Hello Again! Today I’m going to share a different method for freezing formed potatoes products such as tater tots or hash brown patties. Not really my favorite way of doing things, but I promised I’d share! I didn’t get a good pic of the finished product because I had to eat the bacon cheddar bites ASAP, so I would say it’s worth doing!
First you’ll want to sort your potatoes by size.
(I generally use the biggest for french fries, medium for shredded hash browns, and the smallest for diced hash browns. For loose shredded and diced hash browns follow the directions for french fries. Use these directions only for formed potato products.)
We’re going to start by putting our peeled potatoes which have been cut in half down the length in COLD water on the stove.
Over medium high heat, bring the halved potatoes to a boil.
Start checking them after they come to boil. You want them just softening to the touch. These only took about five minutes. They were medium/small to start with, and not new.
I think this is called parboiling. I want to know what and why I’m doing something, don’t usually care what it’s called. I’m pretty sure it’s parboiling, though. (The why is to remove starch and make the formed potatoes partially cooked so the outside can brown quickly and crispy and the inside be done, too.)
So when they are beginning soften, remove them from the heat and drain. Of course, you can spoon them out of the water and render the starch, but I just drain the cooking liquid down the sink.
Next you need to cool them. I just rinsed these with cold water because the waters crazy cold out of the faucet right now…like make your hands ache kind of cold. Generally I would put them in a bowl of ice water, maybe even put that into the fridge (or freezer for a short time) to speed it up. Just make sure to cool them quickly to stop the cooking!
Allow them to drain for a bit, then start shredding! I love this potato shredder just because it cuts on both the forward and backward making super quick work of it, but you can use any box grater or shredder. Ever a food processor attachment if you have one (I don’t though…remember all the Ivory soap I got to shred for the surprise snow balls?).
Once shredded add about 1/2 Tablespoon of flour for each cup of potatoes. I just guesstimate. Also, add any desired seasonings. I added salt, pepper, and garlic powder with parsley to this batch. Just add whatever you like. Mix thoroughly with your hands and once combined squeeze the crap out of it. (Notice the lack of pics here? Super messy!)
At this point you can shape your patties/tots however you want such as the typical barrel shape for tater tots, flattish oblong shape for hash brown patties. Fry until fully browned to eat now, or until just beginning to brown to freeze. (That is the entire reason I don’t do this! I can not catch that point of not fully cooked but lightly browned all over. For me, I’m going to eat what I make now and not freeze them, but they are great from the freezer if you can accomplish it!) Drain fully on absorbent towels and eat/freeze. To freeze just spread the drained product in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze, then transfer to resealable bags. Finish frying them straight from frozen.
I played around this time and added crumbled cooked bacon and cheddar cheese to about 2 cups of the seasoned potato mixture and prepared them two different ways.
First, I put about a tater tots worth in my hand, then packed the plain potato mixture around it. The mixture with cheese has to be fully encased, or you just end up with a mess of loose stuff frying….believe me. I tried to fry just the tots and that’s what happened as soon as the cheese started melting. Packing them in the plain mixture produced patties and they were good (it was husband’s preference)…but the next is what I couldn’t get enough of!
I made tater tots out of the cheddar bacon mix and encased them in Italian Panko (course) crumbs and fried them up. I want more. Right now. My kids love just the plain tater tots dipped in ranch dressing and were unwilling to even try them, though 🙁 .
I know, I should have stopped stuffing my mouth and took a good pic, but my battery was too low to use the flash, and I wasn’t going to take long enough to find new ones!
‘Til next time, show some love in the comments below!