Monthly Archives: September 2009

Freezer Cooking – Potatoes

So, freezing potatoes…a lot of people say “NO WAY”, that their texture is destroyed, that it’s no good to freeze a potato. I have to say though, I have not had a problem freezing potatoes. One important thing to remember is that when you do freeze potatoes, you MUST cook them first. Some people just blanch them, and that seems to work well too.

 

I did some research on the subject and found that there are many who agree with me. Obviously some meals freeze better than others, but here are a few simple things you can do with potatoes:

 

*Make frozen hashbrowns. Blanch them, and then flash freeze them (I will explain flash freezing a little later.)
*Potato wedges, or homebaked fries.
*Loaded potatoes
*Twice baked potatoes
*Baked potato soup (I actually won an award for the recipe once! Yeah, there were only like 8-10 entries, but still…)
*Mashed potatoes

 

For things like fries, potato wedges, loaded potatoes, twice baked, and hashbrowns, you will flash freeze. This is a VERY simple thing to do. Basically, you cook your stuff the way you would normally, and then you put the items in a single layer on a cookie sheet, making sure they are not touching. Then stick them in the freezer and freeze them until they’re hard. (This will usually take a few hours). Once completely frozen, you can wrap them individually, or you can wrap them in bunches. The beauty of flash freezing is that it allows you to take out as much, or as little as you want, so you can grab one serving for yourself if that’s all you want. Then you’ll simply reheat the items until heated through, since you’ve already completely cooked the food.

 

For mashed potatoes or potato soup, you can put the stuff in freezer bags or containers in whatever amount you choose to measure out. My only piece of advice for potato soup is that the more “cream of potato” texture it is, the better. Large chunks of potato in the soup tend to become grainy when reheated.

 

There you have it! Very simple, fun, and what a great way to use up that last bunch of potatoes. OR, if you see potatoes go on sale, you can get yourself a HUGE bag and start cooking, knowing not a single potato will go bad!

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Here’s the Baked Potato Soup recipe that I mentioned.  This was adapted from 30 Day Gourmet:

8 baking potatoes
12 Tbsp butter
1 cup flour (I use a gluten free kind)
8 cups milk

2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 cups shredded cheese (cheddar is suggested, but other kinds work too!)
2 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

12 oz sour cream

 

Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil, and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 2 hours, or until they’re soft when you squeeze them. Let them cool a bit, then unwrap them and cut them in half lengthwise Scoop out the flesh and put into a large bowl. (You can save the skins for something else, to make potato skins for example.) Mash the potato flesh up really well…you don’t want hardly any “lumps”.  Melt the butter in a LARGE saucepan; add the flour and stir until smooth. Turn heat to medium and add the milk slowly while constantly stirring. Continue to stir until the mixture is thick and bubbly. IF YOU DON’T STIR, YOU RISK THE MILK BURNING, YUCK! Once thick and bubbly, add the cheese and salt, stir to incorporate. Add the potato to the pan. When it is heated through, add the sour cream and stir to mix it well.

This makes a ton, and so I usually freeze a bunch. Freeze it it freezer bags or containers.

 

Optional On hand for serving day:
bacon, cooked and crumbled
shredded cheese
green onions

Shop For Freebies!!!

FREE SAMPLES

I don’t ever write up posts about other websites unless I’ve used them myself and am pleased with them. So…I’m very excited to tell you about this awesome website that I go to DAILY to do some “freebie shopping”. The freebies I get here are usually samples, sometimes books, but my goodness there is a lot of good stuff. Just last week as my mom was over helping me (I was recovering from surgery), she noticed that THREE out of the FOUR days she was here I got at least one freebie in the mail! My free stuff has included a Kid’s Kitchen cookbook, a 4-pack of Always feminine hygiene pads,two energy drink mixes, 2 boxes of CEREAL, herbal tea samples, kids’ coloring books, coupons, and much more.

The website is called Shop 4 Freebies, and it’s a wonderful, obviously, FREE site. Be sure to sign up for their e-mailing list, and they will send you an email EVERY DAY with NEW freebies!! Every day the list is updated! You go to the site, check out the freebies that interest you, skip by the ones that don’t. It’s really, truly that easy, and I’m telling you, it’s worth the 5 minutes of your time.

Click on FREE SAMPLES to learn more, and when you sign up, let me know what you think about it!