Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Short On...? Carry On, Part Four: Potato Things

Some people have written way more extensively than I ever have about ways to cook potatoes. I do not claim to be that much of a potato expert. 

Often the two of us settle for instant potato flakes. If you're buying potato flakes, look for Idahoan brand in a box, no flavouring, no additives. We have never found anything else that comes close.

But here are a few sort of different things we've done with real potatoes.

Baked Potato Soup: Mentioned here multiple times over the years. Cut the recipe in half if you have a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker, and in half again if you have an even smaller family and smaller slow cooker. Vegetable broth works as well as chicken broth; you can eyeball the amount of liquid if you're cutting the recipe.

Potato Casserole #1:  Making a potato casserole uses up as many potatoes as you have...and "potato casserole" could be as simple as cooking cut-up (sliced or chunked) potatoes in some broth or milk, and adding a little seasoning...and that could be in a pot, in the oven, or in the slow cooker.  Add some of the carrots and an onion, and you're on your way to stew.

Potato Casserole #2: If you have a boring ground-meat or vegetable casserole in the freezer, you can thaw it, maybe add a bit of extra seasoning, and top with mashed potatoes to make Shepherd's Pie.

Pizza Potatoes: cut-up potatoes, pizza sauce, pepperoni, and cheese, baked in a casserole or done in the slow cooker. Optional toppings: sliced olives, green peppers.

Mexican Potato Casserolewhich we found in Company's Coming Kids: Lunches, but which is almost identical to the one on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook, and they say they got it from a church cookbook.  So it seems like one of those recipes that's made the rounds.  You coat cut-up potatoes in melted margarine and taco seasoning and bake them in a casserole; then, about ten minutes before serving, you add browned ground beef mixed with salsa and chopped peppers, and cheese on top. I just used the amounts of everything that we had on hand, including homemade taco seasoning and mild Cheddar instead of Jack cheese, but we thought it was pretty good.  (The recipe says not to peel the potatoes, but we prefer them peeled.)

Ranch-Spiced Potatoes in the Slow Cooker  This is pretty much Mexican Potato Casserole without the meat on top, and with different seasonings. You can also use homemade Sloppy Joe seasoning mix.

Perogy Casserole, Treehouse Version

Cook 15 lasagna noodles in a big potful of boiling water.
Prepare 2 cupfuls of mashed potatoes (you can use the same pot).
Grate or chop 2 ounces (at least; we like more) Cheddar cheese and mix this with the mashed potatoes; add some pepper and 1/4 tsp. onion powder. You can also add salt at this point; when I first wrote this out, we were trying to cut back on sodium.
Mix 1 cup cottage cheese with 1 egg or equivalent replacer, and another 1/4 tsp. onion powder.
Melt 1/2 cup butter or margarine  in a small skillet or pot; add 1 small onion, chopped small; cook until onion is soft.

Grease or spray a 9 x 13 inch pan; if you have one with a lid, use that; otherwise you'll have to cover the pan with foil.
Line the bottom of the pan with 1/3 of the noodles.
Cover with cottage cheese mixture.
Cover with second layer of noodles.
Cover with mashed potato mixture.
Cover with third layer of noodles.
Cover with hot cooked onions-margarine/butter mixture.
Cover the pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

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