I like to serve mashed potatoes at my church suppers but I hate to make them! I don't like to use instant potatoes; they just don't taste the same. I've come up with a couple of methods that work pretty well. Still, it seems to me that mashed potatoes are so labor intensive and messy..ugh!
Here are my two favorite methods for good mashed potatoes:
Use instant potato flakes, but for each large box of instant spuds, buy a 28 oz bag of loose shredded hash brown potatoes (frozen). Thaw them. Make the instant potatoes as directed. Dump the thawed hash browns into a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes. This will cook the hash browns. Then beat 1 cup hot milk and 1 stick butter into the hash browns with a stand or hand mixer. Add the "mashed" hash browns to the instant potatoes. Mix well. Adjust consistency with hot milk or butter. This gives the instant potatotes the texture, and little lumps, and flavor of homemade.
The other way is just the old fashioned way. But I stab a potato with a granny fork and theln peel with a good peeler like a Pampered chef peeler. Using the granny fork helps me to peel very quickly and my hands don't get tired.l rest the potato on the edge of the sink while I peel. I can whip through 40 lbs of spuds pretty quickly this way.
Any other tips on making mashed potatoes for groups easily would be greatly appreciated! How do you do it?
My MIL buys what I call "fake potatoes" LOL! One of our local grocery stores has a deli and they make mashed potatoes for a side just about every day.( a lot of people eat lunch there) Anyway they also sell the "fake potatoes" in a large can (it's around $9). It is more like a powder (not flakes) and they are delish!!! They taste just like real mashed potatoes, you would NEVER know they are fake. Maybe check with your grocery store to see if they sell this item.
Generally, when I cater if it is for a group of 100 or less I will peel and mash potatoes and hold them in an electric roaster. I mash them with lots of real butter and some sour cream and half and half. They hold up very well for an hour or so on low in the electric roaster.
For larger groups, I use an instant potato I get from a local wholesaler and prepare with milk instead of water, add butter and sour cream and mix it half and half with real mashed potatoes. They're very good mixed together. I even fooled my brother once (he's a mashed potato connoisseur) using the potato pearls (extra buttery variety) and preparing them with milk, butter and sour cream.
I've been forced to use the instant but will only use one brand (Idahoans) and mix with real potatoes, butter and sour cream to hold them. When I serve the Thanksgiving dinner I use this method and get the large bags of potatoes at Sams Club. I go through two of those huge bags and keep them hot in a Nesco.
THANK you for the idea of the hash browns. Will try that next time.
I've often used only REAL potatoes and made the "Make Ahead" or "Fattnin Mashed Potatoes" with the butter, sour cream and cream cheese in. Just a hint..Add a few dashes of white pepper and nutmeg and it gives them something that has people guessing. This recipe keeps for a couple of days and can even be frozen with sucess if there are left-overs.
The last big church dinner I cooked for was just around Christmas with a Dinner Theater our church put on. We had to serve two nights and let me tell you those Make Ahead mashed potatoes saved us. Lots of peeling to begin with but well worth it.
I think the next function coming up is our Prime Timer's group (the seniors) and we will be having a meal and old fashioned Hymn Sing night.
Any ideas for a meal?
Soups sound good! Our region would likely look for crusty bread of some kind, but the soup definitely would be popular!
Well, I tried responding to this once. We shall see if it goes through this time.
One of the last dinners I did for the Prime Timers was a soup supper. DH had the guys help him make homemade ice cream. They had such a great time and it brought out a lot of memories fromt the entire group.
Gotta be crusty bread here too.
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