Mashed potatoes freeze well?
I have way too many mashed potatoes, probably 7 lbs?
I'd like to freeze about half of that. Should I put it in bags? Plastic wrap? Foil? How to reheat?
No, no, no. Regular mashed potatoes do not freeze well. The liquid seeps out during the thawing, so you end up with dry, grainy mashed potatoes swimming in watery goop.
You need to either load them up with fat (butter, cheese, etc...) before freezing, or use them to make creamy potato soup and then freeze that.
My favorite recipe for freezing mashed potatoes can be found by googling "Beer Goddess Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes" (I didn't include a link because it is found on many different news websites and the links may change). This mashed potato dish (it's like a casserole) can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen.
When I make mashed potato I usually fatten it up pretty good. This time I used a stick of butter, some 1% milk (no heavy on hand), about 2 cups of cheddar, half cup sour cream.
I just needed to use up the potatoes, and figured why not use all of them? It's all sitting in a bowl in the fridge at the moment. They'll stay good for a couple days in there, but I don't want to waste any that's not eaten. I hate to let food go to waste.
I'd have to agree on not freezing mashed potatoes for consumption as mashed potatoes, but something that uses them up and *does* freeze well is potato rolls! I usually mix up a big batch of the dough, bake some off and freeze them, punch down the dough and portion off some off to freeze it, and keep some in the fridge for more immediate use. (It can sit for several days). I guess you may not have been looking for a baking project, but I figured I'd toss it out there as a different way to make use of them...
Well we ate the rest of the mash that's been in the freezer for nearly a month, and they were fine. I had the mash in one big freezer bag and microwaved a half at a time at full power. I stirred them once during reheating and continued in the microwave. They were 99% as good as the day I made them! Some gravy helps of course. Still delicious.
The fatty approach to mash is a good one IMO because you just get a lot more flavor and richness, so freezing them didn't affect the quality. Fresh is always best but if you have to freeze then go for it :)
My general recipe is 5 or 6 big russets, 8oz heavy cream, 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar, generous s&p to taste, half cup sour cream, 1 cup chopped parsley, 1 clove or one tsp of minced garlic.
I skin and quarter the potatoes and boil for about 20 minutes so they're very easy to poke through with a fork, then strain the water, then put the potatoes in a big bowl. Stir with a couple of spoons or hand blender and voila, you're done.
Gravy is easy, just pan meat drippings, flour, and stock whisked and then simmered while whisking still, preferably in the pan you just cooked your protein in.
They don't freeze well at all and generally don't taste as good re-heated. If they are not too laden with butter or oil or flavorings (like garlic), then you have an excellent thickening/ flavoring base for summer chilled soups. A basic recipe would be to simmer leeks, onions, carrots or cucumbers in chicken stock, then add a mess of the leftover mashed potatoes, let cool, puree, add cream and seasoning and chill.
Two other ideas are potato fritters or potato gnocchi, the latter requiring that you find a way to get the lumps out.
Wow that's alot of taters!
I've never had to freeze that much, maybe enough for 4.
My dh makes the best mashed potaoted, and I've discussed many times why. But long and short, we do freeze whatever is leftover because I loooove mashed potatoes.
We put them in a plastic bag-usually a qt size, and then reheat them placing the bag in a microwavable bowl, and hit defrost for 7-10 min, then reheat for whatever time it takes to get them all warm. Dump them in the bowl, stir with a little more butter, and heat til piping hot. I haven't experienced any graininess after freezing.
IMaybe if you don't want to save them for mashed, save them for gnocchi? I had some potatoes that needed to be used a few weeks ago, I boiled them and was going to make gnocchi. I didn't (got lazy) so I stared at the boiled potatoes for a couple of days, then froze them thinking I'd just make pasta later. Well, last week I made them into mashed, and they are fine that way too.
re: chef chicklet
cc, could you link to the dh's technique?
I've been freezing then nuking mashed potatoes for years. I freeze them in one-pint "freezing storage containers" (which are square, and stackable in the freezer and also stackable as empties in the cupboard). When nuking to reheat, different sections heat at different rates. I zap at 1 or 2 minutes at a time, and gently fold the the warmed parts and chop up the still frozen parts with the spoon.
In the early days, I got bad results by freezing one serving as a blob, then trying to nuke back without any folding.
jeez, make suer we are understanding each other. Dh is my hubby and his "technique" which is something someone showed him when he was liviing in VA (that's where he lived for his life before marrying me 10 yrs ago..) anway. not special he just uses a hand masher or ricer, adds milk and butter, but adds a heaping spoonful of mayo to his potatoes. And I swear, I've tried and tried to make them every which way that's out there. His are the best, but they are so fattening...Then when we have left overs we just store in qt size ziploc. That bag works best for protecting the potatoes,we roll the bag squeezing the air out. When we cook in the microwave like I said we just put the potatoes opend up in their baggy, and hit defrost for 1 minute. Then we zap for a couple of mins each time and stir. We get creamy potatoes just like the day they were made. I might add a pat of butter again, that's it. So maybe you have got more moisture in you're potatoes to begin with? We let them sit a bit before we mash them with milk. I see him make a hole in the center of the potatoes poor the milk in and let it sit before he starts to stir it in and mash, then he adds mayo and then butter... and then a little more milk. There are a few lumps, but we like that... We also use whole milk, that might make a difference and rel butter too...
Thinking..does your microwave have a carousel? ours does so its turning constantly too.
I just thawed mashed potatoes that I froze, and they were a God-awful mess. Runny, grainy yuck, and no way to resurrect them. I don't recommend freezing them at all.