My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!


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Super Simple Potato Soup… And A Giveaway!

Only 2 days left to claim your fast and free entry into my May giveaway! To enter, check out my original post here:

My Foray Into Food Storage

We’re halfway through the marathon called May, and I thought it was high time for another giveaway!  Emergency Essentials generously provided our prize.  Thank you!!!  They were also kind enough to give me a second item to test, so I can honestly tell you what I think about it.  And I like it…  A LOT!  What am I giving away? Take a look…

Hash Browns! Hash Browns!  See them on Emergency Essentials’ website here.  They’re on sale for $19.99 this month with an additional $1 off per bag if you purchase 6 bags!

Dehydrated hash browns!  A HUGE bag of them with 143 servings!  They rehydrate quickly and easily making them perfect for everyday use in my house (and yours).  Sure, I can go the traditional route and use them to make hash browns, but I decided to start with something a little different.  I made potato soup with…

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A Family Favorite – Funeral Potatoes – Made With Food Storage

Funeral Potatoes, sometimes called Utah Potato Casserole, are delicious!  I love them!  Creamy, potato-y, cheesy, with some crunch on top.  Perfecto!

 

Funeral Potatoes, aka Utah Potato Casserole, made with Emergency Essentials Dehydrated Hash Brown Potatoes

Funeral Potatoes, aka Utah Potato Casserole, made with Emergency Essentials Dehydrated Hash Brown Potatoes

 

You know what is not a favorite thing of mine?  Prepping the potatoes for this dish.  I hate the cooking and shredding (or chopping), so I don’t make these as often as I’d like.  Also, we’re not big baked potato eaters, so when the craving for these hits, I rarely have potatoes on hand.  Yes, it’s a first world problem, so I’m not complaining too loudly about it.

 

When I received the prize for this month’s giveaway (enter here!), I realized that the shredded hash browns could be used in all sorts of recipes and not only for traditional hash browns.  As soon as I opened the package Emergency Essentials gave to me to test, I realized that these were absolutely *PERFECT* for Funeral Potatoes.  I resolved to make them asap and did last night.  Let me begin with my recipe.

 

Delicious Funeral Potatoes - Fresh From The Oven!

Delicious Funeral Potatoes – Fresh From The Oven!

 

Funeral Potatoes

Adapted from a recipe in The Essential Mormon Cookbook

 

4 cups dehydrated hash browns (or one 32-oz package frozen shredded hash browns)

2 cans cream of chicken soup (10 1/2 oz cans), or your favorite cream soup

2 cups sour cream

1 cup grated cheddar (I used sharp cheddar, you can use freeze-dried without reconstituting it)

1/2 cup butter, melted (salted or unsalted, your choice)

2 tablespoons dried onion (or 1/3 cup chopped onion)

2 cups crushed corn flakes or corn chex cereal

2 tablespoons butter melted

 

Rehydrate potatoes according to the directions on the package (for mine, I put 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials’ Hash Browns into 16 cups of salted boiling water and let it simmer for 7 minutes).  Drain hash browns and transfer to a 9×13 casserole dish.  (If using frozen hash browns, it works best if you let them thaw a bit before putting them in the casserole dish, but they do not need to be heated through.)

 

In a mixing bowl, mix together soup, sour cream, cheese, 1/2 cup melted butter and dried onion until well combined.  Pour over potatoes in casserole dish and stir until the soup mixture is evenly distributed among the potatoes.  Set aside.  Mix together crushed corn cereal and 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Spread over top of potato mixture.  Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly along the edges and the corn cereal is slightly brown.  Serve warm.

 

Here’s my photo step-by-step.

 

 

Before I assembled my ingredients, I boiled some water, added a touch of salt, and added 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials Hash Brown Potatoes.

Before I assembled my ingredients, I boiled some water, added a touch of salt, and added 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials Hash Brown Potatoes.

 

 

While the potatoes were cooking, I assembled my ingredients.

While the potatoes were cooking, I assembled my ingredients.

 

I mixed the soup and sour cream together, then I added the grated sharp cheddar cheese.

I mixed the soup and sour cream together, then I added the grated sharp cheddar cheese.

 

Next, I added dried onion. Personally, I prefer fresh onion, but my kids don't like the "crunch" of fresh onion, so we compromise and I use dried onion.

Next, I added dried onion. Personally, I prefer fresh onion, but my kids don’t like the “crunch” of fresh onion, so we compromise and I use dried onion.

 

Next, I added the melted butter (I used salted butter), and stirred well to combine.

Next, I added the melted butter (I used salted butter), and stirred well to combine.

 

After 7 minutes, the potatoes were re-hydrated and ready to use. I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9x13 casserole dish.

After 7 minutes, the potatoes were re-hydrated and ready to use.

 

I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9x13 casserole dish.

I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9×13 casserole dish.

 

Next, I poured the soup mixture over the potatoes and stirred until the potatoes and soup were well combined.

Next, I poured the soup mixture over the potatoes and stirred until the potatoes and soup were well combined.

 

I crushed my corn chex cereal with my rolling pin...

I crushed my corn chex cereal with my rolling pin.  (You know, I love using corn chex in my chex crispy treats.  See my super easy recipe here.)

 

Then, I mixed it with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Then, I mixed it with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

 

Finally, I topped the potato mixture with the corn cereal/butter mixture and popped the casserole dish in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Finally, I topped the potato mixture with the corn cereal/butter mixture and popped the casserole dish in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

30 short minutes later, I had delicious Funeral Potatoes!

30 short minutes later, I had delicious Funeral Potatoes!

 

Don't those look good?

Don’t those look good?

 

Now, I’ve showed you three different ways to use dehydrated hash brown potatoes. 

