I've been getting a lot of emails asking if I have a recipe or technique for preparing mashed potatoes the morning of or even the day before Thanksgiving. My answer is no. There are recipes out there for precooking mashed potatoes but I don't agree with any of them.
It's my opinion; mashed potatoes are one of the most important elements of Thanksgiving dinner especially since they are the conduit for turkey gravy and how I love turkey gravy. To not cook, mash and serve right away is a bad idea and one I don't subscribe to trying at your own holiday dinner.
But because there are some of you who don't have a choice, will be pressed for time and must cook your potatoes before the rest of the meal, you may want to check out Shirley O. Corriher's recipe for Two-Step Mashed Potatoes from her cookbook CookWise. I have not tried her recipe but CookWise is a great cookbook and it has been well received over the years.
If you are interested in making your mashed potatoes with the rest of your turkey dinner and mash them just before serving, I just updated my Mashed Potato recipe to describe four important aspects to making great mashed potatoes. In the recipe I talk about
- What type of potato you to use?
- How you cook them so they are not starchy?
- How you mash them for different textures?
- What you can add to them?
It's my belief how you like your mashed potatoes depends on what you were served as a kid and the four topics above will allow you to recreate any style of mashed potatoes you like. Whether you like them smooth and creamy, textured or fluffy, the answer is in these four questions.
At the end of the Mashed Potato recipe there are a few of the many responses I've received from other home cooks over the years describing ways they like to prepare their own mashed potatoes. I welcome you to describe some of your own secrets to great mashed potatoes in the comment section below.
I look forward to reading your comments.