I wish I had found this site earlier and asked this question earlier!! I was just in a situation where I needed mashed potatoes for 170 persons. I work in a church kitchen where I have two "home" ovens with electric stove tops, but industrial size pots and pans. We opted to use canned/cooked potatoes (pomme de terre), where we drained, rinsed, and heated, then HAND mash (my volunteer refused to use the mixer, saying it would make them too runny and flat) with plenty of butter and cream and creme fraiche, salt and white pepper. We put it in tin foil disposable roasting containers to serve. My question, is for this many people and with the available oven space....we had 50K of turkey baking and could only use the stove top....what would be your way to get mashed to the masses, along with the rest of Thanksgiving dinner?
Holding mashed potatoes for service - Page 2
1. Batches. When you're doing large quantities in or on small equipment, you've got to think "batches."
2. Shoot the volunteer and get someone else. The last thing you want is a helper with opinions. Especially wrong ones.
3. Boil the potatoes at the last possible minute in salted water, turn off the flame when they are between almost and barely cooked, and hold them covered in hot water to let them drift into done. You've got about a half hour window of acceptability. If the spuds get a little mushy, so what? You're mashing them anyway.
4. Bring a mixture of of milk and heavy cream nearly to the boil. Season it lightly with salt and nutmeg. Cover and turn the heat down to a bare simmer.
5. Drain the potatoes into a dry pot, and cook them briefly on your hottest flame to get rid of excess water. Water is not your friend. Drying the potatoes will make them fluffy. A good thing.
6. Place the warmed, dry potatoes in the stand mixer in whatever amount your mixer can handle. Add your dairy mixture very hot to bring some heat to the potatoes. Then add cold butter because cold butter makes for better texture and tastes better. Adjust for salt.
This is what I used to do for mash potato on service.
You boil your potatoes then rapidly cool and mash them. Put them into containers and make sure it safe ice cold.
Then you reheat it when you want it with you butter, cream cheese etc. There is nothing wrong with this method all you have to do is ensure the potatoes are hot! You do them 5 min service of the item.
Mashed potatoes can be done relatively effortlessly.. I've never really done them in advance, but the prep cooks at a restaurant I just recently left (terrible working conditions, no one really cares about food -- or knows what they're doing for that matter, and even worse management) would do them in large batches (usually eight four-inch hotel pans) at a time and store them over the next couple days. While I prefer doing my mashed just before service, they didn't hold too badly. I think the trick would be not to pipe them out until service.. leave them covered in a pan until then, and make sure you mix them well before piping too.
I would just make a recipe of "Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes". They are supposed to hold for something like 2 weeks. I like the flavor of them better than regular. I can look for my recipe but it doesn't have milk in it....just cream cheese and sour cream. Let me know if you are interested in the recipe.
+1 what Chef Bubba said....having mashed potatoes for 2 weeks is dangerous to state the least....don't do it!!!
CT members please remember this is a pro forum, if you are an at home cook you may read but not post here....there are numerous forums in the general section which have super info for you.
I just made Duchess Potatoes in Culinary School today. This is a great potato side to hold over for service. Just don't add to much butter. Err on the addition of more cream instead and when you bake the piped potatoes they will stay stiff. Here is a recipe:
I've never had much luck reheating mashed potatoes in an oven, especially once piped. If you want to do them in advance, have you thought about doing duchess style potatoes, which are basically mashed potatoes with egg yolks added. They hold together better and aquire a nice golden tone too. It shouldn't be a problem adding the chives ad horseradish too.