 Serving:
    Calories 295 (Calories from Fat 155); Fat 17g (Saturated 10g);
    Cholesterol 50mg; Sodium 400mg; Potassium 600mg;
    Carbohydrate 35g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 4g

    Diet Exchanges: 2 Starch; 3 Fat

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes


    You can make them healthy or indulgent, plain or fancy. But no matter what style you choose to make, these will be delicious fresh or out of the freezer.

    Ingredients:

    8 large Russet potatoes (approx. 5 lbs), peeled and cut into uniform sized chunks
    8 tbs. (1 stick) butter at room temperature
    1 to 2 cups milk
    salt & pepper to taste

    Make-Ahead Preparation:

    In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain.

    Add the butter, salt & pepper and 1 cup of the milk. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, adding the rest of the milk as needed. Continue to mash, adding milk/butter/salt & pepper until the desired taste and consistency

    Allow potatoes to cool completely. Put into airtight containers or a covered baking dish and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to two months.

    Last Minute Preparation:

    Allow potatoes to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until heated through. Give them a stir about halfway through and add more milk for a lighter consistency.

    Variations:


    Creamy and indulgent: Cut the milk down to 1/2 cup and add 1 cup sour cream and 6 oz of creamed cheese at room temperature.
    A hint of onion: Subsitute onion salt for the table salt and add in some snipped chives after mashing.
    Wasabi mashed: Add in 2 to 3 tablespoons wasabi powder.
    Cheesy mashed: Add in 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese.
    Homestyle: Substitute 5 lbs red potatoes. Scrub them well and leave the skins on. Undermash slightly so there are still some discernable chunks.
    Healthy: Substitute 4 tbs margarine for the butter. Use skim milk. Add in Molly McButter or Butter Buds to taste.
    Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

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  4. #4
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    I have to do make-ahead mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving this year for my MIL. She only has one oven. Will they stay nice and creamy in the crockpot for warming, or does anyone have a recipe that is specifically for crockpot?

    thx
    Lori
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  5. #5
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    I haven't made these in years but recall liking them, though they may be too close to what your DD dislikes?:

    2 # russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
    1/4 cup milk
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 tbsp butter melted - divided
    1 egg, beaten
    1 cup sour cream
    1 cup small curd cottage cheese
    5 green onions, finely chopped
    1/2 cup crushed crackers

    Cook potatoes until tender. Drain. Place in a large bowl and add milk, salt, and 1 tbsp butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Fold in egg, sour cream, cottage cheese, and onions. Place in a greased 1-1/2 quart baking dish.

    Combine the cracker crumbs and remaining butter. Sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, 20-30 minutes.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. #6
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    Thanks Shirley. I knew I could do it the old fashioned way. I just need verification. I should have listened to my instincts. I read somewhere that you could warm the potatoes on low for 4 hours in a crockpot. That should help you Recipegirl.
    Sharon

  7. #7
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    Shirley - Thanks for posting about cubing the potatoes and putting them in water. When you do this the potatoes don't get soggy or weird in texture? I've never done it before, but would love to take care of the potato prep on Wednesday!
    Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. Cadet Maxim

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1MegMeg View Post
    Shirley - Thanks for posting about cubing the potatoes and putting them in water. When you do this the potatoes don't get soggy or weird in texture? I've never done it before, but would love to take care of the potato prep on Wednesday!
    Not Shirley, but we do this often - they don't get soggy at all. I don't find it changes the end texture either. I picked this up from Mom who always prepped the potatoes a day ahead of time and stashed them in the fridge.
    Joe

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon kopenski View Post
    Thanks Shirley. I knew I could do it the old fashioned way. I just need verification. I should have listened to my instincts. I read somewhere that you could warm the potatoes on low for 4 hours in a crockpot. That should help you Recipegirl.
    Thank you !!! The big day will be so easy with these heating up in the crockpot
    Lori
    Website: www.RecipeGirl.com
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    Good food, fine wine... what a beautiful day!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1MegMeg View Post
    Shirley - Thanks for posting about cubing the potatoes and putting them in water. When you do this the potatoes don't get soggy or weird in texture? I've never done it before, but would love to take care of the potato prep on Wednesday!
    Hi, 1MegMeg -

    Like Joe, I've never had a problem with texture when I make mashed potatoes using potatoes with this method; and I'm a mashed potato purist - meaning only milk, butter, and salt and pepper go in my mashed potatoes. My grandmother, aunt, and mom all do it this way. I think I've even kept them in the fridge for a few days - just changing the water - with no ill effects.
    Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

    --Helen Keller

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon kopenski View Post
    Thanks Shirley. I knew I could do it the old fashioned way. I just need verification. I should have listened to my instincts. I read somewhere that you could warm the potatoes on low for 4 hours in a crockpot. That should help you Recipegirl.

    No problem, Sharon. Glad I was able to help. Sometimes it's nice to get confirmation on something you already know - just to prove you're not crazy.
    Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

    --Helen Keller

  12. #12
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    I ALWAYS make my mashed potatoes ahead of time then I reheat in the microwave adding a little milk if necessary to get the desired consistency.

