Freezing Potatoes for Thanksgiving and Christmas or Anytime

We all love a good buy and potatoes are a great price at Ingles this week through Saturday, 11/6/2010.  A 10-pound bag of russets is just $2.50! The standard price is 3.99 to 4.99.

Most of us think of fresh-baked potatoes on the menu we see a sale like this, but what do you do with the leftover bag. Some might let the bag grow sprouts and eyes and others may wait until they smell something funny. Let’s not be one of those who let the bag of potatoes rot. Let’s make some potato dishes, such as potato skins, twice baked potatoes, my personal favorite, baked potato soup, and hash-browned potatoes. Did you know all of these can be frozen? Cubed potatoes can also be frozen. I’m thinking mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why not at this price?

I found the following method online to help us prep potato cubes for quick meals. I’ll be posting my baked potato soup recipe as soon as I purchase my potatoes. I’ll buy 20 pounds (2 bags) and bake as many potatoes as possible in my oven for many different side dishes throughout the week. Now that’s saving energy, time and money. Happy potato baking or boiling, whichever you prefer.

Freezing - To freeze large potatoes, begin by washing, peeling, and removing eyes. Cut into ½ inch cubes and blanch for 5 minutes. Immerse in ice water immediately following for same duration of time. For smaller, thin-skinned potatoes, scrub, blanch for 4 minutes, and bathe in ice before placing produce in an airtight freezer bag (from Green Giant Website)

Perfect Baked Potato in the Microwave

Scrub potatoes and pierce with fork. Lightly oil hands with olive oil and rub potatoes generously. Sprinkle kosher or sea salt on potatoes. Microwave on a microwave safe plate for approximately 6 minutes per large potato. I typically nuke 6 potatoes and it requires about 25-30 minutes depending on size. I will check them with a silicone hot pad to see if they are squishy (give gently). When they slightly give when I squeeze them, they are done. I immediately wrap them in a piece of foil to allow them to steam on the counter. Steaming time can vary depending on how much longer until dinner time. Just allow them to sit approximately 5-10 minutes to further soften the interior. Unwrap and enjoy a faux oven baked potato! They are so good with the works just like dining out. Butter, sour cream, bacon, cheese, salt, pepper, green onions or chives. This could be a meal with a salad. Enjoy!

What kind of potato dishes do you enjoy?

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