Easter's around the corner, when ham and potatoes take a traditional bow. Here's how to make mashed potatoes easier -- plus lots more holiday-ready potato recipes!
If mashed potatoes are your family's thing, this make-ahead mashed potato recipe will be your new BF, saving you time on Easter Sunday or any day you plan to please the crowd with taters that are perfectly mashed and piping hot.
Mash Those Potatoes
If you're the hostess with the mostess for holidays and family gatherings, you probably have made your share of last-minute mashed potatoes. No matter what meat is served—ham, turkey, beef, chicken or pork—dinner guests always love homemade mashed potatoes any time of year.
The thought of mashing all those potatoes on the day of the meal makes many of us dash to the store and buy those plastic tubs of mashed potatoes from the deli. Eeeeuw. Am I the only one that can tell those aren't homemade a mile out?
Instead, use this easy make-ahead mashed potato technique and serve delish potatoes that'll grab the kudos. You can make these up to a week in advance of any party or holiday.
Skip the Peeling
No matter how hard you try, you simply can’t get out of peeling the potatoes -- or can you? Check it out: Place those taters in a 450 degree oven (stick them with a fork a few times—after you’ve washed off the dirt). Let them cook until done—about an hour or so, depending on your oven.
Get out a large bowl and throw in one cup (2 sticks) of butter. Place a potholder in the palm of your hand and grab a cooked potato. Slice the potato down the middle and use a small spoon to dig out the potato meat (can it be called meat?). Throw the potato meat in the bowl, allowing it to soften the butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Continue until all potato halves have been attacked by the spoon and you have a mound of potatoes in the bowl. (Keep those skins for an appetizer—yum).
Next, throw the cup of milk in the microwave for a minute—mashing with cold milk never works. You can also use chicken broth or stock if you're watching the waistline.Another idea:
Another way to avoid peeling potatoes is to make skin-on mashed potatoes. This is an upscale restaurant variation, served with bits of potato skin, garlic and butter mixed in. Give it a try if you're feeding a crew that has adventurous or curious tastes!
Find the Mixer
Pull out your mixer, retrieve the milk from the microwave that’s beeping at you, pour in a little at a time and start mixing on high—turning the bowl and adding milk as needed. A good trick here is to place the potato mixture in the microwave to soften it up, especially if you’re using a hand mixer.
Once your potatoes are mashed and cooled, place in storage containers and freeze. The day before your event, take the taters out of the freezer and place them in the refrigerator to thaw. If they need further help, place 'em in the microwave on the "defrost" setting until they are fully thawed.
Before everyone arrives, pop those thawed taters in the microwave, warm up and place in your usual mashed potato dish. Finally, when your guests arrive, look tired and talk about your potatoes—a lot. No one will notice the difference.
More Easy Potato Recipes
For Easter, any holiday or any day for that matter, potatoes are the best go-with around! Try these easy variations on traditional taters:
For more mashed potatoes how-tos, see these related articles: