potato

Potato Cheese and Spinach Kugel

Tell me Shavuot is coming and my first thought is cheesecake.

Of course. Cheesecake the dish most associated with the holiday. I love it. Make all kinds. Some plain. Some spiced. Some covered with fruit. Some with chocolate.

On the other hand you can't just eat cheesecake. 

Shavuot is generally a dairy holiday.

I love dairy.

Especially if there is a potato involved.

Like in this kugel, which is a wonder all by itself. But also good with salad, other dairy dishes or served with sunnyside eggs on top.

Perfect dish for the holiday.

 

Potato Cheese and Spinach Kugel

  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 8-10 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and boil them in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Let cool and chop into small pieces. Place the potatoes in a bowl. While the potatoes are cooking, wash and dry the spinach and chop it coarsely. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes or until wilted (if there is liquid in the pan, raise the heat and cook until it evaporates, or drain using a strainer). Add the spinach mixture, the feta cheese and dill to the potatoes and mix gently to distribute the ingredients evenly. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the melted butter and pour over the potato mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gently mix the ingredients. Place the mixture inside the greased baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the panko, the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and the Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the ingredients. Bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and crispy.

Makes 8-10 servings

 

 

GIANT Knish

Anyone who reads this blog knows that potatoes are my go-to comfort food. My magic medicine for when I'm stressed out.

So I'm definitely going to need something potato tonight when Ed and I have our debate-watch group over. (By the time this election is over my potato consumption for the year will be way over the limit.)

So I made a stuffed potato roll. Actually mashed potatoes with caramelized onions wrapped inside puff pastry.

Actually, a giant knish.

And guess what!? This dish is absolutely perfect for my Vegetarian Break-the-Fast, so I made one for that occasion too!

And also guess what!? It's also perfect for Meatless Monday. And also for Sukkot, when it is traditional to serve stuffed foods.

All in all, this is a big, big winner for whenever. Really. Whenever.

 

Giant Knish

  • 3 pounds all-purpose potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 sheets frozen parve puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a flat baking sheet. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and boil them in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mash the potatoes until they are fluffy. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the onions to the potatoes. Add the egg, salt and pepper and stir gently to mix ingredients. Let cool. Using one sheet of puff pastry at a time, roll the dough slightly thinner. Place half the potato filling down the center of the dough, using up the middle 1/3 of the dough and leaving a one-inch margin at both of the short ends. Enclose the filling: place one side of the dough over the filling, then place the other side of the dough over the filling. Press the short ends to enclose the filling at the top and bottom. Place the roll, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the dough feels cool and firm. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut with a serrated knife. 

 

Makes 2 rolls, each serving 6 people

 

 

Potato Chips May Save the Day

When I feel stressed I want potatoes.

Any kind.

Baked, boiled, fried, mashed, cakes, salad, pierogi, kugel, soup.

This election is giving me stress.

I know a lot of people who are freaking out. So it's not just me.

But I definitely need some sort of potato to calm me down.

So tonight, when I have people over for my first debate watch gathering, I am serving homemade potato chips. These:

Rosemary and Sea Salt Potato Chips

  • 3 medium russet type potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary (or use dried, crushed rosemary)
  • sea salt, preferably coarse, freshly ground salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wipe the potato slices dry. Pour the olive oil into a bowl. Add the potato slices and toss them to coat on all sides. Place the potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt. Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning the slices once.  

 Makes 4 servings

 

 

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Cleveland Cuisine! Really.

Cleveland cuisine? Really?

Yes!

Cleveland is an important place.

For one thing, it's the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And that should be enough.

But there's also The Cleveland Museum of Art -- it has a large, diverse collection. And unlike so many museums of its kind, admission is FREE!!!!

Also -- Cleveland has a world-famous orchestra, a distinguished university (Case Western Reserve), an AFC football team (the Browns) and a major league baseball team (the Indians).

