Make the Most of Leftover Potatoes
If you like potatoes and eat potatoes, don't feel guilty. They're loaded with Vitamin C and give you a good wallop of iron besides calcium and Vitamin A. As a starchy food, they give you energy and they can be served so many different ways that you can have them every day for at least two weeks and never the same way twice.
Potatoes are a staple food in many countries and across many social and cultural boundaries. From deep fried potatoes (chips in England, fries in the US) to specially grown, huge baked potatoes in the finest restaurants, potatoes have a social versatility that few other foods have. Who doesn't fondly remember their favorite potato salad? Or try to make the best mashed potatoes ever?
As food prices continue to rise, the price of potatoes rises, too. It might be good to explore ways to make the most of the potatoes you buy and avoid any waste at all.
You can freeze potatoes if they're cooked or partly cooked. Mashed potatoes freeze well and retain their texture if allowed to thaw in the refrigerator. A microwave can be used to hurry the process. Hashbrowns, fried potatoes and french fries freeze well. Thaw them in a skillet on low temperature. Boiled or baked potatoes are a little more problematic because they tend to dry out if frozen without liquid and become mushy if frozen with it. Wrapped in foil, then bagged in freezer bags, they will keep frozen for a few weeks. Leftover baked or boiled potatoes can be sliced and fried quickly to a light brown.
Potato skin chips
If you peel potatoes for cooking, wash the potatoes very well, then put the peelings in a bowl of cold water. Go ahead and cook the potatoes however you want to, then make a delicious and nutritious snack from the peelings.
You can either bake or fry the peelings. To fry them, start heating an inch or so of oil (canola or high heat sesame or sunflower) in a heavy skillet or pan. Drain the peelings and blot them dry with a cloth. Check to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small piece of peeling in it. It should crisp and curl within a few seconds. When the oil is ready, drop the peelings in it a few at a time, leaving enough room so they don't stick together. When they're slightly browned and a little curly around the edges, lift them out with a slotted spoon and put them to drain. Don't use paper towels because they'll stick to them. I use brown paper but you can use any clean paper or cloth. Sprinkle salt or seasonings of your choice over the peelings and let cool.
Got leftover mashed potatoes? There are several ways to use them up, including thickening soup or stew, but my favorite is to make potato "cakes." There's no real recipe, but the process goes like this:
To a cup or so of leftover mashed potatoes, add two eggs, a little extra salt and enough flour to thicken it back to its original consistency (of mashed potatoes). Fry in a little oil at medium temperature until browned.
These are best when eaten hot from the pan.
When you cook potatoes to mash, drain the water into a jar. It makes excellent "white" gravy and can be used as a milk substitute in many baked items. Use it in quick breads as well as yeast breads.
There are other ways to salvage leftover potatoes, like spudnuts and potato bread. Look for recipes online or ask your mother or grandmother. They will no doubt have a few potato secrets to share.