Whether you’re hosting four or 40 people this Thursday, finding the time and the kitchen space to cook a perfect Thanksgiving dinner can seem like an especially puzzling math problem. And, while preparing certain dishes ahead of time can help solve those logistical issues, some of the most important seasonal classics just aren’t the same when reheated.
Among the offenders are mashed potatoes, which tend to lose their smooth texture once they’ve been stored in the refrigerator because the butter hardens. Considering that butter is a large part of the reason mashed potatoes are such a crowd favorite in the first place, it’s not exactly an option to get rid of it. However, according to Food & Wine’s Culinary Director Justin Chapple, there is something you can do.
In a recent installment of his video series Mad Genius Tips, Chapple shares the secret ingredient for scrumptiously smooth premade mashed potatoes, and it might not even require an extra trip to the grocery store: mayonnaise.
Chapple still uses a generous 1½ sticks of unsalted butter for 4 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, but he also adds 1 cup of mayonnaise—just enough to keep the potatoes creamy without seriously impacting the flavor.
To prove that his Mad Genius Tip works, Chapple then drops a spoon into each of two bowls of refrigerated mashed potatoes (one with mayonnaise, and one without). The spoon sinks right into the mayonnaise-d potatoes, while the other spoon bounces off the unyielding surface of the butter-only recipe.
Watch the video below to see exactly how the magic happens, and check out the recipe here.
[h/t Food & Wine]