Monday, October 17, 2011

Repurposed Mashed Potato Bake

No one will ever guess that you’ve used up leftover mashed potatoes in this loaded baked potato dish.  These potatoes are laced with cheese, bacon, and green onion - reminiscent of the best twice baked potatoes you’ve ever had.  Make this dish the night before and pop them in the oven half an hour before dinner.  A delicious use for leftovers.  

Have you noticed the latest buzz word?  Repurposing.  (different from ReusingRecyclingUpcycling ) We’ve seen a lot of this word being thrown around lately.  Why are we suddenly so fascinated by it?  If you’ve been living under a rock - it won’t mean much to you.  But if you (like most of us) have been affected by recent events in the economy - you KNOW what repurposing is.  Can this be applied to leftovers? I don’t see why not.  So - keeping up with the trend - these are “repurposed” potatoes. 

The past two weekends I’ve served Sunday dinner to my family (I love Sunday dinner... and it’s not all about the food!)  They usually request tender pot roast, with lots of gravy, and homemade mashed potatoes (of course!)  When I have a bunch of people coming to dinner - I always cook my potatoes in the crockpot (see this link) - which makes it so easy, and frees up a burner on my stove for other things.

I’d rather err on the side of making too many potatoes - it would be the ultimate error to not have enough.  So I always have about 3-4 extra cups of mashed potatoes after a family meal.  I bag these in gallon-size ziploc bags and keep them in the refrigerator.  Most of the time I use them to make Shepherd’s Pie, or add them to the dough when I’m making rolls.  

Yesterday though, I had a smaller group for Sunday dinner.  My mother & sisters were coming instead - all dainty eaters.  So.... how to use those potatoes?  I considered starting over with twice-baked potatoes, but I was too lazy.  Then I thought about making them without the ‘jackets’.  Why not?

After browsing through several links on loaded twice baked potatoes - I decided to add a mixture of those extra ingredients to my already-mashed potatoes and turn it into a casserole instead.  

The result was great - each helping was dotted with bacon, strands of melted cheese, and green onion slices.  It turned out lighter than I expected with an airy, puffy texture.  This was one experiment that yielded a keeper.  I won’t have to think long about how to use leftover mashed potatoes again

For the full recipe with photos - go to:

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