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Fat Guy

Potato Puree, Mashed Potatoes, Pommes

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Has anyone had success preparing mashed potatos a couple hours in advance and then holding their temperature? If so, what method have you used? I have seen them being held over a bain marie or being kept in a poaching bag in simmering water (they can then be piped from the bag). I haven't tried any of these techniques but was wondering if anyone else has and to what degree of success. Obviously restaurants do this - how do they do it? Any suggestions out there would be very much appreciated.

Is this worthwhile? How is the texture/consitency of potatos that have been holding for a while.

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Hey there canadiancook,

In restaurants what usually happens is that the mash is made beforehand and left to cool.

When a portion is needed, it is either microwaved (in a covered container so you dont develop a skin) or re heated in a saucepan over low heat.

Hope this helps.


How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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Has anyone had success preparing mashed potatos a couple hours in advance and then holding their temperature?  If so, what method have you used?  I have seen them being held over a bain marie or being kept in a poaching bag in simmering water (they can then be piped from the bag).  I haven't tried any of these techniques but was wondering if anyone else has and to what degree of success.  Obviously restaurants do this - how do they do it?  Any suggestions out there would be very much appreciated.

Is this worthwhile?  How is the texture/consitency of potatos that have been holding for a while.

It's hard to hold mashed potatoes for more than an hour without an adverse

effect on the taste.The mashed would be the absolutely last thing prepared

before service and I would leave them in the pot they were made in and left

in a water bath which worked very well.A second and third batch would be made up during the evening if required.

Reheating mashed would be a last resort,and could probably count on 1 hand the times we did that.But that is a pet peeve of mine.I don't know about anyone else here but I can detect reheated and it's totally unacceptable...for me.But it's seems to be common place everywere...too

bad.

Why would you want to make up the mashed a few hours ahead of time and

then try and hold them for service?

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Okay. Just about every place I worked did the mashed potatoes during prep time. I mean, really! :rolleyes: Cook 'em, run them through the food mill, mix in the butter, cream/sour cream/whatever. Cram them into a bain. Cover them with the wrappers from pounds of butter. Place them on the shelf over the stoves (NOT cooling, but keeping hot). When the order comes in, scoop out what you need into a saute pan, add whatever you add, stir as you heat them. Plate. That's it. Is this the best way to do it? of course not! But then I never worked for Joel Robuchon. Or wherever Oreganought has been. :wink:

I can't imagine doing it this way at home. Why would you want to do them hours ahead????? At work, it would be molto multi pounds of potatoes at one time. At home, how many servings -- and how many potatoes -- do you need to do? Even for a 12-person dinner party, that's still a small enough amount to do à la minute.

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To be honest, it depends.

If the mashers are being used just as a base for something braised meats with a rich jus, prepare before-hand (at prep) and reheat.

If the mashers are a more important element, then right at plating.

Fer bangers'n'mash yeh jus gets em as they be, old son. Wif a blacken' tomater.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I imagine that mashed potatoes with a higher proportion of butter/cream/sour cream/etc would hold up better than leaner incarnations.

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At a place I worked at in Melbourne, we would chop the spuds, boil 'em in batches, and then keep them warm in a just-bubbling pot till needed and mashed, whirled and mixed a'la minute. Is this what you guys meant when you say mashed a'a minute? Far as we were concerned, it was pre-boil, then finish before plating.


"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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thanks for the responses.

I actually worded my question wrong sort of. I don't think I would really want to hold them for as long as two hours...but maybe 20-30 minutes. However, when I do they don't seem to stay warm enough when just left covered in a pot and if I put them over a low flame they tend to dry out.

The reason for wanting to do this is for bigger dinner parties (more than 10 people). It always seems to get fairly hectic just before service while trying to make the sauce, sautee vegetables, heat bread, carve meat, plate dishes, etc. I just like finding out tricks or tips to cut down some of those "do at the last minute" things as long as they don't negatively affect the final product.

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Ahhh, I was wondering if you were asking professionally or for home use.

My mom uses something along these lines to keep her mashed potatoes hot when cooking holiday dinners:

Thermal Server

And to keep the grvay piping hot:

Thermal gravy pot

You can find items similar to these in your nearest Bed, Bath & Beyond, or home/kitchen shop.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Julia says you can make them ahead, but cover them and lay a wooden spoon between cover and pot. She said they don't get that off taste that way. And will also keep them warm.


I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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I, too, have read or seen, or something that potatoes will keep a fresh taste if held with the lid askew. Something about trapping the steam in makes them taste reheated. Can't remember where I read this...It was just recently, too.


Stop Family Violence

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completley unprofessional reply, but based on experience - i frequently have the potatoes cooked say 20-30 minutes before eating time (not necessarily on purpose either!). i find the best thing is to drain the potatoes and mash them. leave them with the lid ajar (the steam gets out and you want them to dry a bit). and then just before serving beat in the two tons of butter, warm milk, nutmeg etc.

yum yum.

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Has anyone had success preparing mashed potatos a couple hours in advance and then holding their temperature?  If so, what method have you used?  I have seen them being held over a bain marie or being kept in a poaching bag in simmering water (they can then be piped from the bag).  I haven't tried any of these techniques but was wondering if anyone else has and to what degree of success.  Obviously restaurants do this - how do they do it?  Any suggestions out there would be very much appreciated.

Is this worthwhile?  How is the texture/consitency of potatos that have been holding for a while.

Fresh, fresh and fresh.the only way to go. Any cook that pawns off reheats and such isn't a chef but a jumped up prep cook.

