Mashed potatoes are incredibly hard to judge when you are making them for several people. Sometimes I feel that I can’t get it right. If the potatoes are too soft and I boil them for too long — usually because I forget and don’t quite catch them in time — I’m left with a saucepan full of very little by the time I strain them off. Ideally, I use the right potato for the right job, but even when I don’t, I still manage to have loads of mash left over.
Now I hate wasting any kind of food because I hate wasting money. And given that I grow potatoes at home, it’s all the more necessary for me to know how to utilize every potato that comes out of my garden! But leftover mash looks very uninspiring, doesn’t it? So I set off to see if I could find some ways to revitalize it enough to make me want to eat it the next day.
What I Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes
First off, I tried adding cheese, and this actually worked really well. What I usually do is to grate some cheese into the potatoes, stir it in and then put it in an oven dish. Top it off with herbs and you’ll end up with a browned dish that has melted cheese and crispy potato on top as well. Just keep it rough on top and don’t flatten it down. How easy is that? And it’s quick and simple to prepare as well, with no waste and very little extra cost involved.
Mash potatoes can also be a great topping for lots of other dishes. Sometimes, I deliberately make extra and use it for this reason. Shepherd’s Pie is a great option and all you need is some ground beef, onions, some stock and anything else you want to add in. This is good for bulking out with some chopped carrots and even a tin of baked beans –- lovely! For the record, I also grow carrots at home.
You can also try some unusual things such as pasta parcels. Make some homemade pasta and cut it into small squares. Mix some grated cheese and onion in with the mash and put a small amount in the middle of each square. Put another square on top and seal the edges by moistening them. Then just cook them in boiling water as you normally would with pasta. These are excellent served with tomato sauce.
Corned beef hash can also be made with a potato topping if you wish. In fact, there are lots of things you can do with a potato topping, such as a fish pie, a meat pie and even a vegetable pie. Don’t discount anything –- try all the different variations you can think of and remember that you might be able to use other leftovers and combine them with the mash as well. This will result in less waste, which means that every penny you put towards your food shopping will be a penny well spent.
One other thing I learned recently was that you can actually freeze mashed potato. Who would have thought you could do that? But you can — and this means that you don’t need to worry about having to throw away or recycle your mash right away, if you’ve got any extra. Instead, you can bag it and freeze it, and simply have it ready for the next suitable dish you have that comes along.
In short, you’ll never need to waste another potato in your entire life!