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Thanksgiving Dinner Menu - Ideas and recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner menu.
Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Recipe:
Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner
Yields: Makes 12 to 15 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Oven cook time: 40 min
Slow Cooker heat time: 3 hr
15 medium (5 pounds)
potatoes, peeled and quartered
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons onion powder
Salt and freshly-ground
black pepper to taste
egg whites, slightly beaten
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped chives (optional)
Preparing Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes:
Spray a large casserole dish with vegetable-oil cooking spray.
In a large pot, add cut-up potatoes and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and
let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Potatoes are done when the
internal temperature registers approximately 200 degrees F. on your
cooking thermometer. Overcooking can cause the potatoes to become gummy.
is the type of cooking thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers
asking what cooking thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the
photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent
thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
Remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander.
Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally.
NOTE: Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jellify and may even increase in volume
(becoming swollen and watery). That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after
they are cooked.
In the same cooking pan, mash potatoes with a potato masher or potato ricer until there are no lumps. NEVER use a blender, electric
mixer, or food processor to make mashed potatoes.
Note: Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, as anyone who has tried to make the side dish in a food processor can attest.
When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell. If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a
potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste. I personally use a
potato ricer when making mashed potatoes. Using a potato ricer, you can make velvety smooth mashed potatoes right at home because potatoes come out
fluffy without being gummy. Once you use the potato rice, you will never go back to the old traditional potato masher. If you don't have one and would like to
potato ricer, just click on the green link for What's Cooking Americas' online Amazon Store.
Add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper, egg whites, and chopped chives (if desired); blend well. Dot with butter.
Cool mashed potatoes slightly, cover, and then refrigerate.
The prepared mashed potatoes may be made up to a week ahead of time. If preparing ahead, place in an ovenproof baking dish, allow to cool
slightly, cover, and refrigerate.
When ready to heat the potatoes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Take potatoes out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Bake, loosely covered, 40 minutes or until steaming hot in center.
Crock Pot - Slow Cooker Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Recipe:
I, personally, like and use this crock pot/slow cooker version, as it frees up
my oven for other dishes when making my holiday meals. Heating the prepared
mashed potatoes in the crock-pot is a great way to keep the oven freed up for
the other dishes.
Take the prepared mashed potatoes out of refrigerator about 3-1/2 hours before
serving time. See Preparing Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes above. Place the mashed potatoes in the crock-pot/slow cooker.
Cover and use low heat for approximately 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
When you are ready to serve the mashed potatoes, stir, and then add some additional dollops of butter.
Leftover Mashed Potatoes:
If you have any leftover mashed potatoes, place them in a re-sealable plastic bag and freeze.
Makes 12 to 15 servings.