One potato, two potato, three potato, more???
July 3, 2009 7:25 PM   Subscribe

What do I do with all these potatoes? I need recipes that keep, and/or storage tips for tons of small to medium sized potatoes.

I recently bought a 5 pound bag of red potatoes, yay! potatoes for a month. Later that same day, my husband picked up our CSA bag, and I now have a total of about 7 pounds of small-med potatoes. Most of them are red, with a handful of yellow. I thought I'd make a nice soup... but it's so hot it just doesn't appeal to me right now. Can I go ahead and make the soup and freeze it? Should I just put them in a drawer and use as needed? They tend to sprout in the drawers in my kitchen; I know it's not a problem, but, I like to prevent it just so there's less spots to trim off.
posted by purpletangerine to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I just read this question from earlier in the day. I guess this is a trend.
posted by purpletangerine at 7:35 PM on July 3, 2009

You could make something that could be served colder, like a cold potato leek soup (vichyssoise). I freeze this kind of soup a lot, too, and it's fine microwaved.
posted by ishotjr at 7:37 PM on July 3, 2009

I was just about to suggest that you trade janecr for some onions!

Potatoes don't freeze well, but cream of potato might freeze better than vichyssoise or a soup with pureed potatoes as thickener.

I left the unused portion of a bag of red potatoes in the fridge for a couple months and they did not sprout. They did get a bit rubbery-feeling. YMMV.

If you're looking for a cooking suggestion, red potatoes are great cut in chunks and cooked in the slow cooker with sliced garlic, olive oil, salt pepper and lemon. Just set it and leave them in for a few hours.
posted by necessitas at 7:41 PM on July 3, 2009

Best answer: I slice them super thin on the, uh, slicer part of the cheese grater I have and put them in Spanish tortillas like this one, from the Splendid Table's e-mailed newsletter. It's great for brunch warm...and equally good room temperature or even cold as a tapa. (Can tapa be singular like that?) Om nom nom.

Tortilla EspaƱola

Reprinted with permission from Spain: A Culinary Road Trip by Mario Batali with Gwyneth Paltrow, published by Ecco, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2008.

Serves 4 to 6 as a tapa or appetizer

Tortilla espanola is essentially the national dish of Spain. You can eat it as a tapa, for breakfast, in a bocadillo (sandwich), or for dinner with salad and a bit of jamon. Basically anytime, anywhere. We had a great one at Valdubon and I think it's because they weren't afraid to use a lot of olive oil. No fear!

* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1-1/4 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
* 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
* 8 extra-large eggs
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high until very hot but not smoking. Add the potatoes and onion, season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat if necessary so that the vegetables do not brown, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a parking knife, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add the potatoes to the eggs, then pour into the skillet, spreading the potatoes evenly in the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, just to set the bottom of the egg mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, or until almost set through. Carefully flip the tortilla over (invert it onto a plate if you must, then slide it back into the pan, bottom side up) and cook for 5 minutes longer, until set. Flip out onto a clean plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


After reducing the heat to medium-low in Step 2, start checking for doneness after about 15 minutes. It may not take the 20 minutes mentioned depending on the pan you use. You don't want to overcook the eggs or they'll toughen and become dry.

You could, of course, gild the lily with cheese. Grate some good Cheddar, a nutty Gruyere, Manchego or Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss into the egg and potato mixture. It isn't traditional but it adds another layer of flavor.

Use organic eggs if possible. There is a difference, especially in dishes like this one where eggs star.

posted by mdonley at 7:53 PM on July 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

This isn't a recipe but my first thought was that you should make a Mr. Potato Head Terracotta Army. Perhaps with one little vermilion-robed Mr. Chinese Emperor Potato Head.
posted by XMLicious at 7:53 PM on July 3, 2009

Potato salad and Salade Nicoise are pretty boss in hot weather. Maybe you could have a potato salad party?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:15 PM on July 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

i don't know much about cooking/storing food (and i really don't mean to give you a non-answer) but if you find that you're all potato'd out and you still have potatoes, would you consider donating them? if your city has a branch of Food Not Bombs, i know that they would be thrilled to take the potatoes off your hands.

i have no idea if you can get potato'd out but i thought i'd give you an "out" if you just don't want to store/cook 'em all.
posted by gursky at 8:27 PM on July 3, 2009

Slice a bunch of them, throw in some sliced onions (red onions are great!), toss with olive oil and your favorite seasonings (Greek is good!), wrap in heavy-duty foil and throw on the grill. It doesn't heat up your house and clean-up is a snap.
posted by caroljean63 at 8:29 PM on July 3, 2009

Best answer: Y'know what's wonderful? Gnocchi. They're quite easy to make—basically mashed potato, egg, and flour—and they keep for a long, long time if you freeze them. And they're tasty!

Most of all: it's a way of eating potatoes that's very different from all the usual ways, which get boring after a while.
posted by koeselitz at 8:40 PM on July 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Best answer: New potatoes, which is probably what you have, won't store very well because their skins aren't hardened. However they should last six weeks easy in a cool dark place. The potatoes that spout in your drawers are probably either too warm or are getting exposed to light leaking past the drawer fronts.

We store potatoes in milk crates (which prevents humidity damage) in our cold room which only sees a couple minutes of light a day. Ideally you want to keep them between 35-40F degrees and about the same relative humidity.
posted by Mitheral at 9:03 PM on July 3, 2009

Make potato salad and take it to a 4th of July barbecue!

You're invited to a barbecue, right?
posted by orme at 9:24 PM on July 3, 2009

You can dice them and grill them in olive oil with bell peppers, oregano, onion and whatever else sounds good and have them for breakfast (topped with cheese, sunny-side up eggs, ketchup, whatever). You can also shred them and make normal hashbrowns or latkes.

