What to do with a Cold Baked Potato

Have you ever wondered what to do with a cold baked potato? There are almost always some left over from a dinner involving baked potatoes hot from the oven that get stuck in the refrigerator afterwards, but do you ever use them? I love having leftover cold potatoes because it means that I can make hot country-style hash browns for lunch the next day. I take the potato, skin and all, and slice them in half. Then I turn the halves over, flat side on the cutting board, cut them in half and each of the halves into half. Then I start at one end and slice them up into fairly small pieces, cutting down any piece that might be too large, depending on the thickness of the potato. I leave on some of the skin, while taking out pieces of skin that have already fallen off of the potato. I also dice up an onion, usually red, and get about 3 Tbs. butter melting in a skillet over medium/med.high heat. Once the butter is melted I add the onion and start that cooking for a couple minutes, and then add in my potatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get a good crust, flipping often enough to brown the potatoes and get a nice crust, while not burning the hash. I love the ease of making and the yumminess of this hash served with eggs over medium. What do you do with a cold baked potato?

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Easy Hash Browns

I have some great recipes on the way, but I’ll start off with this basic recipe for delicious homemade hash browns. In the past my husband and I have had no clue how to make hash browns. We would boil the potatoes part of the way and then try to grate them, but the outside of the potato was always too cooked and the inside was raw. Practice makes perfect, and I am glad we are really perfecting the basics. Next I want to try to make smothered hash browns, just like I used to have late night at the Waffle House in Virginia during my college days. 

Easy Homemade Hash Browns

4 Russet potatoes

salt

pepper

garlic powder

cayenne pepper (optional)

butter

  • Peel the potatoes. After rinsing them off, finely grate them. A box grater would work fine, though give your muscles more of a workout, while we have been using the food processor with the grater attachment. It’s wonderful!
  • Put all the grated potato into ice cold water and let them sit for a short time. I usually stir them around with my finger a few times, and let them sit for around 15 minutes.
  • Dry them thoroughly while the pan is getting hot on the stovetop.
  • Put plenty, I mean a few tablespoons, of butter into the pan to melt. Add in the potatoes, probably not all at once, making sure they are a nice, even layer, not too thick. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other seasonings.
  • Press them down onto the hot pan, and let them cook without touching them for at least a few minutes, until a golden brown crust is formed. Do the same with the other side, and cook until they are completely cooked.

Homemade French Fries

Who among us has not had a huge craving for french fries at one time or another (or every day) and not been able to get them? Well I have finally found a recipe that makes potatoes straight out of the bag taste like french fries from your favorite fast food place. I will try cutting them larger the next time, but there is something darling about these tiny potato sticks that taste like I bought them from a fast food joint, right after they came out of the deep fryer. While they aren’t exactly a “health food”, these fries must be healthier than if I bought them at a restaurant; and if they aren’t at least I know exactly what is in them! 

Homemade French Fries

Canola oil

3-4 large Russet Potatoes

sea salt

Ice cold water (cold water with ice cubes)

  • Pour the oil to the depth of 1″ in a saucepan. Heat to 350°.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into desired size. I made them small this time since I was trying Ina Garten’s Matchstick Potato recipe. I sliced off a small piece on one side of the potato so that it was easier to cut, having one side that was flat. I sliced it around 1/4″ per slice lengthwise. Then I made two piles and sliced those lengthwise again (also around 1/4″ pieces), and then the whole stack in half. My husband requests that they are bigger next time. 
  • Put the potato pieces into ice cold water to soak for a few minutes. Dry on paper towels. Make sure they are as dry as possible because water causes the hot oil to splatter. 
  • Cook the potatoes in the oil until golden brown, around 5 minutes. This process will require all of the potatoes are cooked in a few batches. Using a slotted spoon make sure the potatoes are cooking evenly, stirring them occasionally. 
  • Remove with the slotted spoon when they are finished cooking and place onto a plate with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and desired seasoning right away since the oil will help it stay on when they are fresh from the pot.

Barely adapted from Ina Garten’s Matchstick Potatoes. 

