Potatoes are one of those things that have always been hit or miss for me when it comes to freezing them. I’ve had success with freezing mashed potatoes, twice baked potatoes (and twice baked potato casserole), cheesy potato bites and taco potato skins. Beyond that though, I’m usually not too successful with freezing potatoes. Yet potatoes are a favorite side dish around here, so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate potato sides into my bulk cooking plans.
When Nikki emailed the following tip to me, I was beyond excited. Honestly, it’s pure genius. I can’t wait to implement this idea in my kitchen! Just like I could not wait to share the brilliance with all of you. Thanks for the permission to copy and paste your idea Nikki.
I hit the produce market or outlet once a month for longer shelf life items like potatoes and carrots. When I do, I bake off 10 lbs (or however many I can cram in my oven. I have 3 shelves) of potatoes in one shot.
Don’t look at me like that. I am not crazy, just hear me out.
I let the taters cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the middles.
I prep the middles for mashed potatoes (riced) , baked potato soup (some riced some in chunks) and smashed potato salad (same as the soup). If I plan on making home fries, I let refrigerate them overnight and dice them with the jackets on.
I then spray/drizzle oil on my jackets and season them and broil/roast them until they start to brown.
I place each of these on trays in my freezer over the course of the day until they are just frozen enough that they won’t freeze into a solid mess. I do this with the now empty jackets too.
Then, when we want potato skins: I take out my jackets and crisp them a bit in a hot oven/broiler. Then I dump (yes dump, we have cheese issues) some shredded cheddar and bacon bits (which I also cook up ahead and freeze in bulk) and pop them in to bake.
In a matter of about 2 hrs, I can easily have enough potatoes prepped for two weeks worth of menus AND have tater skins on hand for a snack or an “I don’t feel like cooking, let’s have crap for dinner” night.
Genius, right? I love it!
Make sure you check out Nikki’s blog, Frugal Green Living for more tips and information.