…I wept and the angels sang… !!! Ok, ok, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but seriously!! What a life saver, right?! I mean really!! … Make-ahead real mashed potatoes??!…REALLY??
The first time I ever heard of such a thing, I admit, I was a wee bit skeptical because I didn’t want them to taste like “leftovers” and be dried out in any way. And I didn’t want them to be crispy all on the sides and bottom of the dish, you know? But good gosh, who in their right mind wouldn’t want a last minute MAJOR hassle knocked out ahead of time during the frantic day of too many people, a hot kitchen, enormous mess, and not enough time? I was IN. You in, too? Mashing cooked potatoes at the last minute was a pain in the turkey feathers, let alone trying to rush – – mashing and mashing and mashing – – until I felt like my little ARMS were gonna fall off, and trying to hurry to boot because there was still gravy to make! Not my idea of a fun holiday. Who needs all that stress and pressure? Holidays should be fun and enjoyed by all with no frets or worries.
So this whole “make-ahead thing” was something I wanted to check out!! SO glad I did. Been making them now for more years than I can count. I was already making almost everything ahead of time, to be the perfect hostess that I could be, but there were some things that I wrongly thought that had to be made the day of.
I now make everything ahead. Even the 888gravy. And most importantly….the turkey. The one other thing that has helped tremendously with making homemade mashed potatoes, is to get a potato ricer. Incredible little gadget! Works like a DREAM and no more mashing, mashing, mashing only to STILL have lumps! Once they’re all “riced”, practically just a few stirs turns them into super creamy mashed potatoes like magic!!
But the whole point of this is to simply teach that the success to a great dinner party is to make anything and everything ahead of time so that you, too, can enjoy the party, spend precious time with your guests, and have a wonderful stress-free evening! As it should be. Last minute things should be at the utmost minimal. Not only will it be good for you, but it will make your guests feel more comfortable as well. Who wants to be at a party or dinner where the host or hostess is in the kitchen the whole time and is totally stressed out, clamoring around in the kitchen and is now a sweaty, edgy mess, right?
If this is you, follow this recipe and you can send me gifts later. 😉 A winning lottery ticket would be lovely!
So what’s not to try. Right? They’re creamy, lump free if you use a potato ricer (my new best friend), flavorful, the only slightly crispy part is the teensy top edge rim that’s worth fighting for, (the sides and bottom stay completely creamy), and they just pop into the oven. I only wish I could’ve known about this YEARS ago!
The only thing I make now on Thanksgiving Day is rolls. That’s it. Yeppers. Rolls. And I’m very disappointed in Pillsbury’s Crescent Rolls now. Wow. What happened??? They sure have changed!! They used to be flakey and buttery! They seemed like regular roll dough to me now. Soooooo, I guess that’s next. Homemade bread or rolls decked out for the holidays, too. Why not. Everything else is homemade, so I guess I might as well make some kind of bread item as well. Next year. 😉 Plenty of time to work on something new!
I really do hope, if you don’t make something like this already, or maybe might like to try my version, that you’ll give these a try for your next holiday. They can’t be beat on soooo many levels! It’s dishes like this that keep the sanity in tact. Not only that, but allow you to enjoy your company that traveled to visit with you, and not have you scrambling and fretting in the kitchen. Enjoy, and don’t sweat the small stuff! Life’s too important! 🙂
CREAMY GARLIC, ONION & CHIVE MAKE-AHEAD POTATOES
8 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut up into large chunks
8 oz. sour cream
1 (8 oz.) container Philly Onion & Chive Cream Cheese
4 Tbl. soft butter (1/2 stick), cut up
1/2 – 1 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1-2 Tbl. sweet roasted garlic, or sub garlic powder to taste
2 Tbl. butter cut into small pieces (for top)
paprika, optional garnish
fresh finely chopped parsley, optional garnish
Place peeled and chunked potatoes into pot with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 20-25 minutes until tender all the way through. Drain potatoes into a colander. Press a few chunks at a time through a potato ricer into a large bowl. When all are done, add sour cream, cream cheese, 4 Tbl. butter, and salt and garlic to taste.
Transfer into a sprayed, large casserole or baking dish. Make divots with back of large spoon on top. Cover and refrigerate or bake now. Can be made several days in advance!
When time to bake, (* if removing from refrigerator let stand on counter for at least 30 minutes first), pop into a 350 degree preheated oven, covered, and bake for about 1 hour until hot all the way through. Remove and place a small pat of butter into each divot. Garnish top with a light sprinkling of paprika and fresh chopped parsley. Serve hot.