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Keeping Peeled Asparagus and Peeled Potatoes

To anyone that has worked in catering or restaurant kitchens:

I am having a large party in a couple of weeks. I would like to prep as much as possible in advance.

My questions are:

Can I peel asparagus the day before cooking them. Typically, I store unpeeled asparagus in the refrigerator in a container with a little water in the bottom?

Can I store peeled potatoes in cold water in the refrigerator? Since I am making mashed potatoes will storing them as noted reduce the starch in the potatoes?

Thank you for any help you can offer.

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  1. The starchiness of the potato depends on the varietal, not whether it's per-peeled, or soaked in water. Change the water often when it becomes cloudy. If you must peel the asparagus layer them on damp dish cloths, or paper towel. Do not soak.

    1. Yes & yes, It's done all the time in restaurants. I give the asparagus a fresh cut before I put it in the water, standing up. You can keep asparagus several days like this, just change the water and make a fresh cut daily. I wouldn't worry about starch loss if you're making mashed potatoes.

      5 Replies
      1. re: zackly

        I know what you recommend is good for fresh whole stalks, but PEELED asparagus?

        BTW, the whole thing about cutting the stalk where it naturally bends results in needless waste. With thicker stalks of green asparagus, cut off the white end, peel, and feel. Then do a second trim if the end is still woody.
        Pencil-thin stalks need no peeling and are usually tender almost to the end. If it's green, don't remove it. Just trim off the dried-up end, maybe a scant half-inch if you've chosen well.

        1. re: greygarious

          Sorry, I didn't notice the "peel" part. I'm so used to never buying asparagus that need to be peeled (although I like them better)because I'm lazy. What you can do is peel, cook, shock & refrigerate laying them down in a refrigerator. Once the peel is off I would not stand up in water.

        2. re: zackly

          Laying them flat prevents them from bending which doesn't present as nice. Also they become somewhat waterlogged.

          1. re: letsindulge

            I don't know about peeled, but unpeeled asparagus standing with its trimmed "feet" in water stands at attention like a palace guard.

            1. re: greygarious

              I was referring to peeled asparagus since that is the OP's question.

        3. Storing peeled potatoes in cold water in the refrigerator is ok for a few hours, but not overnight. Both the texture and flavor of the potatoes will suffer and it'll affect the finished product.

          As far as asparagus, I'm with the other posters - why bother peeling it?

          1. The reason for peeling is that they are very thick and have a stringy outer layer.

            1. Another yes & yes, from me. When I buy asparagus, I either snap off tough ends or use veggie peeler on them if thick spears... skinny ones snap off too easily. Then into a storage bag, sometimes with a damp paper towel... good for several days in fridge.

              For peeled potatoes, like to weight them down to make sure they're totally UNDER water to avoid ugly dark spots. Works with white or sweet potatoes. Before Thanksgiving, peeled sweet potatoes a few days ahead of time... garage was already pretty chilly, so just stashed container out there.

              NOTE: Peelings or snapped off ends from asparagus & peelings from (especially) sweet potatoes do NOT agree with a garbage disposal AT ALL!! Same with scraps from artichokes. DON'T DO IT, unless ya wanna possibly need to call a PLUMBER!!

              1. Thank you so much, I appreciate all of your comments and advice.

                1. How many is a "large party"? IMO leave the protective covering on the asparagus until the last moment. Although I won't remove it in the first place. Just snap off the woody end and lay them on a really hot grill/broiler. A little salt. NO oil!