Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes
You can make the potatoes today and refrigerate until time for baking.
9 medium potatoes (3 pounds)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1. Scrub potatoes. Leave skins on, if desired, or peel thinly and remove eyes. Cut into large pieces. Heat 1-inch water (salted if desired) to boiling in 3-quart saucepan; add potato pieces. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook covered 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Shake pan gently over low heat to dry potatoes.
2. Heat milk, whipping cream, butter, salt and pepper in 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Measure out 1/4 cup of the milk mixture; cover and refrigerate.
3. Add remaining milk mixture in small amounts to potatoes in medium bowl, mashing with potato masher or electric mixer after each addition. (Amount of milk needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy depends on kind of potatoes used.) Beat vigorously until potatoes are light and fluffy.
4. Spray 2-quart casserole with cooking spray. Spoon potatoes into casserole. Bake immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
5. Heat oven to 350º F. Pour reserved milk mixture over potatoes. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are hot. Just before serving, stir potatoes.
For extra flavor, sprinkle 1 cup crushed herb-seasoned croutons or shredded Parmesan cheese over mashed potatoes. Or place purchased basil pesto in a resealable plastic bag, snip off a tiny corner and drizzle pesto over potatoes.
Love garlic? Peel and finely chop 1 or 2 cloves and add to the potatoes before mashing in step 3.
Use a handheld potato masher for the fluffiest mashed potatoes. If using an electric mixer, do not mix too long; overmixing releases more starch from the potatoes and they can become gummy.