4/17/14

Ranch Potatoes: Hidden Valley Ranch Meets Potatoes


One more potato recipe and I swear I'm done!  LOL.  I don't think we've ate as many hash brown potatoes in the past 12 years as we have this past winter.  Usually we are following a semi-low carb meal plan just for the 'health' of it, but my 18 year old daughter got me to buy a container of dehydrated potato hash browns a few months ago, which she would quickly cook up with peppers, onions and bacon in the morning and put it on a Sandwich Thin as a "to go" breakfast on her way to school. 

When the hash browns were in the house I found myself using them more and more often, and because they are so incredibly cheap, hot and filling, it was great on the grocery budget.

This is a recipe I have made for years using real, fresh potatoes in which I would slice them, and layer in them in a casserole dish and bake as a side dish.  When all three kids were small and we lived in the part of the USA that has winter for a full 7 months out of the year, this was one of their favorite side dishes at dinner time.  It's SO easy because you only a couple ingredients.







Ranch Potatoes

4 medium size potatoes, sliced thin
1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
1/3 c dry bread crumbs

Salt and Pepper

Toss the potatoes with the dressing and place in a greased casserole dish or pan. Sprinkle on the bread crumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and bake at 375 for 30 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until tender and golden brown.  

Note:  We often skip the bread crumb topping.  This means this yummy side dish only has 2 ingredients.  Since we started to keep dehydrated hash brown potatoes on hand in the pantry, I've started to make this dish using those instead of real, fresh, whole potatoes that needed to be sliced.  SO much easier!  This is literally mixed and put into the oven to bake in under 1 minute.

I use about 1 heaping cup dehydrated hash browns and 1 1/4 cup hot water water to rehydrate them in this recipe.








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Cooking from Storage: Hashbrown Potatoes with Peppers, Onions and Bacon


Another hash brown recipe from food storage!  Not only have we been craving hot, filling foods around here due to the cold weather spell we've been having, but dehydrated hash browns are a very, very frugal and budget friendly food.

Potatoes in many forms are one of the cheapest pantry or Emergency Storage Foods you can stock. The wonderful thing about them is by varying the other ingredients add to them you can really get creative. 

I've started to use only dehydrated hash brown potatoes for everything from my cheesy potato casseroles, to breakfast pizzas, morning breakfast sandwiches, side dishes at dinner (like the jalapeno version in the post below) to soup thickeners and more.

You can make recipes similar to this completely from food storage if you use your dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated onions, dehydrated or freeze dried red and green peppers, canned or dehydrated bacon bits or real bacon, crumbled, pantry salt and pepper and even use some freeze dried cheese if you want to add a bit of cheesy goodness to these morning hash browns. 

I buy a box of dehydrated potatoes at Sam's Club for about $6 (which makes about 50 servings) but if you don't have them near you you can order them online as well (links below this post).  Add and delete amounts of ingredients based on what you and your family like (I don't measure anything for this recipe)!  Remember, recipes are just ideas.  Play with your food!



Hash Browns with Onions, Peppers and Bacon

Depending on much you need to make, adjust your amounts accordingly. 
About a 1/2 cup of dehydrated hashbrown Potatoesper person
Add a choice of items from the list;
Freeze dried, dehydrated or fresh green and/or red peppers
dehydrated chopped onions
Ova Easy Whole Egg Crystals
Crumbled, cooked bacon, bacon bits or crumbled canned bacon like Yoders Bacon
Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese
Salt and pepper

In a saucepan on the stove (or over a campfire, etc.)  place your hash browns with an equal amount of water.  Add the rest of the ingredients you wish (except for cheese)  and be sure to add the equivalent of water needed to rehydrate.   I do not measure, but for example, I used about 2 cups hash browns with 2 cups water, added about 2 T red and green peppers, onions and 1/4 cup Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon along with another cup of water.  

Simmered over medium high heat, stirring while everything rehydrated.  If you don't have enough water in the beginning, simply add a bit more, about 1/2 cup or so and judge accordingly.  You are simply rehydrating the foods to where they look plump and natural as if you just grated the potatoes and chopped the onions and peppers yourself.  If you want to add fresh cheese, add it at the very end right before you serve so it melts from the heat but doesn't brown or burn.  If you are using freeze dried cheese from storage you can have it rehydrating according to directions while you cook the potatoes and add it at the end. 

Continue to let cook, not stirring any longer so the potatoes start to crisp and brown.  Use a spatula to flip large areas of the potatoes over as it cooks so you brown and crisp both sides.  When the potatoes are generally golden brown, remove from heat, season and serve. 






Lots of water when you start. More is better than not enough as it cooks in and evaporates


Most of the water is rehydrated into the foods.  Now it's time to leave it alone to cook and start to brown.










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4/16/14

Cooking from food storage: Jalapeno Hash browns


I posted this about 2 years ago but just the thought of these makes my mouth water so it's time to post it again!  I've been cooking a lot from potatoes we have in our emergency food storage due to how filling and cheap they are coupled with the cold winter we had.  Now that it's spring, hash browns are still yummy in the mornings or as a side dish with dinner. 

Using your dehydrated hashbrown potatoes is so easy and fast!  Not having to peel and grate potatoes is a luxury.   Since I decided to start stocking dehydrated hash browns, making these either as a breakfast item or as a side dish, has become super easy. 

The brand I use is Golden Grill - which is available at Sam's Club and Costco as well as on Amazon, but I haven't honestly looked for them in my local grocery store so I'm not sure if they carry them or not.  I am sure almost any dehydrated brand would work - however, I can attest that this particular brand, once reconstituted with water is just like freshly grated potatoes and tastes delicious!  You can use your Dried Jalapeno Peppers from storage as well as adding some freeze dried cheese if you wish.




Reconstituted dehydrated potatoes mixed in a bowl


Hash Brown Potatoes with Jalapeno's

6 c reconstituted or freshly grated potatoes
1 c grated onion
1-3 jalapeno peppers, chopped fine (depending on how much spice you want)
1 egg
1 t cumin
1/4 c flour
salt and pepper
optional:  if you don't have jalapenos or don't want to use them, use a basic green/red bell pepper.  Very good and not spicy.
oil to cook

Drain the potatoes well, pressing to get out all moisture.  Mix the ingredients together in a bowl, salt and pepper to taste.  Heat oil in a pan to coat the bottom - on the stove top or use an electric griddle to many at once.  Use about 1/3 cup scoops and press slightly with your spatula.  Cook about 4 minutes on one side until dark golden brown.  Flip and continue cooking until the second side is golden brown the centers are cooked through.  Serve!

*Note*
I like them plain but also sometimes serve this particular style with a sour cream sauce I make by mixing in Mrs. Dash Southwestern Seasoning with sour cream.  Love it! 











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