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By Robin from Washington, IA
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How can potato flakes be made to taste like homemade mashed potatoes? They do not taste well to me when made up according to the directions. Are there other ways to use the potato flakes?
If you are using them as a side dish, dice up one small potato, boil and mash. Make the potato flakes according to directions and add the mashed potato. The real potato will make the instant taste better.
Use cream, real butter, cream cheese or cottage cheese intead of the milk or water in the package directions.
Add garlic powder, chopped chives (dried or fresh), diced onion (dried or fresh), pepper, paprika, lemon pepper seasoning, etc.
Make "loaded baked potato" mashed potatoes. Add cheese, bacon bits, chives, sour cream.
Use potato flakes to make potato soup - heat chicken broth, add potato flakes, onion, parsley, chopped celery, pepper.
My husband doesn't really like potato flakes. When I am in a hurry and don't have time for the real thing I have found a way to make them tastier. I follow the package directions as to how much water/butter/milk to use. When I am heating the liquids either in the microwave or on the stove I add 1 packet of dry onion soup mix and heat that along with the water.
I use them to thicken soups and gravies and ocasionanlly use them for potatoes. I've found the easiest way (for me) to make mashed potatoes -- and within a few minutes.
Buy the potatoes in a can....they are 50 cents at the $1 and I've seen them for about 25cents at the discount grocery store. Simply heat up, mash and use them like like regular potatoes-- lumpy, smooth, cream cheese, cream, cheese etc. They work great and take about 4 minutes to put together.
I use them to make potato bread. Much quicker and easier than boiling a potato for the juice.
I make some instant up ahead of time and make potato doughnuts with them. I also add sour cream and chives and a dash of garlic salt to them for meals.
I do think that mashed potatoes made from scratch are better....have a richer more potato-y taste; however I make the instant quite a bit because it's fast and easy. We just had some tonight in fact. The kids definitely do not see a difference and hubby and me are just fine with them. I have used various brands and they are all about the same in taste but there is a difference in price. There is one I get at Wal-Mart. I thought it was Idahoan but I could be wrong.
My mother in law cooks for a big crowd every Sun and if mashed potatoes are on the menu, it's instant. She has to make so much that it would be a real pain to do from scratch. She is a real good cook too but in this case it's just easier to make a big batch of the instant!
Here is my recipe for potato flakes. they taste really good for boxed potatoes.
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Using Instant Potatoes
The following are great when you dont want to peel potatoes. They freeze well in Ziploc bags too. My hubby couldnt tell them from the real thing. They really are tasty.
6 7 cups of instant mashed potatoes (according to package directions, but dont add butter)
(I use Betty Crocker Home-style mashed potatoes, I like their flavor best)
1 8 ounce cream cheese
1 - 8 ounce Sour cream
1/2 - 1 tsp. or more onion powder (to taste)
1/8 1/4 tsp. Pepper
Make potatoes according to box directions, but leave out butter. Add cream cheese, onion powder and pepper. Stir till incorporated. Add enough sour cream to make a nice consistency. If the potatoes seem too loose or not stiff enough, add a little more potato flakes and stir. If they are too thick add enough hot water and butter to make a good consistency.
Hint: I freeze instant potatoes in quart Ziploc bags. I lay them flat to store in freezer. When reheating them in the microwave after they have been frozen, they may seem like they are going to be thin and not nice when reheating, but stir and keep heating. The water will incorporate they will be nice. Just like fresh.
I have a recipe for make ahead mashed potatoes that are like fresh mashed that you make a couple days ahead like Thanksgiving. I will send it if anyone wants it.
Linda from PA
I make a chicken parmesan recipe with instant potatoes -- mix equal parts instant potato flakes and parmesan cheese. Add garlic powder to taste. Dip chicken pieces in beaten egg, then roll in the potato flake/parmesan mixture. Place in a greased baking pan, drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Delicious -- and it smells SO GOOD as it's cooking!
I haven't made "instant mashed potatoes" in years, but often use Idahoan (the best, IMO) to thicken my beef stew, chicken soup, etc. Also, try it in any recipe that calls for bread or cracker crumbs. It works great in salmon patties, meat loaf, etc.
There's a guy in the next town from me who sells hot dogs at his service station and he makes a 'meatless' chili for them out of potatoes (don't know if they're 'instant but that would work.). His dogs are pretty good and I was surprised to learn the chili contained no meat. Personally I much prefer my chili but this guy sells a *lot* of hot dogs so obviously lots of folks are impressed with them.
The main thing is: don't be afraid to experiment with them. There's no telling what you might come up with! Happy cooking!
Potato Crusted Baked Fish
Mix together 1 pkg Idahoan Instant Potato with 1/4 cup Grated Parm/Romano Cheese, 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper to taste. Cover fish with Mayo and Coat with Potato mixture. Spray pan with Pam, and heat Fish in 400degree oven 30-40 minutes depending on thickness of fish. Work best with Tilapia, Cod, Sole, Snapper or any Filet. Also works with Chicken Breast!
Sour Cream is the trick. It makes the potatoes creamy. I also add a few tablespoons of half and half into the milk quantity. One last trick is to add a dash of nutmeg. YUMMMMY!
Make a tasty cake frosting with a surprising ingredient you can find in your pantry. This page contains a recipe for instant mashed potato frosting.