Monday, December 9, 2013

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (Crock Pot)

**Pardon the lousy photo- I took this in a rush on Thanksgiving, it's the best I could do!**

A few years ago my parents signed up to make the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and came with them in the crockpot to be kept on "keep warm" until dinner. I don't know what that idea had never crossed my mind but it hadn't and as soon as I saw that I knew that would be my preferred method for Thanksgiving going forward. Sometimes mashed potatoes can get thick and gross when made ahead but I found this method really keeps them perfectly moist. This year was my 5th year hosting Thanksgiving and I have to say it finally came perfectly with ease. The first two years I did too much- think personalized cookies for place seatings, gift boxes with ornaments to hold the leftovers, etc. I just did TOO MUCH. This led to an insane amount of stress. Then two years ago I was extremely pregnant (I had Landon 4 days after hosting Thanksgiving!), last year I had a baby, and this year I have a toddler. Needless to say my amount of effort has gone down (..dramatically...) and yet I'd argue the meal has gotten better. Sometimes less is more... and a less stressed host is definitely a positive.

So back to the potatoes. In my efforts to get as much done ahead of time as possible I made these the morning of Thanksgiving and put them in the crockpot on keep warm for about five hours. They were delicious and having one thing done, cooked, and hot before I even put the turkey in was a bonus!

Source: Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

5 pounds Russet potatoes (or a mix of Russet and yukon gold), peeled and chopped
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp garlic salt
Fresh ground pepper

Additional butter for greasing the crockpot

1- Place potatoes in a pot. Cover with water. Boil until soft.
2- Once cooked soft, drain and set aside. In the pot combine the milk, butter, and cream. Heat over low. Add the potatoes to the pot and mash (either use a hand mixer or a masher... I like to mash by hand because I like them more rustic, but for creamier ones whip them).
3- Fold in the sour cream, garlic salt, and pepper.
4- If not serving immediately, grease the inside of the crockpot with butter. Add the potatoes. Cover and place on "keep warm" (NOT low) for up to 5-6 hours. Stir periodically. If it seems like it's thick add more milk (mine didn't get thick).

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