What I’m doing with 10 pounds of Russet potatoes

I could not pass up the seasonal 10-pounds-for-$.87 sale. Even though last year I swore I wouldn’t do it again because most of the potatoes went bad long before we could eat them.

But this Fall I have a new plan: freezing. I broke that 10-pound bag into a few groups:

  • 4 to bake and freeze
  • 5-6 to shred into hash browns and freeze
  • 5-6 to dice into cubes and freeze
  • 6 for the refrigerator to use in the immediate future

For the baking group, I scrubbed them clean, pricked once with a sharp knife, and baked for 60 min. at 300°. They didn’t get wrapped, just went right onto the baking rack. Then cooled, wrapped in foil, and frozen.

For the hash browns group, I followed the freezing potato instructions from Taste of Home.

  1. bring a large pot of water to a boil
  2. peel potatoes
  3. shred potatoes (in food processor with shredding blade)
  4. dump them into a large bowl of ice water, resting for a couple of minutes
  5. drain
  6. add to boiling water, cooking for 3 min.
  7. prepare a new ice bath
  8. drain potatoes
  9. cool them in the ice bath
  10. drain again
  11. spread on paper towels and blot dry
  12. divide into sandwich bags, 6 oz each
  13. squeeze air out, wrap in foil, label, and freeze

For the diced group, I did the same thing, except instead of shredding them I diced them, and cooked for 4 min. These divided into 9-oz bags.

I’d like to make some potato salad from a couple of the refrigerator potatoes, and some regular old baked potatoes for a couple of dinners.

My goal is to use up the freezer potatoes within 12 months as directed. Which sounds like an easy thing to do, but I’m continuously shocked by how many things I put in the freezer don’t get used within the year. A sign that it would be smart for me to get back to my menu planning based on what’s in the pantry/refrigerator!

After reading that potato-freezing results were hit or miss, I sure hope these work OK. The thought of stretching that $.87-bag over many, many meals just delights my frugal side.

Update: In mid-February (about 3 months later), I finished the last of my freezer potatoes. My results from freezing were mixed, and I’m going to find new ways to take care of a big bag of potatoes.

The baked potatoes did not fare well, and the texture upon reheating (in the microwave) was awful. The insides were tough and stringy, and became kind of laminated. The hash browns didn’t cook up very well, at least the way I did them. I would cook them in a pan on the stove top (first squeezing out the water so they didn’t splatter), in some butter and/or oil. They got very thin and dry, and never really browned up. The cubes did the best. Those I roasted in the oven until browned. But the down side was that they were rather dry inside, almost like hollow cubes.

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