Thursday, May 13, 2010

54. Potatoes in a Bag, Microwave - Often on Sale

Sometimes, it is easy to forget that most of the world does not have the food choices and ease of shopping that we, here in the United States, do. In  many countries, procuring food requires a lot of walking, lugging and paying very high prices; diets are often determined by whatever quality or quantity of food might or might not be in the stores, markets or kiosks. The meals can take on a sameness of flavors and choices that we would find unacceptable.

Our well-stocked grocery stores are amazing in comparison. Even in rural areas, there will often be more than one food store in town and that competition helps shoppers to save money. I always love a good sale when it involves food, especially if it is an item I like to eat! I have learned that grocery stores put many items on sale in a four to six week rotation. If you  want to stock up on certain items, it would be a good idea to watch for these sale-cycles in your area.

It also pays to examine the weekly flyers. Some stores have on-line flyers and that is a great way to find out who has the best pricing on grocery items you would normally buy. Many stores will match pricing on items that other stores post...sometimes proof of the ad is required and sometimes just mentioning the ad will be enough to reduce your price at the check out.

Something I cannot resist buying is one of the huge bags of potatoes when they are on sale. This versatile vegetable has a special place in my menu archives, but I also continue to experiment with new recipes. Today's post is a new favorite because it is comforting, quick, easy and flavorful...and it uses up those potatoes!

Savory Microwaved Potatoes in a Bag

½ C Hellmann's mayo
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp salt, pepper
2 large baking potatoes, cut into ¼ - inch slices
1 large sweet onion, sliced

Real bacon bits
Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix mayo and seasonings in large bowl until well blended. Stir in potatoes and onions to coat. Divide potato mixture evenly among 3 waxed paper rectangles. Fold to seal. Place each packet on a second waxed paper rectangle; fold to seal. Place one packet at a time in a quilted potato baking pouch. Cook on high for 3 minutes.

Remove pouch and without opening it, press potato slices to check for doneness. Continue baking at 1 minute intervals until soft. Remove paper packet to a covered container and cook remaining packets as the first.

Unwrap packets and place contents of each in a serving bowl.

Optional: Sprinkle with desired amount of cheddar cheese and microwave for 30 seconds to melt cheese. Sprinkle with bacon bits to taste. Serves 4-5.

Grilling directions: Seal potato mixture in 4 heavy duty foil packets. Place packets on grill over med-hot heat. Grill, covered, 25-30 min or until potatoes are tender. Remove packets and place contents into a large bowl. Add bacon bits and cheese to taste and mix gently. If serving from foil, just open a packet, add cheese and bacon. Reseal packets and heat for a minute to melt cheese. Remove, open and eat.

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