    Ina Garten makes hers ahead of time and then either keeps them warm, or reheats (can't remember which) in a bowl over simmering water.

    Bonnie

  13. #13
    I'm trying to make the night before Thanksgiving as painless as possible, so I was going to do my mashed potatoes today(w/cream cheese and sour cream) and freeze. Will that change either the texture or taste to freeze, then thaw and heat?

  14. #14
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    I definitely would not freeze mashed potatoes; I don't think you'll be very pleased with the resulting texture.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shirley Panek View Post
    No problem, Sharon. Glad I was able to help. Sometimes it's nice to get confirmation on something you already know - just to prove you're not crazy.
    I'm a little confused. I used the make ahead mashed potato recipe......the one with the milk, not the one with the heavy cream. They are cooling now.
    I read the suggestion of warming them in the crockpot for four hours. Do you think that means that if they are warm you could keep them warm for four hours in the crockpot? Or that if I want warm potatoes at 3:30, I should take them out of the fridge, put them in the crockpot four hours before that, and leave them on low until we serve dinner at 3:30?

    Thanks for any advice!
    Katie

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    Exclamation Help! Advice before noon, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by knunes View Post
    I'm a little confused. I used the make ahead mashed potato recipe......the one with the milk, not the one with the heavy cream. They are cooling now.
    I read the suggestion of warming them in the crockpot for four hours. Do you think that means that if they are warm you could keep them warm for four hours in the crockpot? Or that if I want warm potatoes at 3:30, I should take them out of the fridge, put them in the crockpot four hours before that, and leave them on low until we serve dinner at 3:30?

    Thanks for any advice!
    Bumping in hopes that someone knows. The "make aheads" that I made yesterday are now in the fridge. Should I bake them in a baking dish, then scoop them into the crock pot which will be turned to low, and then they can stay for four hours? Or should I put them cold into the crockpot and turn it on low for four hours, and then they will be warm when everyone comes?
    Katie

  17. #17
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    It never occured to me that you couldn't make mash ahead of time!

    You can freeze mash, but you have to treat it like ice-cream. Give it a good stir as it freezes to stop ice crystals forming. The recipe doesn't matter, make them as you always would.

    The other thing to do is prepare the mash using a potato ricer, or squidge it through a sieve and get as fine a grain as possible. Then freeze and give it a stir to stop the ice crystals forming.

    To reheat, you can do it in the microwave (not on full power or it bursts splodges everywhere), but the best way is fill a baking dish with it and fork the top the way your would with a shepherds pie and dot with butter and cook in the oven. Not only do you get your lovely hot mash, but you get a nice crunchy crust too.

    If you're adding finely diced onion or scallion (colcannon or champ), add it when defrosting rather than before freezing, whereas if you're adding finely chopped tomato add it before freezing.
    Has anyone seen reality? I'm sure it was there a minute ago

  18. #18
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    Just wanted to thank everyone about the potatoes. They were delicious. I just made them and reheated in the oven at 350 for 30 min. They didn't require extra milk or anything. They pleased my family which of course is the goal. Now that expensive turkey was another thing--bad.
    Sharon

  19. #19
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    Hi everyone,
    In case anyone else wants to know the answer to the question I asked yesterday, but didn't get an answer to,
    I just took the potatoes (the Make Ahead recipe) out of the fridge, and put them in the crockpot on low. I had only used 1 cup of milk, so I added another half cup part way through the heating. They were hot after two hours (maybe before that, but I didn't check), and I left them on for another couple of hours. The potatoes that were touching the edges got brown and crunchy, but that's not much in comparison to the amount of potatoes in there. I probably wouldn't turn them on as early next time to avoid that.
    All in all, it's a very stress free way to deal with the potatoes, especially if you were going to someone's house and you didn't know if they were going to have oven space for the reheating.
    Katie

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon kopenski View Post
    Now that expensive turkey was another thing--bad.
    I've never seen why we use a bird like a turkey that a lot of people don't like for the special meals, Xmas in the UK, TG in the US. Why not use a really good quality joint of meat that everyone will like, like a prime rib of beef? Or a capon (a large chicken that's killed when it's much older).

    In Italy the traditional Xmas dinner is lamb. I'd much rather a good joint of lamb than a turkey any day of the week - and especially at a festive family meal

    The best Xmas dinner I had was when some friends and I (who aren't traditional) cooked chinese duck and tandoori chicken.
    Has anyone seen reality? I'm sure it was there a minute ago

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny C View Post
    I've never seen why we use a bird like a turkey that a lot of people don't like for the special meals, Xmas in the UK, TG in the US.
    Well, the turkey is rather symbolic for Thanksgiving. We really do like turkey though I would never spend an arm and a leg to purchase one. I do buy fresh birds when I am able but not organic and not even free range. I can't begin to justify the price for those birds when I can get the fresh for $1.79/pound (I even have to justify that when I could get a frozen for free...)

    Christmas Eve dinner (I don't cook dinner or supper on Christmas Day) can be either turkey (most often) or beef (tenderloin or prime rib) just depends on my mood the week before!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

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