Spud Up Your Life. How to Cook Canned Potatoes?
Some weeks ago, I got home quite late after a night out with some friends. The evening was a just filled with cocktails and I hadn’t had a bit to eat until I got home. So you know how it is, like a burglar in my own home. I rummaged through the pantry desperate for something to prepare. And just as I feared, it was nearing the end of the week and my cupboard was empty.
Yep, that’s right, no quick dinners, no pasta I can prepare with some oil and garlic, not even top ramen. Well except for this canned potato which I have no idea when I bought it. So there it was all by its lonesome self, mocking me to take the leap and eat it. Well, I grabbed the can opener, opened that can of potatoes and shoved a spoonful of it into my mouth. Suffice to say, I slept that night knowing that I just had one of my saddest snacks ever.
Today I decided to challenge myself and look for various ways that I could cook canned potatoes.
Items you will need to cook canned potatoes
1. Canned potato
There are two types of canned potato. One is whole potatoes while the other is the diced variety. Choosing the right one would depend on what dish you will prepare. If you are planning to top them with a salad, then your best bet would be getting the diced variety. If you are planning to pair it with a protein, then the whole potato variety is the way to go.
If you want a bit of browning on the sides of your potatoes, then you would need a frying pan. It would also add that extra crunch that sorely lacks in potato. A 9-inch one would suffice if you are planning to use one or two cans of potatoes. Use a nonstick frying pan so that the potatoes would not stick.
Canned potatoes are already precooked before it underwent the canning process so sometimes all you need is to reheat it. To be quite honest any old microwave will do. You might have to adjust the power depending on your microwave and be wary of the times.
4. Deep fryer
If you want some French fries or hash brown, then you might need a deep fryer. Consider the quantity of potato you will deep fry when choosing this option.
5. A good colander
Straining the water from the canned potatoes would require a colander. It is also a handy tool to have when you are rinsing the potatoes for cleaning purposes. Choose a 5-quart stainless steel colander for ease of use when using it on the sink.
6. Kitchen tongs
This is especially useful when handling your potatoes. If using a nonstick skillet get one that has a material that won't scratch the surface. Choose kitchen tongs that have a great ergonomic design for ease of maneuverability.
7. Clean water
Image from http://whosgreenaz.com/2014/09/01/water-conservation-facts-tips-you-can-use/Clean water would be used for cleaning the potatoes. Though the canning process is supposed to clear any bacteria in the potatoes, it a safer bet to have a second cleaning.
How to cook canned potatoes
1. When using a frying pan
- Drain the potatoes using the colander
- Clean the potatoes using fresh water
- Heat some oil in your skillet
- Using the tongs put potatoes in heated pan (make sure to do this one at potato at a time)
- Flip them over until both sides are golden brown
- Season it with spices of your choice before serving
2. When using a microwave
- Use the diced variety or slice your potatoes into halves
- Clean the potatoes using fresh water, pat dry with a paper towel
- Poke some holes in the potato making sure that they would not crumble
- Place the potatoes in microwave safe dish
- Place inside microwave and cook on the lowest setting for a minute or 2 depending on the power of your microwave
- Season it with the spices of your choice before serving
3. When using a deep fryer
- Cut potatoes in desired slices (Fries cut, chips cut, or buy the diced variety if you plan on making deep fried cubes)
- Clean the potatoes using fresh water. Set aside
- Heat oil in frying pan about 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Add potatoes and cook until golden brown
- Drain using some paper towels
- Season it with salt and pepper before serving
After learning some of the various ways I can cook canned potatoes, during my next grocery shopping count on me to be stocking my pantry up with some canned potatoes. It saves you time in food prep, will help you avoid spoilage, and gives you more fridge space.
The next time that me and the canned potato cross paths, it will be a much better ending for me.
If you have any comments on canned potatoes, feel free to write in the comments section below.