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Thanksgiving Potatoes that can be served at room temperature or cold

Any ideas for a potato dish that needs to be served cold or at room temperature? This is for a Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you!

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  1. Cold? No, but roasted potatoes are fine at room temp.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      It looks like I'll be taking everything to a nursing home. I want to make this as easy as possible to set up. I know the turkey roulade is fine at room temp, but the potatoes??? I adore potato salad but it doesn't seem right for Thanksgiving. We don't eat bacon, so that rules out the german-style. Do roasted potatoes seem like they's loose their crispness served cold? I'm transporting them 1 1/2 hours away.

      1. re: DaisyM

        Surely the nursing home has a microwave you could use.

    2. You're roaming into potato salad territory.

      1. Here's a recipe for Peperonata (Italian, of course) that serves well at room temperature:

        1. A sweet and sour German-style potato salad would work. It's made with either a bacon and vinegar dressing or just a whole mess of sauteed onions and vinegar (or both). It's not a mayonnaise potato salad so it doesn't come off like picnic food and it can be served warmish or at room temp. Would definitely work for Thanksgiving. Don't have a recipe right at hand, but I'm sure you could google one up pretty easily.

          1. Potato salad - or any room temp or cold version of a typical hot holiday dish - accentuates the fact that this is not a true holiday celebration. I'd keep the foods as hot as possible during transport (there are plenty of posts about using hot bricks, chemical reaction hand-warmers, and the like to keep the heat in an insulated cooler). Mashed potatoes can be reheated in an oven or microwave. You might even look into books (e.g. Manifold Destiny) and threads about cooking on car engines. Well-wrapped in foil, and securely-located, your food would stay piping hot.

            2 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              I've taken food to this place before, most recently bagels and lox, etc. The room where we can do this just has tables and chairs. So, I literally brought everything including tablecloth, and plastic bags to clean up. I'm not going to ask to use their kitchen, because they will be preparing food for the rest of the residents. I'll look read about keeping food warm. I'm just trying to make this as nice and festive as possible.

              1. re: DaisyM

                Food satys very warm wrapped in towels and put in a cooler. Roasted potatoes would be fine that way. They do lose their crispness a bit but are still wonderful.

            2. I've made a vinaigrette / herb potato salad a few times this summer with red or new potatoes, the dressing mixed in warm potatoes and chilled, then fresh basil and thyme or oregano from the garden stirred in at the last minute. I think it would work for Thanksgiving, as it's not the standard picnic potato salad. And it's fine room temp or cold.

              1. Would you have access to an electrical outlet? If so, you could hold mashed potatoes in a crock pot. Cook the potatoes as you normally would. Warm the crockpot insert with boiling water. Dump out the water, put your potatoes in the warm crockpot and cover, wrap with a couple towels and put the whole thing in a cooler to transport.

                4 Replies
                1. re: gmm

                  Gmm, we are both up early! I was JUST thinking about the crockpot! We do have one. I'm pretty sure the room has an outlet. Great idea.

                  1. re: gmm

                    Great idea!

                    I've made "dirty" roasted fingerlings before and served them room temp. The "dirty" part, olive paste, could be toned down or skipped, and the potatoes witll still be delicious.

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      Can you explain how you make the finderlings with olive paste? That sounds wonderful.

                      1. re: DaisyM

                        In a food processor, pulse lots of pitted kalamata and black Greek olives with red pepper flakes, parsley, and chopped garlic. Add in a drizzle of olive oil To make a paste.

                        Roast fingerlings with olive oil until crispy. Toss hot potatoes with olive mixture.

                  2. I'd consider making a Spanish omelette or escalloped potatoes. Delish at room temp.

                    1. Might there be a microwave there? There usually is for patient's use. How about that famous potato dish - i made it a couple of times - most people on here are crazy about them - not me particularly - i think they are called funeral potatoes?!! I know, sounds morbid, but many people like them - and they can be served at room temperature - or you can heat them in a microwave if you have that access.

                      1. How about a potato galette? Yes it's better warm, but it could hold up to be served at room temperature. Or a potato tart. You could even mix in some sweet potatoes for color. The tart definitely works at room temp or cold.

                        1. do "make ahead" mashed potatoes (there are a million jillion recipes on the internets) and put them in a crock pot.

                          1. Potato Gratin is wonderful at RT (though I agree with other posters that you could probably work out a crock pot, or plug-in oven, or figure out a cooler with heat added and towels, etc.).

                            Potatoes cooked sliced thinly, bathed in 1/2 cream, and 1/2 milk, clove of garlic swabbed on the vessel, salt and pepper - layered up, cooked at 400 ° until truly browned on top, rippling with simmering in the oven. Cooled at least until just hot to serve, or packed up while hot and alllowed to rest while you put all the dishes for the 'thanksgiving meal' into the cooler - hot, and transport them to your guest at another location.

                            Cans of sterno under sheet pans in an enclosed box is the no-outlet' option you can use. I am sure some internet searching will help you with hot food if it must all be hot.

                            But this would be GREAT at RT or just warm.:)

                            1. I too would vote for the Crock Pot or a large thermos.

                              1. Hi Daisy,

                                If this is going to be a regular feature in your lives, I wonder if there is some way you can spring for an insulated catering container?

                                They are not cheap, running close to $100 for an entry level model. But if taking meals to nursing home folk for holidays is going to be something your family is going to be doing over the years, this is worth thinking about. They keep food at the 40-140F range for 6 hours, so you can be sure you are keeping the safety of elderly or fragile folk firmly in mind.