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Keeping mashed potatoes warm....

chowkari Oct 27, 2008 07:11 PM

My boyfriend and I are hosting Thanksgiving for 20 this year. I am very excited, as I love to cook and entertain and have family over. I've started planning the menu and would like to cook as much as possible early in the day. I am curious about tricks for keeping mashed potatoes warm. I have heard about the crock pot method, although the only one I own is fairly small. I have a large dutch oven, and was thinking I could boil the potatoes in that, mash in the same pot and it will maintain the heat for at least an hour. Also, I am probably going to rent some chafing dishes.

Has anyone had luck with keeping MPs warm for dinner?

Cheers,
K

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  1. todao RE: chowkari Oct 27, 2008 07:28 PM

    The crock pot method works pretty well.
    If you have a very large bowl and another that will fit inside of it you can fill the smaller one with mashed potatoes, set it inside the larger bowl into which you've poured enough hot water to come half to three quarters of the way up the sides of the smaller bowl, put a lid on the smaller bowl and set the paired bowls in a low oven (<200 degrees). But don't figure on this working for more than about an hour; and you'll need to fluff your potatoes when you remove them from the oven.
    You can try my preferred method by doing the same thing but do it with your cooked potatoes and wait to mash them just before putting your dinner on the table. Use warm milk and room temperature butter to avoid cooling them down in the mashing process.
    If you're going to put them in a chafing dish, wait until the very last minutes. Personally, I hate chafing dishes. Reminds me of the self serve steam tables. It's a long story ......

    1. Non Cognomina RE: chowkari Oct 27, 2008 11:55 PM

      I'm a fan of the crockpot method. It's worth asking a friend or family member to borrow an extra one if yours is too small. I haven't had much luck with holding them in a chafing dish--it just doesn't keep them hot enough.

      P.S. Your smaller crockpot might be good for keeping the gravy warm. :)

      1. greygarious RE: chowkari Oct 28, 2008 07:54 AM

        If your serving bowl will fit into the dutch oven, put the mashed spuds into the bowl, cover it, then put a little boiling water into the dutch oven, put the bowl in, and put the lid on the dutch oven. You could set it on the counter on a folded bath towel and wrap another around and over it. At worst, you might have to replace the boiling water.

        1. Will Owen RE: chowkari Oct 28, 2008 11:44 AM

          At a presentation we attended, we heard Shirley Corriher say that mashed potatoes are much better reheated than kept hot, and so for the next holiday dinner I did as she advised: cooked and mashed the potatoes while the turkey was roasting, put them into a covered ovenproof dish and kept them at room temperature, then stuck them into a 300ยบ oven for twenty minutes before serving. They were perfect.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Will Owen
            greygarious RE: Will Owen Oct 28, 2008 12:42 PM

            Lucky you, Will! She is an endless fount of wisdom - I loved her appearances on Nathalie Dupree's shows and often consult my copy of "Cookwise". "Bakewise" is on my wishlist. I don't have cable so don't know if she's ever had her own show, but wish she were on PBS regularly. She'd be a great addition to the Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen folks, but doubt that so distinctly southern a woman would be at home in Boston, even though we'd love to have her nearby.

            1. re: greygarious
              Will Owen RE: greygarious Oct 28, 2008 01:09 PM

              When we lived in Nashville, we'd see Nathalie Dupree as often as once a year doing live demonstrations and book signings. The best visit was at one Southern book festival, where she was on a panel discussing Southern food with John Edgerton and the woman who'd cooked for the Arkansas governors, can't remember her name. Nathalie and I got to talking and had a lot of fun ragging on the Southern penchant for drowning sweet potatoes in brown sugar and marshmallows. She was always very sweet and approachable.

              I'm sorry to say I have none of Shirley's books, a shortcoming that I must soon address. When we saw her she was promoting her latest, but we were too broke to buy a copy and get in line to meet her.

            2. re: Will Owen
              c oliver RE: Will Owen Nov 17, 2008 04:17 PM

              Excellent idea. Could I microwave to reheat?

            3. chowser RE: chowkari Oct 28, 2008 12:41 PM

              If you have a rice cooker, I like to make my potatoes in that and leave them in (the rice keeper keeps them warm). Just before serving, I add warm milk, butter, garlic, etc. No matter what method you use to cook, though, I think it's better to mash them just before serving.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chowser
                k
                Karen K RE: chowser Nov 17, 2008 05:13 PM

                How do you make mashed potatoes in the rice cooker?

                1. re: Karen K
                  chowser RE: Karen K Nov 18, 2008 01:46 PM

                  I cook potatoes (peeled or not, cut into chunks) like I would rice and then just leave them. The rice cooker keeps it warm but it's a moist heat so they don't dry out or get gummy like they would if they were sitting in water. When I'm ready to serve, I mash and add other ingredients.

              2. Mattkn RE: chowkari Nov 18, 2008 06:43 AM

                ThePioneerWoman.com has a recipe for do ahead mashed potatoes and her stuff is generally delish. I might try them this year as I'm working the night before Thanksgiving. Though generally I'm in the must do at the last minute camp for perfect mashed potatoes. Let us know if you give it a try.

                1. s
                  somervilleoldtimer RE: chowkari Nov 18, 2008 10:23 AM

                  I take the MP (15 lbs!) to another's house. I make and mash them in my revereware stock pot, while warming my Le Creuset in the oven, and warming milk on the stove. when potatoes are mashed, I butter the Le Creuset, put the potatoes in, smooth the top, and pour the warm milk on top. This travels well (put in a cardboard box in case of spills in the car), and the potatoes don't dry out. If need be, put the whole thing in the oven or on top of the stove on very low heat to re-warm, and beat the milk from on top into the potatoes just before serving.

                  By the way, add roasted garlic!

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