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Dr. Potato gives usage tips for Processed Idaho® Potatoes

Q:

Dear Dr. Potato, I know frozen and dehydrated potatoes are convenient and cost-efficient, but how do I differentiate my fries and hash browns from those served by my competitors? Do you have tips for creating signature side dishes from processed potatoes?

A:

A savvy operator keeps his/her eye on the bottom line, while keeping customers coming back for unique, creative and flavorful potato dishes. Take a look at the range of variety, sizes and styles of and menu opportunities for processed Idaho® potatoes:

Frozen Fries

  • Shapes and Flavors–specialty fries are available in distinctive shapes, as well as in a variety of infused flavors and batters. Ask your supplier about these fry styles: thick-cut, plain or batter-dipped, straight or curly, triangles and tots.
  • Dips and Toppings–serve fries with signature dips or toppings. Choices popular with customers 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 temperature for your frying conditions, but don’t exceed 365°F. The low sugar content of Idaho® potatoes results in light golden fries.

Frozen/Dehydrated Mashed

  • Value-added–processed Idaho® mashed potatoes can be simple or elaborate, casual or upscale. Ask about pre-seasoned processed mashed potatoes with authentic flavors and home-style appearance.
  • Versatility–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.

Frozen/Dehydrated Hash Browns

  • Pack options–dehydrated Idaho® hash browns are packed in cartons and bags in a variety of sizes. Frozen Idaho® hash browns are shipped in bulk   packs of pre-portioned shredded, IQF shredded, slices/dices/skin-on, random cuts, and specialty styles.
  • Versatility–serve as a side dish at every meal occasion; 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 baked.

Skins/Twice Baked

  • Instant appetizer–fun and tasty, Idaho® potato skins are perennially popular and can be customized to fit any occasion. Season and get creative with sautéed vegetables, cheese, meats or poultry, chili, pizza or taco toppings.
  • Step up to the bar–generate excitement with an Idaho® potato skin bar, allow customers to mix and match toppings.
  • Elegant side–twice-baked potatoes add flair and value to any entrée and come in several appealing flavor profiles.
  • Customized–frozen twice-baked and potato skins are available in a variety of sizes and flavors. For volume orders, processors can customize size and flavor profiles to fit your menu concept.

Scalloped/Au Gratin

  • Ready-to-serve comfort–scalloped and au gratin Idaho® potatoes deliver all the taste and texture that your customers remember from celebrations and family meals.
  • 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.

Menuing Idaho® guarantees your customers are enjoying the best potato available. With a high solids/low moisture content, Idaho® potatoes deliver a distinct fluffy texture and hearty flavor. They also absorb less oil and maintain their original volume/yield (low moisture means less shrinkage). Idaho® potatoes also provide a popular, versatile and tasty solution to gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan menu challenges.

Find more information on purchasing, prepping and customizing processed and dehydrated Idaho® potatoes in our How To section. Browse signature recipes for French fries, mashed, hash browns, potato skins and more in Foodservice Recipes.