Can you think of another way to use them in your every day cooking?

 

 

Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA


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Yummy, Creamy, Clammy Goodness – New England Clam Chowder

Don’t forget!  Tomorrow I start my first ever giveaway!  Click here for a sneak peek!

Rain was in the forecast here in soCal, and I had a hankering for some good, old-fashioned clam chowder.  And not just any clam chowder, Sheri’s clam chowder.  My friend, Sheri, is the best cook/baker/chef there ever was!  Everything she made was like manna from heaven.

 

Clam Chowder Goodness!

Clam Chowder Goodness!

Sheri made the best EVERYTHING: bread, cookies, candy, soup.  Anything and everything she touched became a deliciously, delectable creation!  Plus she spent less on it, because she knew what was truly important: butter, fresh ingredients, butter, time, butter, patience, and butter!  Sheri taught me how to make awesome food on a budget and have it taste like you spent a million bucks!  And a little butter didn’t hurt either.

 

She was kind enough to share her New England Clam Chowder recipe with me a few years ago.  I tweaked it a bit for personal taste (salt, sugar, amount of flour in the roux, and added extra potatoes), but it’s pretty close to her original recipe.  And the best part is that the soup only takes about 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes to cook for a total of about 40 minutes from refrigerator to table!

 

Now, don’t let the word roux scare you.  A roux is simply a fat (in this case butter) mixed with flour cooked on the stove to get rid of the “raw flour” taste.  It’s used to thicken a myriad of things, and it can be used as the base for tons of sauces, including cheese sauce.   I include step-by-step instructions not only for the soup, but also for making the roux, so you can do this at home.  And it’s super easy.  I promise!

Let’s begin with the recipe:

New England Clam Chowder (a.k.a. Boston Clam Chowder)

2 – 6 oz cans minced clams
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced celery
3 cups diced potatoes
1 8-oz. stick of salted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 quart half & half
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2-2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
a dash of pepper, to taste

Wash your veggies well.  Peel potatoes, if desired.  Dice potatoes, onions, and celery.  You can leave the potatoes a little larger if you prefer. Put the vegetables into a saucepan.  Drain the liquid from the canned clams over the vegetables.  Add water so vegetables are covered in liquid.  Cover and simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, about 5 minutes before they are done, melt butter in another saucepan.  Add flour to the pan, and stir to blend (forming a roux).  Cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add the half & half.  Stir until smooth and thick.  (I like to use a whisk.)   Add the undrained vegetables and the clams.  Heat through, and season with salt, pepper and sugar, to taste.  Serve!

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Well it is!  Just watch!

Start with fresh ingredients!   I don't usually use green onion, but I had some leftover, and I didn't want them to go to waste, so they went into the pot!

Start with fresh ingredients!
I don’t usually use green onion, but I had some leftover, and I didn’t want them to go to waste, so they went into the pot!

Dice the veggies.  Here are the celery, green onion, and sweet yellow onion.

Dice the veggies. Here are the celery, green onion, and sweet yellow onion.

I added chopped potato as I like mine a bit bigger than a dice.

I added chopped potato as I like mine a bit bigger than a dice.

Drained the minced clams over the veggies, then I added enough water to cover the vegetables and put it on the stove to cook for about 20 minutes (until the potatoes were fork tender).

Drained the minced clams over the veggies, then I added enough water to cover the vegetables and put it on the stove to cook for about 20 minutes (until the potatoes were fork tender).

When the veggies were just about done, I started a roux.  I melted 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup) then added 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour.  I let it cook for a minute or two.

When the veggies were just about done, I started a roux. I melted 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup) then added 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour. I let it cook for a minute or two.

And I added the half-n-half.

And I added the half-n-half.

At first, it looked like this.  See how the roux is kind of sitting in the half and half?

At first, it looked like this. See how the roux is kind of sitting in the half and half?

I continued to heat it on medium and used a whisk until it looked like this.  It only took a couple of minutes.

I continued to heat the half-n-half and roux mixture on medium and used a whisk until it looked like this.
It only took a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, the veggies finished up and were nice and tender without being too soft.

Meanwhile, the veggies finished up and were nice and tender without being too soft.

I dumped them in the butter, flour, half and half mixture, liquid and all.

I dumped them in the butter, flour, half and half mixture, liquid and all.

I stirred it gently to incorporate the veggies into the creamy roux mixture.

I stirred the soup gently to incorporate the veggies into the creamy roux mixture.

Then I added the drained, minced clams.  You can go with a diced clam, but I find the minced is a better texture for this soup.  The larger size of the diced clams doesn't work as well, imho.

Next, I added the drained, minced clams.
You can use diced clams, but I find the minced is a better texture for this soup. The larger size of the diced clams doesn’t work as well, imho.

See how nice that's looking?  I've added everything except for the seasoning.

See how nice that’s looking? I’ve added everything except for the seasoning.

In goes the salt, pepper, and sugar.   It is very important that you taste the soup as you do this.   I recommend that you start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Stir it in, let the flavors combine for a minute or so, then taste.  If it needs more, add it a little at a time.  My personal preference is 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar with a couple dashes of pepper.

In goes the salt, pepper, and sugar.  It is very important that you taste the soup as you do this.
I recommend that you start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir it in, let the flavors combine for a minute or so, then taste. If it needs more, add it a little at a time. My personal preference is 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar with a couple dashes of pepper.

Voila!  You have lovely, creamy, New England Clam Chowder!

Voila! You have lovely, creamy, New England Clam Chowder!

Now, all I need is a loaf of crusty bread, and I’m set!  What do you think about that?  Roux isn’t so scary, now, is it?

So, tell me…  What’s your favorite rainy weather food?