LET’S TALK ABOUT … menu ideation
What are some tips for
using dehydrated potatoes?
Shelf-stable potato products have
changed a great deal in recent years.
Nowadays, you can source excellent
products made with 100% Idaho®
potatoes and prepared with real butter
and cream. When you consider that
potatoes are 80% water and that modern
technology retains cell structure in a
dehydrated potato, it makes perfect
sense not only to reduce your carbon
footprint but to conserve valuable
freezer/refrigerator space. You’ll also
save money on shipping, handling, prep
and storage. Dehydrated potatoes allow
you to prepare delicious, fresh mashed
potatoes a la minute, ensuring your guests
have an elevated potato experience.
Best practices for chefs?
When refreshing dehydrated products,
always start with the correct amount of
water, then add the potatoes. By adding
the product to the water, you allow for
better rehydration with minimal mixing
and preparation time. Modern products
can rehydrate in a little as 60 seconds
when this procedure is followed. For
any mashed potato, overmixing causes
the product to become starchy and
gummy, so for a light, fluffy mashed
potato, do not overmix. Older styles of
product require the addition of dairy and
seasonings, while new products need
only water. For products that require the
addition of dairy, heat the dairy mixture
before adding for the best results.
Current trends that benefit?
Gluten-free menu options are becoming
mainstream. Potatoes are naturally
gluten-free. I work for Idahoan, which
developed gluten-free crusting made from
potatoes to replace panko/breadcrumbs.
Idahoan’s Golden Potato Crusting
outperforms any breadcrumb for flavor,
texture, coverage and crunch.
What classic potato dishes
can be expedited?
Dehydrated potatoes, or “fresh dried,”
as I refer to them, can be used in any
classical or traditional potato dish, from
pommes dauphine to pommes puree
to pommes William. The versatility is
endless. Dehydrated potatoes in any
recipe will hold their cell structure
and color longer than fresh potatoes.
Anything you make with a shredded
potato can be improved with a top-quality
fresh-dried shred. Besides eliminating a
tremendous amount of labor, the shreds
hold their shape and texture better than
refrigerated, frozen or even hand-grated
potato. This allows for a wide range of
recipe applications, from classic hash
browns to potato salads. Fresh dried
shreds are the secret to creating numerous
recipes not otherwise practical.
What’s the bottom line on
There’s really no comparison in terms of
cost. The best new fresh dried products
can deliver huge savings in money and
time versus any other alternative. Even
ignoring all the savings in shipping,
handling and storage, the labor savings
can drive tremendous improvements in
food cost. And the biggest savings come
in yield. Plus, the best of the new products
cuts replenishment time to a fraction of
what is needed for any other form.
What’s the latest in chain
Chains always challenge us to be
innovative. To meet chain needs, we
developed a dehydrated (fresh dried)
appetizer mix. Simply add the mix to
hot water, rest for 10 minutes, and start
DAVID MACFARLANE IS EXECU TIVE CHEF/DIRECTOR OF
NA TIONAL ACCOUN TS, IDAHOAN FOODS, IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO.
scooping and frying your own unique
Tater Tumblers. This product has become
wildly popular, and is affordable. The
mix delivers flavor, texture and menu
flexibility that no frozen product could
ever match. We are excited about the
product, because it showcases the
dehydrated technology of today in a way
that keeps up with trends.
Other cutting-edge applications employ
dehydrated potato crusting. When national
account chefs and product developers see
how superior this product is to standard
breadcrumbs, they are truly taken aback.
Let’s face it, fried foods will always be
popular on menus, and this product has
taken the fried food experience to a new
level. We’re excited about broadening into
this category and seeing the change from
breadcrumbs to potatoes.
LET’S TALK TO DAVID MACFARLANE ABOUT …