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Subject: reheating mashed potatoes question.
Newsgroup: rec.food.cooking

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From: Nancy 
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 12:03:19 -0600
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I'm making Christmas dinner for the family and am making a nice sweet potato 
and apple recipe but would like to have mashed potatoes as well. (Having the 
usual assortment of turkey, ham, veggie side dishes, etc.) Question: can I 
prepare a casserole with mashed potatoes and heat in oven the next day?  I'm 
going to have too many things going on Christmas day & would like to prepare 
as much as possible the day before. Thanks.

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From: sue[at]interport.net (Curly Sue)
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 19:24:26 GMT
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Sure.  Just allow them time to heat through.

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From: Christine Ashby 
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 10:01:26 +1100
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Mashed potato reheats really well in the microwave. The mash will come
to no harm in the fridge overnight.

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From: nancy-dooley[at]uiowa.edu (Nancy Dooley)
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 15:26:02 GMT
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Just be careful with your storage - potatoes can really make you sick
if they're not cooled quickly and kept refrigerated, and then reheated
fairly quickly.  Don't cover the hot ones until they've cooled in the
fridge.

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From: Porter_C[at]gonzo.tch.harvard.edu (Christine)
Date: 19 Dec 1996 16:04:52 GMT
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Something wierd happens with the flavor of mashed (or baked) potatoes
when they are refrigerated.  The flavor changes to something that is a
bit sweeter and just plain different then when they are freshly made. 
I personally don't care for the flavor change, though it is not
terrible.  I think there is actually a chemical process that happens to
the potato starches when they are refrigerated.

I would avoid going this route unless you're really stuck. That said,
if your mashed potato casserole is heavily seasoned with other flavors
(e.g. lots of cheese, onions, etc.) then it's less of an issue.

To make the day less hectic, you can boil the potatoes ahead of time,
drain them, and leave them at room temp for a couple of hours.  Nuke em
to warm em up before you mash them, then nuke them again if necessary. 
Even mashing them a little ahead of time, then nuking them just before
serving would be OK. It's the refrigeration part that changes the
flavor of leftover potatoes.  Not being a slave to timing everything
right will help a lot.

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From: Malcolm Loades 
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 16:14:09 +0000
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I'm certainly no fan of microwave ovens and never cook in mine, but for
reheating mashed potato I see it as ideal.  Cover with cling film first
so that the moisture is trapped inside.  Reheating in the oven will take
too long and will dry out the surface of the potato, that is nice for
potato topped pies but not the texture you're seeking in plain mashed
potato.

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From: sue[at]interport.net (Curly Sue)
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 13:53:11 UNDEFINED
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If you cover them in the oven they won't dry out- same principle as covering 
them in the microwave!  Of course, one has to use foil or the casserole lid 
instead of plastic wrap.

Microwave will work too.

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From: Linda J. Hutchison 
Date: 20 Dec 1996 17:24:03 GMT
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Nancy asked:
>can I prepare a casserole with mashed potatoes and heat in oven the next 
>day? 

Absolutely!  I make the following and it's become a family favorite:

Prepare mashed potatoes according to your favorite recipe.  I
typically include generous butter, sour cream (or cream cheese), salt,
pepper, and sometimes chicken broth in place of milk or cream.  For
this recipe, the potatoes should still retain their shape (i.e., not
too "soupy").  

I like to include minced fresh herbs, too.  Basil being my favorite,
but parsley is also a nice substitute and gives an interesting
"flecked" appearance to the potatoes.  (Another interesting variation:
grate carrots and steam just until tender-crisp.  Incorporate carrots
into whipped potatoes for flecks of 'gold'.)

Generously butter a souffle dish or other 'straight-sided' casserole;
use care not to miss any spots.  Sprinkle with prepared bread crumbs
(I like to use the ones that are Italian seasoned).  Tilt and turn the
casserole until the crumbs adhere to the buttered dish - completely
covering the bottoms and sides.

Layer the potatoes in the casserole.  Alternate with layers of cheese.
Be inventive with your layers.  I saute green onions and muchrooms
and include in the cheese layer.  End with a potato layer.  

This can be made ahead and refrigerated.  Bake at 400 degrees for
45-60 minutes - this is going to depend on whether the casserole is
chilled and how large it is.  The potato will 
"puff".

Depending upon the consistency of your potatoes, you can cover the
casserole with a plate, invert the casserole, and out comes a golden
potato puff "crown".

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From: Christine A. Owens 
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 12:01:08 -0800
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This works fine -- just try to make it a slow oven, so that they aren't 
crispy on the edges and cold in the middle.  Another way is to heat them 
in the microwave on medium-low in 5 minute spurts, with interim stirring, 
until they are warmed through.

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From: Kristin Satterlee 
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 15:12:36 -0600
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I've never had any trouble reheating mashed potatoes.  I think
you'll be fine.


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