Monday, November 2, 2009

Potato Patrol

At my Safeway today, they still had their 10 lb. bags of potatoes on sale for 98c each. Even though I already bought two bags last week, I couldn't resist and bought two more. Potatoes freeze well and are great to have on hand as a last minute side dish or even a main dish.

As I have mentioned before, often when I get a great deal on potatoes I'll throw chicken breast or roast in to a ziplock bag with some cut potatoes, carrots and onions for an easy crockpot meal. The morning that you want to use it, just dump the frozen contents of your bag in to your crockpot and turn it on. Add a little liquid and your ready to go. This time around however, I am totally out of meat and have to do things a little differently.

To get the potatoes taken care of quickly, I have two cookie sheets full of potatoes baking right now, to fill them up, I used one full bag. We'll have baked potatoes with chili over them for dinner tonight and I will be making this recipe for the freezer when the others cool off this evening.

With the second bag I will cut them in to french fries for oven fries. They are so easy. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to a gallon ziplock bag. Throw in your cut up potatoes and shake them to cover. Pour potatoes and oil on to a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes. Check on them after about 10 or 15 minutes to move them around and flip them over. Salt or season with Johnny's Seasoning salt and serve. If you want to do them ahead, just cut and freeze (Rachel has pointed out that they need to be blanched at this point to avoid turning brown.) When you want to use them, defrost overnight.

With the third bag of potatoes I will be making a big batch of mashed potatoes and freezing them in meal sized portions. I think it is best to season when you make them the second time around. If you want more of a recipe, Once a Month Mom has some great mashed potato recipes. Try this one from this month's menu or this one from last month's.

The last bag will just hang out in my pantry. I like to make potatoes and eggs for breakfast every once in a while or add potatoes to soups and stews, I'm sure that I will use them up quickly.


Rachel said...

Jennifer, do you put your potatoes in the freezer without blancing them? I've always read they should be blanched or they turn brown. I'd love to skip this step if I can.

Anonymous said...

We like to make latkes instead of french fries or hash browns sometimes.

Jennifer said...

You know, Lanita, my hashbrowns NEVER turn out well! What is your secret?

Oh, and I guess we'll be making latkes but not until Hanukkah. They are just too much work for this mommy! And, to tell you the truth, I use the box mix!!!!

JenT said...

How about potato soup? I love that. I like mine with lots of butter, sour cream, and cheese, then topped with bacon bits and chives. But I'm sure you can do without some of it. :) Oh, and it does freeze well. A couple of years ago I was really sick and the only things I could keep down were potato soup and tomato soup (know idea why those two). Anyway, my husband likes to cook in large quantities, then freeze for future meals. He did that with the potato soup and it tasted just the same when thawed.
I make it by boiling the potatoes, and when they are done processing most of them in the Vita-Mix. I don't process them all, because I like chunks of potato in there. Then I put it back in the pot and add all the extras. :) Yum! A great fall/winter meal served with a good warm bread.