On-the-road recipes - quick thickener

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Pat

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I tried to add this to the original on-the-road recipes, but there wasn't a button to do so.

I keep a bag ziplock of mashed potato flakes in the fridge or freezer (depending on availale space).  A couple tablespoons makes a very fast, effective thickener for stews, soups, gravies, and other dishes.  Potato doesn't add flavor like cornstarch or flour thickeners, and it works instantly, so there's no need to add some flour, then cook and stir for several minutes and then add more.  And the flakes don't lump.  Just don't overdo them.  I have been known to end up with flavored mashed potatoes on one or two occasions, mostly because the flakes are slippery little devils that can get away from me if I pour instead of scoop. 

I got this idea from Cook's Illustrated magazine years ago. 

--pat
 

Phil

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Pat Alexander said:
I keep a bag ziplock of mashed potato flakes in the fridge or freezer (depending on availale space).  A couple tablespoons makes a very fast, effective thickener for stews, soups, gravies, and other dishes. 

Pat,

Nice trick.  When are you going to attend one of our pot-lucks so we can try some of your food?  :)

Phil
 

Tom

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Hi Pat

Thanks for the two recipes. I've added both to our forum library. Click the Library button in the toolbar above and select Recipes.

I tried to add this to the original on-the-road recipes, but there wasn't a button to do so.
Unlike this forum, our web site is a portal to other resources, and is not intended for direct uploading of content by users. Folks here don't necessarily look at the web site, and so won't necessarily see any new recipes. But your message gives me an idea for maybe adding an "upload your recipe" button on the web site, which would result in a message being posted here for all to see.
 

Pat

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Payson AZ
Uh, you don't want to try my cooking.  I had a crockpot and don't think I ever once made a good-tasting meal.  Meals consist of (a.m. to p.m.) Cheerios, tv dinner, cooked frozen vegetables. 

--pat
 

Phil

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Pat Alexander said:
Uh, you don't want to try my cooking.  I had a crockpot and don't think I ever once made a good-tasting meal.  Meals consist of (a.m. to p.m.) Cheerios, tv dinner, cooked frozen vegetables.

That's the way I cook, Pat.  ;D

Phil
 

Karl

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Another thickener suggestion: Keep a jar (or baggie) of Roux in your fridge. Using multiples of 1TBS. flour and 1TBS. butter, cook over low heat in a small pan until it starts to get golden brown, then cool and store. Because it's already cooked, you can mix it with anything and it won't turn lumpy like plain flour will. Just add a little at a time to the simmering soup, pan juices, or whatever until you get the desired consistency. For Cajun dishes, cook the roux until it is a rich brown color; that will give it a nice nutty flavor. 
 

Pat

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Ch:  Since butter is my single most favorite food, I agree with you about the flavor added by a roux.  I am very inconsistent about when I need a thickener and have always wondered if the roux can be frozen or something.  That's the nice thing about the potato flakes.  I empty the box in a zipper freezer bag and store it in the freezer or in the fridge if the freezer is full.  When I need some, it's always loose, so I can spoon out what I need.  I can go half a year without needing to thicken something.  It's certainly true that there is more preparation required for the roux.

Wasn't margarine illegal in Wisconsin until a decade or so ago?  Literally.  Great sausage and cheese, too.  See?  Everybody thought WI was just about beer.

--pat
 

Ned

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Pat Alexander said:
Wasn't margarine illegal in Wisconsin until a decade or so ago? Literally. Great sausage and cheese, too. See? Everybody thought WI was just about beer.

Colored margarine was illegal in WI until about 40+ years ago.  You could buy margarine but it was white and came with a packet of yellow coloring that you could mix into it to make it look more palatable.  In those days, any trip to IL included a buy of cases of colored margarine for your family and friends :)

And it is about the beer, but the cheese and sausage are better than the beer these days.
 

Karl

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Pat,
Roux freezes well (fill ice cube trays with it, then pop them into a Zip-lock bag) and can be kept in the fridge unfrozen for several weeks or even months. Just make sure it's well sealed to keep out other odors. And yes, Wisconsin cheese and suasages have no equal despite what the California Diary Board says about contented cows. If you haven't had an aged Wiscinsin Cheddar or Swiss, or Johnsonville brats cooked in beer and onions (Ned's an expert), you haven't lived. Just ask the people who were at Quartzsite and Alamo Lake!
 
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