AND, of course, their basketball team is this year's NBA Champions! (You've surely heard of the Cavaliers!)

I'm impressed!

And now there's more. This summer Cleveland will be home to the 2016 Republican National Convention (July 18-21).

And, whatever the goings on at the convention itself, the city will get lots of extra attention in the press. There will be loads and loads of extra people in Cleveland.

So, me being me, I got to wondering about what those people might be eating during their stay. 

I don't mean the food they're going to get at the convention. I mean real, special, famous Cleveland food. 

Not every city has its own culinary specialties. Surely nothing in Stamford, CT., where I live. 

But Cleveland does! And some real goodies, at that! 

For example, because the city is home to large numbers of families whose origins trace back to central and eastern Europe, bratwurst (on a bun) and crunchy apple fritters are really popular.

The apple fritters alone are worth a visit I think.

But also this -- among the most famous of "Cleveland food" is something called the Polish Boy (basically a kielbasa sandwich with coleslaw, french fries and barbecue sauce all on a club roll).

Well, okay. Maybe.

Then I discovered that among the iconic Cleveland dishes are pierogi.

Pierogi. Do you hear my heart pounding? Can you see my grin?

Oh! How I love pierogi! Doughy dumplings stuffed with stuff. Like beef cheeks or potato and cheese (served with thick, tangy sour cream).

Pierogi. The kind of food some of us used to get at grandma's, if we were lucky.

I haven't had a pierogi for as long as I can remember. Thanks to Cleveland I was reminded of that fact.

I had to have some. But the only ones I could find in Stamford, CT. were packaged.

So I decided to make some myself. And after a couple of tries -- oh!

They are as wonderful as I remember.

Thank you, Cleveland, for inspiring this recipe. Good luck this summer.

 

Potato Cheese Pierogi

Filling:

  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about one pound), peeled, cut into chunks (about 3 cups mashed potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup farmer cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the potato chunks in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and spoon into a bowl. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes or until soft and golden brown. Add the onions to the potatoes. Add the farmer cheese, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix the ingredients until well blended. Set aside to cool before filling the dough.

Dough:

  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup water, approximately
  • 1 cup dairy sour cream

Extras:

  • butter
  • vegetable oil
  • sour cream

To make the dough: place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it into the dough until the mixture is crumbly. Add 1/2 cup of the water and the sour cream and mix the dough until it is smooth, soft and well blended. If the dough seems too dry, add more water. (You can do this in a food processor.) Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. Using portions of the dough, roll the dough on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thick and cut out circles with a 3-inch cookie cutter. Place the circles on a board or cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel while you cut the rest of the dough. Fill the dough using about one tablespoon of the filling for each circle.

To fill the pierogis: place the filling in the center of the dough circle. Fold the circle in half, pinching the edges to seal in the filling.

To cook the pierogis: bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the filled pierogis, 6-8 at a time, and boil for about 3-8 minutes depending on whether they are at room temperature, refrigerated or frozen (or until they float to the surface). Remove the pierogis with a slotted spoon and set aside; repeat with remaining pierogis.

Extras: To serve the pierogis: serve boiled (as above), with sour cream (can also serve with caramelized onions – make more when making filling above). OR, heat 1 tablespoon butter plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add some of the pierogi (do not crowd the pan) and cook for 3-4 minutes on the flat side, or until golden brown on the bottom, then turn the pierogis over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until crusty and golden brown. Repeat using more butter/vegetable oil with the remaining pierogis. Serve with sour cream (and sautéed onion if desired). 

Makes about 4 dozen

Potato Salad with Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette

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Some people say potato salad comes from German cuisine. Others tell you it is French. Or from some other European country.

But I think potato salad is actually thoroughly American.

Potatoes are a "new world" plant. Back in the 16th century, before Europeans ever knew there was even another continent, Spanish explorers sailed to what would later become the "Americas." They were looking for gold and plenty in the mythical kingdom of El Dorado. 

Surprise!

