Q. What is the best way to store Idaho® potatoes? Should I wash my potatoes before storing?
Posts Tagged ‘frozen’
Q. I made enough scalloped potatoes to feed everyone in my town. Can I freeze them?
Q. I cut up vegetables and put them along with a chuck roast in a freezer bag, to have a meal ready for the crock pot when I had surgery. I took the bag out of the freezer last night, dumped the ingredients in the crock pot and refrigerated until this morning. It has been cooking on low for 5 hours and all of the potatoes are black. After researching, I found I should have blanched them first. Are they still good to eat?
Q. Can homemade mashed potatoes be frozen?
A. Once mashed they can be frozen but will typically oxidize or turn gray in a matter of days. To help prevent this, add a small amount (tablespoon) of white vinegar or concentrated lemon juice to the mixture once cooked.
Q. Is it possible to buy frozen sliced potatoes in larger quantities (like potato chips sold in bags but cut thicker) which I can fry finish at my café?
A. Good news! All three major potato processors have this kind of product. You can choose product with the skin left on or cut to different thicknesses. Here are some examples:
Q. I own a fast food franchise and straight-cut potato chips are our biggest seller. With the price of chips extremely high, I decided to make my own. How do I maximize the volume of chips out of a 10kg bag? Also, is there any natural chemical I can use to store the chips?
A. To maximize the yield this year, because of the low price of both No. 1 and No. 2 potatoes, I would suggest ordering a No. 1 80- or 90-count carton (the approximate number of potatoes in each 50-pound box) and leaving the skin on so that there is little trimming cost.
This worksheet, developed by Lamb Weston, might prove helpful in comparing costs. Making chips from scratch requires a lot more labor in order to make them properly. http://www.lambweston.com/support/profit_calculators/fresh_vs_frozen_calculator.jsp
Regarding preservatives, the only ones I would recommend using are concentrated lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon per gallon of water to prevent oxidation of the potatoes.
Q. What’s the best way to cook frozen, par-fried potatoes? Should I defrost them first before refrying?
A. It’s okay to keep the potatoes frozen or you can let them thaw until they are still chilled. Place them on an oiled, flat-top grill or skillet that’s heated to 350 degrees F. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, turning once.
Q. Could you please tell me why when I thaw out last year’s bag of frozen potatoes they are holding a lot of water and are very soggy? We blanch, cool on a baking sheet and then freeze in bags but they are sooo soggy. Please advise.
A. It is hard to get all of the water out of a potato as one potato normally has over 80% water to begin with. Processors flash freeze the potatoes as individual pieces, not possible at home, although you could try to separate the cooked potatoes on sheets for the first attempt at freezing next time and then combine and freeze for an extended period.
Q. Can you tell me about the history of French fries in Idaho?
A. French fries, though named for their country of origin, were transformed in the 1950s into the world-famous fries that put Idaho potatoes on the map. A couple of enterprising Idahoans discovered that Idaho potatoes were perfectly suited to create the ultimate French fry, so they set out to bring Idaho potatoes to kitchens across America. It wasn’t without some trial and error, though.
If you’ve tried to make French fries in your own kitchen at home, you may have discovered that you can’t turn fresh potatoes into the ones you find in the frozen aisle at your local grocery store. If you try to freeze fresh potatoes, they’ll eventually turn black. Many an unhappy cook has learned this lesson the hard way. In order to prevent potatoes from turning black, you need to place them in water with some lemon juice or vinegar added. Then, you need to partially cook the potatoes, a process called blanching, before you freeze or refrigerate them. This was how the Simplot Company, founded in 1923 by a World War II veteran from a small town in Idaho named J.R. Simplot, revolutionized the frozen French fried potato industry. Ray Dunlap, a young chemist, figured out that by partially cooking the potatoes, they could then be air dried and frozen for frying later.