I have a question about the recipe "Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions" from Food52. Can this be made ahead?
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Pegeen is a trusted home cook.
Day before serving:
Do step 1 (caramelize onions), let them cool completely. Put in an air-tight container and refrigerate.
Peel potatoes (don’t boil unpeeled as recipe instructs) and chop into uniform-size pieces. Put in large pot and cover with at least 1 inch of water. (Do not salt the water.) Put in fridge or somewhere cold, like a garage, if it’s consistently 40 degrees F or less (although you don’t want the water and potatoes to freeze overnight).
Day of serving:
Take onions out of fridge and let come to room temperature.
Bring pot of potatoes inside and let come to room temperature. Then salt the water, put on stove and boil until potatoes are done. (Knife inserted slips in easily.) Drain. Spread out several dishtowels and lay out potatoes on dishtowels in a single layer to cool.
You are now on step 3, “puree the caramelized onions in food processor…” etc. and mash with potatoes.
At this time, if you want to keep the mixed potatoes & onions warm, keep warm in a crock pot on low heat or in a large bowl over a pot of very gently simmering water. Put a lid, or if you don't have one big enough, a dishtowel, over the bowl of mashed potatoes. Remember to keep them on the lowest possible simmer.
[I know, it's a juggling act. On Thanksgiving day, I just want people (except for one or two of The Trusted) to keep a 6-foot distance so I can check the bird, make the mashed potatoes and then the gravy. It's like a Navy carrier landing when you have to trip 5 wires at the same time to land the plane on deck. :-)
p.s. If you cover the mashed potatoes with a dishtowel, please be careful that the ends are nowhere near the flame on your range top. Might be a good idea to wet it and wring it out so that it's less prone to flame.
And if you don't have a lid large enough to cover, instead of a damp dishtowel, you could use a large, flame-proof plate or platter. Which is sort of handy if you need to warm up a platter to serve something else.