One of the biggest time consumers of any holiday meal is the mashed potatoes. The washing, peeling, cutting and mashing can take a long time. There are a few simple tricks you can use to speed up the process and make holiday mashed potatoes simple. There are even ways to make sure your mashed potatoes are perfectly smooth and stay warm throughout the entire meal. This year, your mashed potatoes will be one of the easiest side dishes to prepare.
Prep the Potatoes the Day Before the Holiday
Instead of waiting until you’re in the middle of preparing all the other dishes for your holiday meal, prep your potatoes the day before. The process of prepping mashed potatoes is the longest part. Washing, peeling and cutting the potatoes the day before can save you a lot of time to focus on other dishes. To keep the potatoes fresh, rinse the potatoes to remove excess starch and then cover the potatoes in cold water. Place the container in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will keep the potatoes from turning brown.
Get the Mashed Potatoes Done Early
You may be tempted to prepare your mashed potatoes last, but that isn’t necessary. Preparing mashed potatoes first gives you time to focus on everything else. Just make sure to remove the potatoes from the water as soon as they are done cooking. If you allow them to sit in the water too long, they will become water logged.
Don’t Get Fancy
If you want to keep your holiday dinner simple, skip the fancy ingredients. Mashed potatoes don’t need fancy seasonings, cheeses or anything else to make a holiday meal complete. All you need is real butter, cream and salt and pepper. If you’re making mashed sweet potatoes, you will want to skip the salt and pepper and add some brown sugar and possibly some cinnamon to enhance the flavor.
Use a Stand Mixer or Ricer for a Smooth Consistency
Chances are you’ll have a large amount of potatoes to mash and using a masher can make the job far from simple. A ricer is a great tool to use and a lot less expensive than a stand mixer. All you have to do is place the potato pieces in the ricer in small batches, close the ricer and rice the potatoes into a large bowl. Next, fold in your butter, seasonings and cream. You’ll have creamy mashed potatoes that can’t be beat. If you already have a stand mixer, pour your drained potatoes into the stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to mash them. Once the potatoes start to mash, add the butter, cream and seasonings and continue mashing just until smooth. If you overwork the potatoes they will become gummy.
Keep Mashed Potatoes Warm in a Slow Cooker
Preparing mashed potatoes ahead of time can save you time, but you’ll of course need a way to keep them warm. A slow cooker is the perfect option. A slow cooker set to warm will keep mashed potatoes at the perfect temperature. You do need to remember to keep the lid on the slow cooker as much as possible to prevent the potatoes from drying out. If they do start to dry out, add more butter and cream.