Dehydrated and frozen Idaho® potatoes help chefs control food costs and safety while offering customizable applications across all dayparts.
By Lisa Parrish, GMC Editor, and the Idaho Potato Commission
Convenient, customizable and cost-efficient, frozen and dehydrated processed Idaho® potatoes can be used across all dayparts and in a variety of applications from potato bars to a gluten-free coating for fish sticks.
With a high solids/low moisture content, Idaho® potatoes deliver a distinct fluffy texture and hearty flavor. They absorb less oil and maintain their original volume/yield - with low moisture comes less shrinkage. Idaho® potatoes can also provide a popular, versatile and tasty solution to gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan menu challenges.
“I enjoy the unique sensorial attributes within taste and texture that frozen potatoes can provide,” said Chef Adam Moore, strategist and founder of Flashpoint Innovations. “Along with many different shapes and sizes, frozen potatoes may also have coating systems that allow them to stay crisper longer and provide an extra boost of flavor.”
Moore also appreciates that cooking with frozen processed potatoes may cut down on food safety issues as there are fewer preparation steps which results in fewer opportunities for contamination. “Using frozen and dehydrated potatoes out of the bag or box limits the amount of touches and improves overall food safety,” he said.
From a cost-savings perspective, utilizing frozen or dehydrated products decreases the overall production costs, like food and labor costs, when compared to preparing raw potatoes from scratch. For example, using dehydrated potatoes to bulk up fresh mashed potatoes can save on labor costs for large batches. Also, most portions of dehydrated Idaho® potatoes cost pennies per serving and have consistent quality throughout the product.
Read the list below for utilization ideas of frozen or dehydrated Idaho® potatoes:
Shapes and flavors–specialty fries are available in distinctive shapes and a variety of infused flavors and batters. Look for these cuts and styles: thick-cut, plain or batter-dipped, straight or curly, shoestring, waffle cut, triangles and tots.
Dips and toppings–serve fries with signature dips or toppings. Choices popular with consumers include blue cheese/buffalo, ranch, honey mustard and garlicky mayonnaise. For a healthier profile, use low fat dairy or vegetable purées as a dip base.
Fry right–keep fries completely frozen before frying. Find the right frying temperature and don’t exceed 365°F. The low sugar content of Idaho® potatoes results in light golden fries.
Value-added–processed Idaho® mashed potatoes can be simple or elaborate, casual or upscale with authentic flavors and home-style appearance.
Versatile–put a signature stamp on mashed by flavoring with buttermilk, bacon, grated cheese, garlic and herbs, or mushrooms/truffles; or mix with egg yolks, butter and cream to piping consistency, pipe into swirls, sprinkle with cheese and bake to golden brown.
Gluten-free coating–use potato flakes/granules as a coating for fish, chicken or vegetables. Add the flakes to bread, pancake, doughnut and roll recipes to increase moistness.
Thickening–Add flakes to thicken soups.
Frozen/Dehydrated Hash Browns
Versatile–serve as a side dish during every day part; pat into pie pans or muffin tins for a gluten-free crust; use as a hearty layer in burgers and sandwiches; layer with gravy and cheese for a unique poutine; add grated zucchini or root vegetables and herbs for a signature blend.
Reduced fat–Griddle using a non-stick pan and cooking spray, or spray coat a sheet pan and oven bake.
Varieties–dehydrated Idaho® hash browns are packed in cartons and bags in a variety of sizes, IQF shredded, and are available in slices/dices/skin-on, random cuts, and specialty styles.
Instant appetizer–Idaho® potato skins can be customized to fit any occasion. Season and get creative with sautéed vegetables, cheese, meats or poultry, chili, pizza or taco toppings.
Potato bar–Idaho® potato skin bar allows consumers to mix and match toppings.
Elegant side–twice-baked potatoes add flair to any entrée and can be customizable with several appealing flavor profiles.
Portion control–the high solids and low-moisture content of Idaho® potatoes means less shrinkage, a light texture and more plate coverage.
Layering ideas–Layer scalloped potatoes with turnip and red onion slices before adding milk and butter; or shredded cheese and diced ham; or use instead of noodles in lasagna or moussaka. Add spices, herbs, cheese, Dijon mustard and other seasonings to the white sauce.
Shelf stable–easy to use and long-lasting options for hash browns, scalloped potato dishes, mashed potatoes. Can also be used for coatings.
Click here to view a study measuring potato volume usage by foodservice operators for both fresh and processed potatoes.
Photo credit: Idaho Potato Commission
Click here to meet Bryan Wada, a third-generation potato farmer featured in the September 2019 Gold Medal Classroom’s Meet the Growers section.