You can also just boil them and eat them as a side dish.

Or, potato bread?
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:54 PM on July 3, 2009

A potato-leek-garlic-onion-carrot soup freezes excellently, as long as you aren't expecting the lumps of potato to retain their consistency, or you have already pureed everything prior to freezing.
posted by Aquaman at 11:35 PM on July 3, 2009

If they are truly small (golf ball to racquetball size at most) you can make salt potatoes. Serve with melted butter. Use leftovers to make breakfast potatoes. Maybe not a good recipe for saving/freezing them, but at least maybe a little different than your other options.
posted by cabingirl at 12:02 AM on July 4, 2009

You can use your smallest potatoes for this: slice thinly (though not all the way through), drizzle with olive oil, paprika, and salt, and bake them for 10-15 minutes in relatively low heat until they're starting to get crispy. Once they're out of the over, drizzle some melted butter on top, and finely chopped cooked bacon (or anything else you'd like to finely chop over the potato).
These are great companions for practically every dish, and I like varying the amounts of crispiness. I'm in Idaho, so I have to improvise. :D
posted by cobain_angel at 12:51 AM on July 4, 2009

You can keep potatoes in a cool, dry area for quite a long time. For many people the only place that fits this description is the fridge. Keep as many as you can fit in your vegetable drawer.

Potato in chunks don't freeze well at all (they turn mushy and mealy), but potato in pureed form does ok. You can make a whole mass of mashed potato, then turn them into croquettes, or just freeze them in individual portion sizes. Defrost when you need some handy thickener for a soup or something, or just some mashed potato for dinner. (You may want to liven it up after defrosting with butter, cream, a drizzle of olive oil, or whatever strikes your fancy.)
posted by thread_makimaki at 3:20 AM on July 4, 2009

If you can't use all those quickly, Cooks Illustrated recommends storing potatoes in a cool, dark place and tossing in an apple in with them. The apple releases ethylene gas, which discourages ripening of the potatoes.
posted by Schismatic at 7:04 AM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

oven roasted potatoes w/ olive oil, seasoned salt, pepper & rosemary.
potato salad with vinaigrette, red onion, lots of green olives, basil and mayo.
boiled tiny new potatoes with capers and olive oil, served cold or hot, and maybe with bacon
posted by theora55 at 7:22 AM on July 4, 2009

Response by poster: You're invited to a barbecue, right?
Ouch! We're going to a family dinner at the lake, but no, I can't bring potato salad this time. But hey, that's what the rest of the summer is for, right?

Thanks so much for the suggestions so far. I really appreciate the new recipes. I never realized how limited my potato repertoire is.
posted by purpletangerine at 7:38 AM on July 4, 2009

Response by poster: The apple releases ethylene gas, which discourages ripening of the potatoes.

I thought ethylene gas encourages ripening of fruits and vegetables. That's why we use these and they seem to work.
posted by purpletangerine at 7:42 AM on July 4, 2009

When we have an excess of potatoes I usually make either potato bread or potato scones (a delicious, unhealthy Scottish recipe).
posted by primer_dimer at 10:25 AM on July 4, 2009

I'm intrigued by this potato scone, primer_dimer. Would you post a recipe?
posted by clockwork at 12:06 PM on July 4, 2009

Best answer: New potatoes work nicely for potato galette — this is my go-to recipe. I use a heavy dutch oven rather than a tart pan, which gives it a nice crust on the bottom.

If you like Indian food, another favorite is golden baby potatoes (adapted from a recipe for sabut aloo by Suvir Saran):

In a large pan over medium-high heat, combine 3 T oil (use one with a high smoke point; I like coconut), 1-1/4 t whole cumin seed, and 3 dried red chiles. Cook, stirring, until cumin browns, about 1-2 minutes.

Add one pound baby potatoes, washed and dried (cut into chunks if they're much larger than a jumbo egg). Stir to coat with spices, then cook, stirring, 3-4 minutes.

Add 1-1/2 t ground coriander, 1 t ground fennel, 1/2 t ground turmeric, 1/2 t garam masala, and 1 t salt; stir to coat potatoes with spices. Cover and cook on low until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir often; if they begin to stick, add a little bit of water. Reduce heat if scorching seems likely.

Once tender, sprinkle with 1/8 t ground cayenne and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

If serving with rice, dal, and raita, it's nice to have a salad or something to balance the starch-upon-starch-upon-starch nature of the meal.
posted by Lexica at 5:37 PM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Do you live in a place where summers are humid? If so, do NOT just put the potatoes in a drawer. I did this last summer in MN. Just two weeks later, I returned from a weekend away to a kitchen that smelled like something had died in the walls. It turned out the potatoes had liquified in that short time and turned horrible.
posted by lunasol at 8:29 AM on July 5, 2009

Best answer: The recipe I use for potato scones is from here:

500g of mashed potatoes
100g of plain flour
50g of butter
Pinch of salt

You just mix everything together, then roll out into ~6 inch circles, score the top to divide the circle into quarters, then cook, either on a ridged cast iron pan, or in a frying pan with a little bit of vegetable oil. I usually cook a batch, then toast the individual quarter-circles and have them with jam or butter for breakfast.
posted by primer_dimer at 1:38 AM on July 6, 2009

Pommes Anna, a Napoleonic dish that is nothing but butter, potatoes, and herbs, revamped for modern, uh, sanity re: butter consumption. Here's another post about them. Don't pay any mind to the bit about using russets; waxier new or red potatoes are the standard and were what I used when I made this about a month was wonderful. Slicing the potatoes very thin is the only thing that makes it time consuming, so if you're not keen on that you might want to use a mandolin. But otherwise, with some good fresh herbs this is pretty awesome, not to mention lovely to look at.
posted by ifjuly at 3:24 PM on July 15, 2009

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