What they found were plenty of potatoes, and that was their real treasure.

They brought potatoes back to Europe, where it met with mixed reviews, especially because so many people thought potatoes were poisonous. Others refused to eat potatoes because they weren't mentioned in the bible. 

Fortunately potatoes are nourishing and easy to grow, so in the poorer European communities the people were obliged to eat them or starve. 

And so by the time Europeans settled in what would become the United States, potatoes were a staple part of the diet.

With all this in mind, I say again: potato salad is an American food, because -- it all started with the potato. And so it's the perfect side dish for a 4th of July picnic, barbecue or any other sort of get-together.

For my money -- potato salad is best when served at room temperature. Not hot, not cold. There are a zillion versions. Here's one:

Potato Salad with Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette

  • 2-1/2 pounds small red potatoes        
  • lightly salted water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped        
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (1-1/2 teaspoons dried) 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain under cold water and peel, if desired. Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice and toss ingredients gently. Add the scallions, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss gently. Let rest at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings

 

 

 

Baked Potato

What do you eat when you're feeling sad or emotionally wrecked or furious at the world?

I grew up in a family in which, whenever there was a crisis of some sort, the grownups would say "how can you eat at a time like this?!"

But I'm an eater and, in fact, when I am feeling like life is closing in, I want to eat more than ever, fill myself with food and just keep pecking away like a chicken in a barnyard.

People talk about comfort foods. You know, the foods that supposedly make you feel better.

So what is that food, that one thing that I want the most when I'm at a low point? I've thought about it, that's for sure.

Do I want my Mom's Mac n' Cheese?

Actually, I would rather have my Mom, thank you.

Ditto, my Mom's Apple Pie and Chicken Soup.

Popcorn helps, but isn't sustaining.

Ditto Li-Lac chocolate's Butter Crunch

Actually, what I want is the very simplest of foods. What helps me most is a plain baked potato.

Russet-Idaho. Organic. Crunchy crusted. Faint metallic taste to the flesh.

This is food so basic and sustaining, so wonderful that, IMHO, it needs just a bit of butter, salt and pepper. Skip the sour cream. No chives. No cheese.

Keep it simple. 

I just ate one. I might have another later.

So easy to make perfectly:

Baked Potato

  • 4 organic Idaho, russet type potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes. When the oven reaches 400 degrees, place the potatoes in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Pierce each potato with the tip of a sharp knife. Continue to bake for another 45 minutes or until the outside is crusty and the inside is tender (pierce the flesh with the tip of a sharp knife). 

Makes 4 servings

 

 

 

 

 

Potato Galette

People say they get bored with potatoes during Passover, but I don’t. I could  eat a potato  in one way or another every day. It’s my “ one food you would take to a desert island " food.  Potato Galette sounds fancy, which makes it suitable for a festive holiday dinner. But it’s a very easy dish to make — essentially oven roasted “home fries” with onions.   I use goose fat (frozen; rendered from the goose I roast for Hanukkah) but you can substitute chicken fat, margarine or vegetable oil.   Here’s the recipe:                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Potato Galette   3 tablespoons melted goose fat, shortening or olive oil  2 tablespoons olive oil  2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes  1 large Vidalia or Spanish onion  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme     Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, mix the goose fat and olive oil. Brush a film of this mixture inside a 13”x9” pan. Peel the potatoes and onion and cut them into thin slices. Wipe the potatoes with paper towels (to dry the surface). Place the potatoes slices in the bowl and toss them around to coat them with the fat. Place a layer of potatoes in the pan. Top with half the onions. Repeat layers. Sprinkle the ingredients with salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, crispy and browned on the surface.     Makes 4-6 servings      

People say they get bored with potatoes during Passover, but I don’t. I could eat a potato in one way or another every day. It’s my “one food you would take to a desert island" food.

Potato Galette sounds fancy, which makes it suitable for a festive holiday dinner. But it’s a very easy dish to make — essentially oven roasted “home fries” with onions. 

