Some of the most popular posts that I have published through the years have been on dehydrating potatoes. Yes I do can some in jars also. I like to can my new potatoes and any damaged potatoes that are hit by the spade or chewed on by the mice or voles get dehydrated. Whether it be hash brown or potato slices the most asked question is how to use them. I wanted to publish a post on rehydrating hash browns. Dehydrating potatoes is one of the easiest ways in my opinion to store potatoes and requires the least amount of storage space. I put mine in quart jars and add oxygen absorbers to seal the jars. Mine keep for years in my pantry this way.
Today I am going to make a hash brown casserole with ham and cheese. First I put a pot of water on the stove. Just plain water and bring it almost to a boil but not quite.
I want enough hash brown to fill a 9 X 13 casserole or the equivalent of a large bag of commercial frozen hash browns. That takes for me about 1/2 a quart jar of loosely packed dried potatoes. Pour the potatoes in the hot water.
I also added a hand full of dehydrated green onions to the water.
Then I turned the fire off and covered the pot.
25 minutes later my potatoes again look like hash brown potatoes with green onions in them
Remember those muslin dish towels I made last week. Drop a clean one in a colander and pour your potatoes and onions in the towel and let the water drain out of the potatoes.
Now gather that dish towel and squeeze the remaining water out of the potatoes.
And there you have it a half pot of hash brown potatoes ready for your casserole or to make hash brown patties : )
Normally my casserole would call for 2 cans of mushroom soup. I make my own by substituting a white sauce. I like to use 1/4 cup butter to 1/4 cup flour and a cup of milk to substitute for a can of cream soup. So for this recipe I will melt 1/2 cup butter in a small sauce pan.
Then add 1/2 cup flour and stir for a couple minutes to let it cook a little.
Now I am going to add 2 cups milk and stir constantly to let it simmer and thicken.
Once it reaches a thick consistency I will turn off the stove and let it cool. Remember as it cools it continues to thicken. I could add mushrooms or celery to this for mushroom or celery soup.
Now I add about 2 tablespoons of butter to a black skillet and let it melt.
Then I add a hand full of chopped mushrooms to the skillet
And a cup or so of frozen onions to the skillet
And 2 cups of smoked ham chunks to the skillet and saute it all down in that butter.
Now to that pot of potatoes and onions we are going to add a block of softened cream cheese.
Now we are going to add the white sauce that has cooled to the pot of potatoes, throw in 2 cups of shredded cheese of your choice and a cup of sour cream. Now add those sauteed mushrooms, onions and ham to the pot and stir. Add salt and cracked pepper to taste.
Now pour the pot into a buttered 9 X 13 casserole. To the top you can add cheese or buttered corn flake or cracker crumbs. I just sprinkled shredded cheese over the top and covered mine and put it in the fridge until supper that night. .
About an hour before dinner I butter my foil to keep the cheese from sticking and put it covered in a 350 oven to bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the cheese has melted.
And there you go! Hot, bubbly and oozing with cheese, green onions, onions, mushrooms, ham and potatoes. I served this with green beans and carrots on the side and a small salad. Comfort food homegrown and home canned.
This is super heavy on the dairy and not for the faint of heart. You could lighten it up with light cream cheese and light sour cream or Greek yogurt.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter