So I started experimenting with things and seeing what would work when made ahead of time. Over time, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that most of the potato sides we like can be done ahead of time, at least partially.
Here are some of the potato dishes I've successfully cooked during stolen moments:
- Cheesy Potatoes - Can be completely assembled ahead of time and cooked for an hour before dinner.
- Twice-baked stuffed potatoes - Can be finished completely ahead of time and warmed before eating.
- Homemade oven fries - Potatoes can be sliced in desired fry shape, placed in a bowl, covered with ice cold water, and stored in the refrigerator until baking time. Actually, this step results in even better french fries than those just baked immediately because they turn out crispier and more authentic tasting.
- Casseroles using potatoes - Can be fully assembled well before being baked.
- Rosemary potatoes, broasted potatoes, garlic oven-roasted potatoes, etc. - For dishes like these, the potatoes can either be cubed and stored in water as stated above, or they can be boiled for about 10 minutes, mixed with oils, butter, sauces and/or seasonings, and stored in the baking dish in the refrigerator.
- Homemade hashbrowns, fried potatoes, or any other type of stove-top cooked potatoes - Can be cooked completely and reheated and re-crisped on the stove or in the microwave.
- Even our newest favorite, Crash Hot Potatoes from Pioneer Woman - Can be completed up through the boiling of the potatoes hours before dinner time.