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Apr 2, 2012 07:12 PM

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

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....

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

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

            1. re: peppergal

              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

              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.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                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

                  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

                    Thanks, ipse. Will definitely try.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      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

                    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'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

                      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

                        There you have a point, ipse. : )

                  3. Maybe you could make potato pancakes with some of it?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Hank Hanover

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

                      1. re: peppergal

                        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

                          Works for me, even with elderly taters.

                          1. re: mamachef

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

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

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          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

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

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Cheese Boy

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