Adobo

My husband served a 2 year mission for our church in the Philippinnes, and while there developed a love for their food, especially  their sour fruits. My husband misses all the wonderful sour fruit that he cannot get here in America, especially sour mangoes. He could eat them more sour than the natives could and would shock them when he would eat them right in-front of them and not even flinch. At one point he had a companion who liked to cook and eat as much as he did and he has recounted the story numerous times about when them purchasing kilos of meat, potatoes, and rice, make a big pot of Adobo (Uh-dough-bow) and eat it all up, practically in one sitting. Adobo is a meal that he has made for me since the beginning of our courtship, but he only recently perfected the recipe. He never used to marinate the meat, and the amounts of soy sauce, vinegar and water were eyeballed, resulting in different flavors every time. It was a happy night when it turned out well, and a disappointing one when it just tasted wrong. So, he recently began more serious research on Filipino recipes for Adobo, combined the best ideas, and came up with a winner. This Adobo is consistently delicious, filling, and difficult to stop eating. Now I just need to learn to speak Tagalog so I can understand him when he started speaking it to me.

Adobo

1 lb. pork loin, cut into 2″ pieces

2/3 C. soy sauce

1 Tbs. minced garlic (we usually used bottled)

1/4-1/3 C. Canola Oil

1 medium white onion, chopped

4 large white potatoes, cut into larger bite-size pieces

2 1/2 C. water (divided)

2/3 C. (or slightly under) white distilled vinegar

freshly ground pepper

 Serve over 1 C. white rice, cooked

  • In a plastic zip-loc bag combine pork, soy sauce, garlic, and freshly ground pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Saute the onion in a good amount of canola oil, covering the bottom of a large pot, about 3 minutes.
  • Add pork only to the sauteed onions. Reserve the marinade liquid! 
  • Over Medium-High heat stir until the liquid is almost gone.
  • Add the marinade liquid and 2 C. water to the pot.
  • Cover the pot and lower to Medium heat. Let stew for 20-25 minutes.
  • After about 10-15 minutes add the vinegar. Then add the 1/2 C. water a few minutes later.
  • Once the water is boiling again add the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Can add freshly ground pepper throughout.
  • Serve over white rice.

Baked Potatoes- Skins

My husband and I love eating Idaho potato skins. Cooked, of course, though he has eaten a raw potato. He was an Idaho boy, what else can I say? I never realized that the skin could be so delicious. I just thought it was the rough exterior that you have  break through to get to a yummy interior. But it’s not! So here is how I make my skins delicious.

Baked Potatoes-Skins

Idaho (russet) potatoes

evoo

sea salt

lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400°.
  • Scrub the potatoes under running water. Then take a knife and clean off the bad spots and any little eyes.
  • I like to line my pan with aluminum foil. Easy clean up is always a plus!
  • Slice a slit in the middle of each potato going down into the middle.
  • Rub the potatoes with evoo in a generous drizzle, sea salt and lemon juice.
  • Bake until the inside is easily pierced with a fork, about 45-60 minutes.

Lemon Roasted Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes

St. Patrick’s day is one of my favorite holiday’s because it is the time of year that Corned Beef briskets finally go on sale! For our traditional St. Patrick’s day feasts we cook our corned beef in the Crock pot for about 9 hours on low until it practically melts in your mouth. We love to add cabbage as a side dish, steamed on the stovetop in water, butter and salt until soft, but with a nice bite. Cabbage is a misunderstood vegetable because many people tend to over cook it, and it turns mushy and gooey. This year my husband came across a bag of Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes, and we decided to give them a try. This is an approximation of the recipe on the package that looked too good not to try. Sure enough it was fantastic! I look forward to trying the same recipe with different kinds of potatoes.
Lemon Roasted Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes
1 1/2 lb. Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes
1 stick of butter, melted
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
juice of 1 lemon, or lemon juice from the bottle
parmesan cheese
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°
  • Melt the stick of butter and mix the next 3 ingredients in it.
  • Pour over the potatoes in a 8 x 8 baking dish, and sprinkle with desired amount of parmesan cheese.
  • Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover and bake until the potatoes are golden brown, about 10 minutes. 

Hash Brown Quiche

Thank you, Paula Deen, for bringing us this recipe. It is just as delicious as it sounds. Some recipes are lost between how good the recipe sounds and what it actually tastes like, however, this is not one of them. My husband loves Quiche, but the filling to pie crust ratio is definitely lacking, and it is too hard to make mini quiches from scratch. This crust is phenomenal, adding a wonderful potato flavor and crunch. It doesn’t overwhelm the egg filling, but just adds to its richness. I am pretty sure if it had just been the two of us eating we could have polished off the entire dish.
Hash Brown Quiche
  • 3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 C. whipping cream and 1/2 C. whole milk
  • 1 1/3 cup diced cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

Adapted slightly from Paula Deen’s recpie on Foodnetwork.com