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19140649:CL_DEC2013(16)

11/22/2013

12:07 PM

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[food and dining] Holiday trick to mashed potatoes

One of the most stressful parts of hosting a large dinner party is figuring out how to time everything so all the food arrives at the table piping hot and at its prime. Traditional mashed potatoes pose a special problem. You can try making them ahead of time, then reheating them at the last minute, but then they tend to taste stale. Here's my solution — cook and mash the potatoes without any seasonings or dairy the day before, then pop them in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve them, nuke them and add the dairy at the last minute. Whether you use fancy gadgets or a fork, this recipe will work. But whatever you do, do not put the hot, cooked potatoes in a food processor, blender or mixer. You will end up with wallpaper paste. MAKE-AHEAD LIGHT MASHED POTATOES Start to finish: 1 day plus 1 hour and 20 minutes (20 minutes active) Servings: 10 10 small to medium russet potatoes (about 5 pounds) 1 to 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 chunks Salt and ground black pepper, to taste Heat the oven to 400° F Use a paring knife to prick the potatoes in several places. Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the oven's middle shelf until a knife goes through with no resistance, about 45 to 50 minutes. After they are baked, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp from each potato half and transfer it, in batches, to a ricer or a food mill fitted with the finest blade. Force the potatoes through the ricer or mill into a microwave-safe bowl. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, microwave the potatoes, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for 2 minutes. Stir and heat for another minute. Repeat the procedure until the potatoes are hot. Stir in 1 cup of the milk, the sour cream, the butter, and salt and pepper to taste, then heat for another minute, or until hot. Thin with additional milk if you prefer a lighter, softer texture. Serve immediately.

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Cobb Life December 2013

Cobb Life Dec. 2013  

Cobb Life Dec. 2013

Cobb Life Dec. 2013  

Cobb Life Dec. 2013