I’ve actually been very busy with making things for Christmas, finishing up 2012 quilt orders and traveling all across creation for the holidays. While in Western Massachusetts visiting some old friends, we were told to make a pilgrimage to The Barn in Greenfield, which is a surplus grocery store, aka, my DREAMland. I have actually had dreams about surplus grocery stores. Essentially, they buy dinged, dented and about-to-expire products and sell them at wholesale prices. Since organic foods are more expensive, they are way more likely to not sell at the regular store and end up in these bargain stores. Basically, a hippie paradise.
Among other things (like pounds of brussel sprouts, my favorite food) we got 50 pounds of organic potatoes for $6. I had to really talk Matt into it, and convinced him by saying we could make our own frozen hashbrowns and then have hashbrowns every time we open the freezer, just like that! I was pretty proud of myself until I was dragging the 50 lb box to the house through the foot of snow and ice all hungover from a 13 hour drive. “Whose dumb idea was this!” I grumbled.
But now our freezer is full of hashbrowns, so I’m happy again. We couldn’t find a recipe we liked anywhere, so we made up our own process and it worked great. Here it is! You’ll need:
You have to cook potatoes before you can freeze them or they get ruined in the freezer. A lot of places recommend boiling or pre-frying potatoes. Both seemed like too much work and too much mess.
We quartered the taters.
Then ran them through the food processor which has a grater accessory and does a great job. I got a little carried away and grated this many in about 4 minutes but luckily nothing caught on fire.
One reason we wanted to prepare them in bulk in advance is because I don’t enjoy cleaning out the food processor after every little cooking job. It is sooo much more convenient to do a few months worth at once and freeze it!
Anywho, then we put the potatoes on a cookie pan about 1-2 inches deep. Since you are not trying for crispy perfection at this stage, it doesn’t matter how deep they are in my opinion. I drizzle a layer of oil across the top of the taters.
And popped them in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes, then flipped them and cooked them for another 20 minutes or until they are starting to brown and crisp up at the top and bottom.
I then let them cool on the counter. When they were cool, I layered them in a long flat storage container with freezer paper to keep them from sticking together in one giant mega-wad of hashbrown. After they were frozen over night, we packed them into gallon zip lock bags, because I needed my giant tupperware to put homemade pasta in.
When you want them, just pull them out of the bag and toss them, frozen into some cooking oil with whatever spices you like, or make hashbrown casserole, or other amazing things. We have used them a few times and had delicious results, though I am of the persuasion that anything with potatoes is probably going to be delicious.