I use goose fat (frozen; rendered from the goose I roast for Hanukkah) but you can substitute chicken fat, margarine or vegetable oil. 

Here’s the recipe:                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Potato Galette

3 tablespoons melted goose fat, shortening or olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

1 large Vidalia or Spanish onion

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, mix the goose fat and olive oil. Brush a film of this mixture inside a 13”x9” pan. Peel the potatoes and onion and cut them into thin slices. Wipe the potatoes with paper towels (to dry the surface). Place the potatoes slices in the bowl and toss them around to coat them with the fat. Place a layer of potatoes in the pan. Top with half the onions. Repeat layers. Sprinkle the ingredients with salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, crispy and browned on the surface.

 

Makes 4-6 servings

 

 

Baked, Stuffed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Spinach

Baked potatoes are wondrous things. Tasty, filling, healthy. For me, the answer to the question: “if you could only eat one food ….” 
 But because I am so very much a potato lover, the potato has to be the right kind: a  Russet. Sometimes called an Idaho. Or simply, a baking potato. Oval, with dark brown skin. The organic ones taste even better than the regular — the flesh is more intense, with more mineral tang.   
 It’s important to bake a potato right too: preheat the oven to 400 degrees, scrub the skin and pop the potato in. 
 Don’t rub the skin with vegetable oil. Don’t wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil. The vegetable oil adds nothing but unnecessary calories. The foil prevents the skin from crusting properly. 
 After about 15 minutes baking, pierce the potato with the tip of a sharp knife (so it doesn’t explode in the oven, which it can do, I can tell you from experience). In another 45 minutes or so it’s done. 
 You don’t need to do anything else. The skin is crusty, the flesh steamy. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Add lemon juice if you want some moisture. Butter isn’t necessary, even if it is rich and luscious when mixed in. 
 Although I never tire of a plain baked potatoes, I do make stuffed potatoes for company or special occasions. Like during Sukkot, when stuffed foods are traditional. One of the good things about baked stuffed potatoes is that you can make them a day or so ahead (even freeze many) and then reheat at 375 degrees. 
 Stuffed potatoes begin with a good baked potato. After that there are all sorts of possibilities, like this one: 

  

 Baked, Stuffed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Spinach 

  4 Russet type potatoes, scrubbed  
  2 tablespoons butter  
 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  2 cups chopped chard  
 8 ounces crumbled goat cheese 
 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, optional  
 4-5 tablespoons milk 
 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

 Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes.    Prick the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife. Bake for another 45 minutes   or until the knife can easily pierce through the potato.   When the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the butter and mash into the potatoes. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chard and cook for 5-6 minutes until it has softened. Press to discard as much liquid as possible and add to the potatoes. Add the goat cheese and thyme, if used, and mix ingredients gently. Mix in enough of the milk to achieve a moist and tender consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture back in equal amounts inside the potato skins. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the filled potato skins on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until hot, with the skins crispy. Makes 4-8 servings

Baked potatoes are wondrous things. Tasty, filling, healthy. For me, the answer to the question: “if you could only eat one food ….”

But because I am so very much a potato lover, the potato has to be the right kind: a Russet. Sometimes called an Idaho. Or simply, a baking potato. Oval, with dark brown skin. The organic ones taste even better than the regular — the flesh is more intense, with more mineral tang. 

It’s important to bake a potato right too: preheat the oven to 400 degrees, scrub the skin and pop the potato in.

Don’t rub the skin with vegetable oil. Don’t wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil. The vegetable oil adds nothing but unnecessary calories. The foil prevents the skin from crusting properly.

After about 15 minutes baking, pierce the potato with the tip of a sharp knife (so it doesn’t explode in the oven, which it can do, I can tell you from experience). In another 45 minutes or so it’s done.

You don’t need to do anything else. The skin is crusty, the flesh steamy. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Add lemon juice if you want some moisture. