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At their last breath, I tried to save them. Now what?

peppergal Apr 2, 2012 07:12 PM

I had several potatoes, well past their best days. Just hated to throw them away. So I peeled them, cut 'em up, now they're simmering in water barely covering them, with a couple of healthy (?) doses of kosher salt, several Tbsps of Better than Bouillon. I plan to whirl them in an immersion blender, then freeze them. Now what?

In Texas, soup weather is many, many months away. Unfortunately. Maybe in a couple of months a casserole with eggs, cheese? What would you do with them?

Thanks to all you wonderful 'hounds....

  1. mattstolz Apr 3, 2012 08:54 PM

    unfortunately i think you really limit your options with the boil+puree, then decide preparation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mattstolz
      bushwickgirl Apr 6, 2012 06:18 PM

      They can be redeemed.

    2. p
      peppergal Apr 3, 2012 06:20 PM

      Thanks for all the great replies. I haven't done anything with them yet -- may be too late -- but we've been inundated for what seems like nearly all day in North Texas with several different tornadoes -- one after the other -- so I've been out of the kitchen and off the computer. Unbelievably, no report of any deaths so far, but much destruction.

      Thanks to all.

      1 Reply
      1. re: peppergal
        hill food Apr 3, 2012 11:00 PM

        it's still not too late to do something, and as I never relate a poster's locale to current events I'm glad the twisters skipped you. since you've already abused the potatoes as far as legally possible (sorry, I've seen to many cooking show parodies) yeah vichyssoise as Sherri suggested would be perfect. or (ahem) a skordalia dip...

      2. hill food Apr 2, 2012 10:36 PM


        1. Cheese Boy Apr 2, 2012 09:18 PM

          Salted Cod is a favorite with potatoes. Search for Bacalao ("and Mashed Potatoes") recipes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cheese Boy
            peppergal Apr 2, 2012 09:22 PM

            Thank, Cheese Boy, Love Cod! And haven't had it in a long time, Will search for recipes, as you suggest.

          2. bushwickgirl Apr 2, 2012 09:09 PM

            Potato bread or rolls. What I do with older model potatoes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bushwickgirl
              peppergal Apr 2, 2012 09:16 PM

              Thanks, bushwick. These were definitely "older model" potatoes! Haven't done any bread baking in a long, long time. Would this work after potatoes have been frozen? Any hints, recipes?

              1. re: peppergal
                bushwickgirl Apr 3, 2012 02:51 AM

                Sure it will, although you may have to drain the potato or pat dry if there's excess moisture. Potato "water," the liquid from boiling potatoes is good to use in place of tap water in a bread formula, but it's not completely necessary.

                Here's a recipe from my favorite bread baking website, which includes bacon, sour cream and chives. You could sub scallions:


            2. Hank Hanover Apr 2, 2012 09:06 PM

              Maybe you could make potato pancakes with some of it?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Hank Hanover
                peppergal Apr 2, 2012 09:14 PM

                Interesting, Hank. Have never made potato pancakes. Sounds delicious. Any hints?

                1. re: peppergal
                  mamachef Apr 3, 2012 05:55 AM

                  I'm not HH, but potato pancakes can be made with mashed potatoes to which you add a good spoonful of flour, dip in egg wash, re-flour and fry. Best to chill them well first so they hold together. I prefer mixing:

                  4 potatoes, grated w/ a box grater. It's okay if you grate your knuckle, and equally okay if you get a drop of blood in there. : ) Happens all the time. Drain potatoes super-well, pressing out as much liquid as possible

                  1 large egg

                  1/4 c. grated onion

                  3 T. Matzo meal or flour (some folks save the potato starch and mix it in at the end instead.)

                  salt and pepper, to taste

                  oil for frying

                  Heat oil in large skillet, med-high: drop potato pancakes in by heaping soupspoonful, and fry merrily away, in batches. Leave plenty of space between. Drain on brown paper bags; they'll stick to paper towels. And keep warm in low oven. Serve w/ sour cream or applesauce, or both. Great w/ brisket. Also, I caution you: work as quickly as possible as grated potatoes have a very entertaining trick of oxidizing, turning a weird shade of pink, then brown, then onto a really funky shade of grayish/black. Not particularly appetizing. Some people avoid this by grating into acidulated water, but it makes them a whole lot harder to drain and then the starch cannot be saved if that's what you want as your binder. Good luck!

                  1. re: mamachef
                    bushwickgirl Apr 3, 2012 08:27 AM

                    Works for me, even with elderly taters.

                    1. re: mamachef
                      Hank Hanover Apr 3, 2012 12:14 PM

                      Yep... works for me, too. You could even dredge the pancakes in bread crumbs just before frying.

                2. ipsedixit Apr 2, 2012 08:50 PM

                  Tater tots.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    peppergal Apr 2, 2012 08:58 PM

                    As in drain, form into balls, then fry? Before or after freezing? Hopefully, after. Interesting. Thanks for the suggestion. Would love to hear more.

                    1. re: peppergal
                      ipsedixit Apr 2, 2012 09:08 PM

                      You can do it after freezing. In fact, it might be better because it'll be easier to drain the liquid post-freeze.

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        peppergal Apr 2, 2012 09:12 PM

                        Thanks, ipse. Will definitely try.

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          greygarious Apr 2, 2012 10:02 PM

                          No, don't freeze them. Mamachef is right - they will be grainy, weepy. You could always make home fries, or corned beef hash.

                      2. re: ipsedixit
                        mamachef Apr 3, 2012 05:22 AM

                        With pureed potatoes? No. Wrong, texturally speaking. You know tots are granular, ipse; whatcha thinkin?
                        I'm thinking this is moot anyway, since you've probably already got your puree, but if you do decide to play around, make sure it's not very liquidy at all....you'll need a much higher ratio of potato than flour or cornstarch or you're gonna end up with some fairly gluey deepfried gnocchi pellets, which would be sad after you've gone to the trouble of saving those poor, almost-dead 'taters.

                        1. re: mamachef
                          ipsedixit Apr 3, 2012 07:31 AM

                          Is it the perfect method for making tots? No.

                          But it's probably the least of evils when faced with frozen mashed tubers.

                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            mamachef Apr 3, 2012 08:18 AM

                            There you have a point, ipse. : )

                      3. mamachef Apr 2, 2012 08:19 PM

                        Peppergal, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but in my pretty long experience potatoes do not take kindly to time in the freezer. They tend to drain during the thaw, and what you wind up with is basically a pile of granular mush in a puddle. I'd make potato soup and I'd make it tomorrow.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: mamachef
                          peppergal Apr 2, 2012 08:48 PM

                          Thanks, mamachef. After reading so many of your posts, I totally respect your comments and experience. I'll do that -- potato soup tomorrow, and turn the air conditioner on high! I may add some cauliflower that is lingering as well. How do you think that would work?

                          This is my first time trying to save them this way. Obviously, next time I need to act sooner.

                          Many thanks.

                          1. re: peppergal
                            hill food Apr 2, 2012 09:23 PM

                            that would work - the combo is often seen on Indian and Ethiopian menus.

                            for next time one thing about old potatoes is the starch level changes and they lend to latkes and croquettes better than fresher ones.

                            1. re: peppergal
                              mamachef Apr 3, 2012 05:19 AM

                              Cauliflower and potatoes together are YUM! Love that combo. If you're into trying something new, some best-quality curry powder or garam can really liven things up and would work fine with the bouillion and salt as well. If you have a food processor or chinois, you might want to give it a few pulses at the end, or a passthrough, for silky texture - on the other hand, you might want to leave some little flowerets whole, for texture. Enjoy. Crank the a/c and play some Bing Crosby Christmas carols for atmosphere.

                              1. re: peppergal
                                Savour Apr 4, 2012 03:34 PM

                                Why not Vichyssoise? Potato leek soup -- served cold!

                                1. re: peppergal
                                  libstewart Apr 4, 2012 03:56 PM

                                  I think it would work very well. In trying to lighten up Shepard's Pie my mashed potatoes on top were actually 50% cauliflower and it was excellent!

                                2. re: mamachef
                                  Sherri Apr 3, 2012 05:56 PM

                                  Vichyoisse! You'll have your potato soup, just cold. I see no reason that you couldn't also flavor it any way you want, instead of the 'traditional' way [just call it something else, please]. Home-frozen potatoes, as mamachef notes, are not worth the bother.

                                  You could also make potato bread; use the potato mash for nests for poached eggs -- just run them under the broiler, after a goodly amount of butter (and cheese?) is added.

                                  I've had better luck freezing re-stuffed baked potatoes when loaded with sour cream & cheese, but it's a lot late to suggest this one to you.

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