Grandma’s Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes


Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 to 15 servings

 

Ingredients:

15 medium (5 pounds) potatoes peeled and quartered
6-8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup  light sour cream
2 teaspoons onion powder
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 egg whites slightly beaten (or one whole egg)
2-4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped chives (optional)

Instructions:

Preparing Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes:

In a large pot, add cut-up potatoes and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.   Overcooking can cause the potatoes to become gummy.

Remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander.  Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally.  NOTE: Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jellify and may even increase in volume (becoming swollen and watery).  That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after they are cooked.

In the same cooking pan, mash potatoes with a potato masher or potato ricer until there are no lumps.

TIP: NEVER use a blender, electric mixer, or food processor to make mashed potatoes.Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell.  If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste.

Add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper, egg whites, and chopped chives (if desired); blend well.

Spray a large casserole dish with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Add potato mixture and dot with butter.

Cool mashed potatoes slightly, cover, and then refrigerate.

The prepared mashed potatoes may be made up to 7 days ahead of time.  If preparing ahead, remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Place in an ovenproof baking dish if not already stored in this dish.


When ready to heat the potatoes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take potatoes out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Bake, loosely covered, 40 minutes or until steaming hot in center.

Crock Pot – Slow Cooker Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Recipe:

Mashed Potatoes in slow cookerYou can use this crock pot/slow cooker version, if you need to free up your oven for other dishes when making my holiday meals.

Take the prepared mashed potatoes out of refrigerator about 3 1/2 hours before serving time.  See Preparing Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes above.  Place the mashed potatoes in the crock-pot/slow cooker.  Cover and use low heat for approximately 3 hours, stirring once or twice.

When you are ready to serve the mashed potatoes, stir, and then add some additional dollops of butter.

Grandma’s Do-ahead Thanksgiving Gravy


Grandma Peggy’s Do-ahead Gravy

Yield: about 4 cups

Ingredients:

6 T. flour
6 T. butter
4 cups chicken broth or stock
salt and pepper
Turkey pan drippings

Instructions:

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook over medium high heat until flour is incorporated and white bubbles begin to form on the top. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Gradually add broth, whisking constantly. Stir until gravy is thickened and mixture boils. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cool and refrigerate for up to three days.

To serve:

On Thanksgiving day, heat the gravy. When turkey is done, pour off drippings into a jar or fat separator. Skim or spoon off all the fat and stir the drippings into the gray.

Thanksgiving Planning

How much per person?

These are approximate amounts. For young children, cut amounts in half.

Turkey ½-3/4 pound of meat*
Stuffing: ½ cup to ¾ cup
Gravy: 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces)
Cranberry Sauce ¼ -1/2 cup (2-4 ounces)
Potatoes ½-3/4 cup
Vegetables ½-3/4 cup
Pie/Dessert 1 ½ pieces

Per Person                                                        for Eight People     for Ten People    for 12 People

Turkey ½-3/4 pound of meat*                       10-16 lb. bird        12-16 lb. bird        18-20 lb. bird

Stuffing: ½ cup to ¾ cup                                        4-6 cups            5-7 cups               6-9 cups

Gravy: 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces)                                       20 oz                     25 oz                    30 oz

Cranberry Sauce ¼ -1/2 cup (2-4 ounces)         2-4 cups               2 1/2-5 cups          3-6 cups

Potatoes ½-3/4 cup                                                      4-6 cups           5- 8 cups                 6-9 cups

Vegetables ½-3/4 cup                                                   4-6 cups          5-8 cups                 6-9 cups

Pie/Dessert 1 piece                                                         1 pie                   2 pies                        2 pies

* keep in mind that the smaller the bird, the smaller meat-to-bone ratio so you might want to get up to 2 lbs./person for smaller gatherings.  The larger the bird, the more you will have for leftovers.

Advice thanks to the Butterball hotline 800-288-8372

Carmelized Onion and Apple Tarts


Carmelized onion and apple tart
Looking for an easy and elegant appetizer to serve guests at your next soiree?  This recipe is just the thing: simple, pretty and delicious, with caramelized onions, apples and grated Gruyère cheese atop store-bought puff pastry. I think the fresh thyme and chives make all the difference.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lb. yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. tart apples, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 – 2  1/2 oz. aged Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh chives
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 1 package (1 lb.) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 Tbs. water

Directions:

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Roasted Red Potato Skewers with Garlic and Mustard

   These savory potatoes are gobbled up fast at my house.  The delicious aroma brings everyone in the kitchen asking when dinner will be ready. I often double this recipe when guests are coming. They can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead so that all you have to do it pop them in the oven, under the broiler for 10-15 minutes and they are ready to serve.

Red Potato Skewers with Garlic and Mustard

1 ½ lbs. baby red skin new potatoes, scrubbed and halved (quartered if a little larger)
3 T olive oil
3 T Dijon Mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ tsp. coarse kosher salt
½ tsp. coarsely ground pepper
6 wooden skewers, soaked for 30 minutes in water

 Directions

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Bean and Kale Minstra

Bean and Kale Minstra
This yummy soup brings back fond memories of spending Christmas with my sister, Tomi and her family in Washington DC.  We had an unseasonably warm Christmas one year.  All the kids and parents went to the park and played flag football and then came home to a warm bowl of Tomi’s minstra.  Recently, my daughter, Dani texted me while studying abroad in New Zealand, to request “Auntie Tomi’s delicious bean soup”.  This recipe is a favorite that’s easy enough for a college student to prepare and nutritious too.

Bean and Kale Minestra

Serves 6 to 8

½ pound kale (about 4 cups, chopped—we used lacinato)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
olive oil to coat the bottom of your soup pot
6 cups cooked (2 cups dry) cannellini (white kidney beans—we used navy beans)
4 to 5 cups bean water, vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
6 fresh sage leaves (½ tsp if dry)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
freshly ground pepper
½ cup finely ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

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Holiday Brunch Citrus Salad

Holiday Brunch Citrus Salad
My friend Andrea shared this recipe with me years ago.  I made it this holiday as part of Christmas brunch.  It looks so festive and is tasty and refreshing too.

Holiday Brunch Grapefruit Salad

2 white grapefruit

2 pink grapefruit

6 navel oranges

½ cup fresh mint leaves

¼ cup sugar

dried cranberries or pomagranate seeds

Directions:

1. Peel and cut between membranes of citrus to remove sections. You can do this the night before.

2.  Cut the mint leaves with kitchen scissors into thin strips.

3. Mix the mint  in with the sugar and add pomegranate seeds or cranberries.

4.  Sprinkle over the fruit and stir lightly.

Enjoy!

Psst!  I sometimes cheat and buy the fresh citrus already peeled, cut and sweetened.  Del Monte markets it in a glass jar that can be found in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores.

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