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Nov 6, 2008 07:55 AM

Dinner for 8 - Mashed Potatoes and....?

I am having some friends over for dinner this weekend, because I want to test keeping mashed potatoes warm for Thanksgiving. I was considering roasting a few chickens (so I can make some chicken stock for Thanksgiving) but I'm kind of over that idea. I'm interested in making this scallop & brussels sprouts recipe, but I think it's would be weird with MPs. I was also thinking of doing the pork loin recipe from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, but it's kind of my go-to recipe for larger dinners.

Any other ideas? Great recipes?

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  1. Braised lamb shanks, braised short ribs, and meatloaf all pair wonderfully with mashed potatoes.

    Re: keeping mashed potatoes hot, that is a very big deal to me, I hate tepid mashers, they should be illegal! I attended my cousin's very large (30+ ppl) Thanksgiving dinner for several years and was always so pleased that the mashed potatoes were really hot. The person responsible told me the trick is a little more moisture, which holds heat well and that makes sense to me -- think how quickly toast cools versus a piece of pizza, which has more moisture.

    4 Replies
    1. re: GretchenS

      For my first attempt, I am going to try and see how long I can keep them warm in my dutch oven. I plan on boiling the potatoes in it, returning to mash, and covering. If that doesn't work, I will try something else for Thanksgiving day :-)

      1. re: chowkari

        I would keep them covered on top of hot water [bain-marie] that is how they are kept hot in a restaurant.

        1. re: TDEL

          Crockpot is even better because there is heat on the sides not just the bottom. Restaurant mashed potatoes are rarely hot, in my experience.

          1. re: GretchenS

            I am a crockpot convert- much better than double boiler!!! They will stay warm but still a good consistency for up to 3 hours. Actually, maybe longer but I've never pushed it past 3 hrs.

    2. in my experience they will keep pretty warm in DO. i make them just a little drier than if i were serving immediately, store covered in the DO and at last minute turn low heat back on and stir the finishing hot butter and a little milk. good luck

      1. Just go to Sam.s or Costco and buy one of the small chaffing dishes they sekk this time of year. They work great for several hours and yes more liquid is a good idea.

        1. a choucroute garnie. Saurkraut always goes wonderfully with mashed potatoses.

          1. If you decide on pork, try embellishing your mashed potatoes with a little olive oil (instead of butter) two cloves of chopped garlic, about a tablespoon of lemon juice and half a cup or so of finely chopped toasted almonds (pecans work nicely too)
            If you need to thin them down a bit more use water, not milk. S&P to taste ... taste and adjust accordingly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: todao

              My mother-in-law is no longer with us but all of her grandchildren still rave about her mashed potatoes. Some claim that they learned how to do her method. She mashed her potatoes with a large wooden masher, mixed in milk, butter, s&p, sometimes a little cheddar cheese. Then she would put the potatoes in a pyrex casserole. She would put a thin layer of milk on top and put them in the oven for a period of time before serving. I am not certain how hot the oven was but it was probably 350 or less. Also I don't think there was an exact time that the potatoes were in the oven but they always came to the table straight from the oven. Modestly she gave all the credit to the potatoes that were grown in Ringtown, PA, near her home. We give her all the credit.

              I never learned my mother-in-law's method but my nine grandchildren are very happy with my mashed potatoes that are kept hot in a crockpot with a paper towel under the lid to absorb excess moisture.