Make Ahead Buffet Mashed Potatoes
November 18, 2014

Are you one of those people who find it stressful at Thanksgiving to get the bird and the mashed potatoes and the gravy and everything else on the table at the same time?  Well, there are tricks to help you at least eliminate the stress about the mashed potatoes.  Here are three that I find very helpful:  you can make the mashed potatoes hours ahead of the meal and stick them on low in a crockpot. They keep very well until dinner time.  Or, if you don't have a crockpot, you can place them in a large bowl, set them over a pot of simmering water (effectively creating a double boiler) and let them stay warm that way.  Another way is to make these absolutely declicious Buffet Mashed Potatoes, a recipe that I want to share with you because I've been making these for about 20 years.  You can make them the day before and refrigerate until ready to bake or you can even make them ahead and freeze them. Totally takes the stress out of the mashed potatoes.

ceramic plate from Fifty One and a Half

For this recipe, you simply bake your potatoes until soft and scoop out the insides and then mash them.  I like to put them through a ricer first before mashing, but you can skip that step if you want.  A ricer just makes them smoother, I think.  If you don't have a ricer, it's nice to have one, especially if you ever want to make homemade gnocchi.  You can also use a box grater and use the largest holes.  

These potatoes are bound together by the addition of cream cheese and eggs.  The top is dotted with a little butter just before baking.  It is a luscious, delicious potato dish and I hope you give it a try.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Buffet Mashed Potatoes

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from Polly Clingerman

These potatoes take the stress out of mashed potatoes - you can either make them ahead and refrigerate or you can actually freeze them.

6 servings (This recipe is easily doubled.  If you double it, use a 9 x 13 pan.)

4 large baking potatoes (about 10 ounces each)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 medium onion, very finely diced
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons butter

Wash potatoes well and bake at 400° F for about 1 hour or just until soft.  Halve them and scoop out the insides.

Put the potatoes through a ricer (or grate with a box grater using the largest holes). I like to do this step because I think it makes the potatoes smoother, but you can skip it if you don't want to do it. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth with mixer at medium speed.  Add onion, eggs, flour, salt and pepper and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into an ungreased 1½ quart ovenproof dish. At this point, you can let the casserole cool and refrigerate it up to one day, or wrap it and freeze it.

scooping and ricing the potatoes

To serve, if frozen or refrigerated, bring it to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 325° F.  Dot the top of the potatoes with butter, cover with foil (I like to use Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick foil) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the top is a little golden. 


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