When you go to a restaurant your paying for freshly prepaired food not reheats that a monkey could do !!! :angry:

And if it were at home..make them{or your family} wait for fresh food. Always aim to serve fresh. Keeping things warm doen't do you or your food any favours and really negates the whole point of cooking fresh at home!!!

If your prepaired to put in the effort, then others should be able to wait a short while to enjoy the TLC that you've put into THEIR meal.

Any person with a problem over this should really consider 1/ why they cook, 2 who they cook for or 3 why bother with fresh food!


Edited by Verbena-NZ (log)

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Don't be shy, Verbena-NZ. You don't need to hold back. :wink:


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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while i think Verbena-NZ is perhaps a little too dogmatic - green beans, cooked, refreshed and when you'r ready reheated in a little water and butter seem the better for it to me - i agree with the sentiment about keeping your guests waiting.

My first marriage really ended when my ex-wife came down to eat dinner from her study where she had been working, ate the first course and then asked if there was going to be a gap before the main course. i said about ten minutes, and she promptly got up and went back to work, saying call me when its ready...annoyingly i persevered for another six years!


Edited by enthusiast (log)

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Coincidentally, I've just been wondering how I'm going to manage the mashed potatoes this Friday night when we host our holiday evening dinner.

Sometimes I make a mashed potato "casserole", aka Heart Attack potatoes. I keep the potatoes on the loose side, with lots of butter, half and half and sometimes cream cheese, then put it in a casserole-type serving dish. About twenty minutes before serving, I dot the top with butter and heat in the oven.

Definitely a different side dish than mashed a la minute, but we've never heard any complaints -- just lots of mmm's and groans.

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I'm a confessed potato pre-cooker as well, and this is the best way I've found to keep the spuds moist and fluffy (for up to an hour or so) until the rest of the meal is finished. This especially works best with whipped or pureed potatoes:

Make your potatoes as normal, but hold back just a little bit (on or 2 tablespoons) on the butter. Through the rest of the butter in a mixing bowl or bain marie over a hot water bath, add the potatoes and cover with plastic wrap. The butter will melt on the bottom and keep the potatoes on the bottom from drying out, and you can stir it all up (with a little more cream/milk) just before serving to restore that nice sheen.

Another thing: I usually go with a half cream/half milk mix when doing this, because cream tends to break when potatoes are held for extended periods of time.

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Don't be shy, Verbena-NZ. You don't need to hold back. :wink:

I don't mean to go on BUT>>>>>>>

As a chef here in London{originaly from NZ} I feel passionatly about the quality of the food I produce.

Fresh, fresh and still more fresh is the way forward.

Quality not quickness


Edited by Verbena-NZ (log)

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That was not a recipe, it was a field manual on the construction of a complex multi structured food based entity. Kinda takes the fun and frivolity out of cooking methinks. It's a good technical read if you like Tom Clancy novels...

... :blink:

But seriously, its a bit of a 'preservation' process isn't it? The use of the oven in the re-heating process doesn't seem to be highly time-efficient.

Heston has come up with some fairly wobbly-spined reciped in the Saturday Guardian (London newspaper) now and then.


"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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My librarian is about 70. She asked me yesterday how to make garlic mashed potatoes, since she's had them in restaurants a lot and wants to make them at home.

She was asking me questions that told me she hadn't cooked with fresh garlic in her entire life. I tried to come up with a number of cloves which would work for her (for 6 servings), and I tried to pare it back knowing I'm a garlic lover, but I'm afraid I recommended too many. :sad:

How much garlic is used in a restaurant-type of serving?


V

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Two or three heads, roasted in a toaster oven for 20-25 min. should work. The flesh will squeeze out easily if the tips are chopped off.

But if that is too hard, there are bottled garlic pieces available; two or three T. would suffice. I have always avoided this product because it smells like garlic breath, right out of the jar!

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I don't know the restaurant equivilent but I have a question for you - are you advising her to put fresh garlic in the potatoes or are you going to have her roast some garlic and then add it?

My thought would be to roast the garlic (cut the top off, put in shallow dish, fill with water to be level with garlic, cover with lid or foil and roast for 45 minutes or until soft at about 400)

Squoosh out the garlic cloves and mix/mash in with the mashed potatoes, butter, salt, pepper, cream - however she likes to make the potatoes.

I would advise two or three roasted cloves per potato when making the dish.

Then you can always add more if you want more garlic.

Any leftover? Spread on your bread!

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I would definitely recommend roasting the garlic too. And - for sheer ease of use - I like those little ceramic garlic roasters. They'll only take one head at a time - but they're cheap - and a whole head of garlic ought to be plenty unless she's cooking for a bunch of people. Robyn

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I would actually suggest roasting the garlic in a fresh rosemary and olive oil mixture. It's really yummy when mixed into the potatoes. :smile:

Also, if she doesn't want to deal with preparing garlic, most delis sell pre-roasted garlic cloves (ready to eat) or for a fresh, ready-made option, there is the jars of pre-minced fresh garlic sold at most local produce stores, like the Apple Farm Market stores.

The latter is sort of the equivalent of garlic "fast food", but it might be easier for her if she's not kitchen-handy.

My librarian is about 70.  She asked me yesterday how to make garlic mashed potatoes, since she's had them in restaurants a lot and wants to make them at home.

She was asking me questions that told me she hadn't cooked with fresh garlic in her entire life.  I tried to come up with a number of cloves which would work for her (for 6 servings), and I tried to pare it back knowing I'm a garlic lover, but I'm afraid I recommended too many.  :sad:

How much garlic is used in a restaurant-type of serving?

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