You can, but they won't taste as good.
You can cook the potatoes a day ahead and then heat them in the microwave and add hot milk or cream when you're ready to serve them. If you do this, I wouldn't mash them until they've been reheated.
Yes you can when you use cream cheese & sour cream instead of milk. They are called Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes.....I use garlic powder instead of onion powder.
You will have several days after peeling the potatoes to cook them, but only if you keep them submerged in water and refridgerated. This isn't recommended for non-commercial uses but many restaurants (even the four star ones) do this ahead of time to save some time, also they have the space and equipment to manage this easily. Remember, the longer you soak the raw potatoes, the more nutrients you lose.
Potatoes are native to the Andes Mountains in South America. A curious fact of culinary history is that there were no potatoes in Europe before the late 15th century. When potatoes are boiled, (a basic cooking method used in primitive cultures) the potatoes easily decompose in the water after a time. In fact, when making mashed potatoes, care must be taken not to overcook the mash. Chances are good that mashed potatoes (or something very much like them) were first eaten by the forebears of the indigenous Aymara and Inca people [who kept no surviving records of such trivia] in the Andes, millennia before Columbus.It's believed that Antoine Parmentier, a physician, was the first to make mashed potatoes, in a 1771 competition held in France.
Mashed potatoes can be made early, although they probably shouldn't be made TOO far ahead of time as they are at their best when they are first made. If you have a crock pot with a low enough setting that it would keep them warm without browning the potatoes around the edge, I don't see why you couldn't do that. But there's a way you can make them so that they will naturally retain a lot of heat for a while. Instead of boiling the potato cubes, I steam them. I remove them from the steamer, where they are hot, and not at all waterlogged like boiled potatoes. Heat butter and either (1) milk (2) half and half or (3) cream almost to the boil. You must combine all the ingredients together HOT. Nothing cold or room temperature except salt and possibly herbs touches the mashed potatoes when they are made. The steaming hot newly mashed potatoes absorb so much more liquid, they are light and creamy and wonderful. I will make a ten pound bags' worth at a time, so I have a very large bowls' worth, and they will retain the heat, even without covering, for a very long time, they're still quite warm an hour later.
Unfortunately, the smaller food pieces are, the faster they can go bad. This is especially true of mashed potatoes, which because they are mashed, have a lot of surface area to accelerate the aging process, and which don't freeze well. As long as you have a decently cold refrigerator, and you are good about putting the potatoes away right after they've cooled, they should be pretty good for a couple of days, but after that, its a race against time. If you use salted butter and add salt to the potatoes, that should help preserve them a little bit, but the minute you see them changing colors, a slightly grey or brown appearance, or any off smell, they should be thrown out. If I were serving them to guests, I wouldn't make them more than a day in advance, personally.
Mashed potatoes are usually made with potatoes, milk or cream, and perhaps butter. It is also popular to add cheese, roasted garlic, or other extras to mashed potatoes. One reason eggs might be mixed into mashed potatoes would be when preparing a batter for potato pancakes. ....................................... You can add an egg or two - whole eggs, or just the yolks - to potatoes after the milk, cream, or butter. Just push the potatoes out to the sides of the pan, drop in the just-beaten eggs and mix through. The potato mixture should still be warm, not hot. Add only sufficient egg to incorporate without the mixture becoming too soft; add one at a time if unsure. The added egg has the effect of making the mashed potato a little firmer on reheating, if you use the excellent option of making more than you immediately need and refrigerating the rest. Once the potato has been refrigerated overnight you can cut it into slices and fry in butter for a delicious light meal. A traditional Irish breakfast is bacon, started in a cold pan and fried on medium heat until crisp; set aside, raise heat to medium-high and put a couple of slices of yesterday's mashed potatoes into the bacon fat (with a little butter, heated to foaming, if you like). Fry until browned on each side, set aside and keep warm while you quickly fry one egg per potato slice. Serve each potato slice with an egg on top, bacon on the side: you'll be glad you did! You can also cut the mashed potato into squares and bake, as for duchess potatoes, below. Adding egg to mashed potato is also good when using the potato as topping for a baked dish; the potato becomes firmer on baking, and is crisper on top. Side dishes such as duchess potatoes (potato cakes) are made by mashing potatoes, butter and egg yolks together. Spoon or pipe into small heaps, about the size of a half-apple, onto a nonstick or greased tray or baking paper, brush lightly with egg yolk (beaten with sufficient water to make it coat the potato easily) and bake at 200C (400F) for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Use a proportion of two yolks to 750g (24oz) potatoes when making duchess potatoes. Plain mashed potatoes and potatoes mashed with egg can be frozen. Duchess potatoes can be made a couple of days ahead and refrigerated, covered, until ready to bake. For a quick meal, slide a tray of pre-made duchess potatoes into the oven while you cook lamb chops or cutlets in a pan. Use wine or stock to deglaze the pan and reduce to make gravy; serve with a green vegetable if you like, and the potato cakes.
They will also turn brown if left exposed to the air long enough. The browning is oxidation. Plain raw potatoes that are sliced so the inner starch is exposed to the oxygen in the air will 'rust' or turn brown. Mashed potatoes are cooked and have other ingredients added to them like salt, butter, milk, etc. This cooking and the additives helps preserve the potatoes from oxidation for a longer period of time.
Potatoes had not made their way into the American colonies in 1621, so neither mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes would have been on the menu. There would not have been any bread stuffing for the main dish, but they would likely have stuffed their birds with nuts and berries, which was the custom at the time. Finally, there would not have been any sweet corn at that time either.
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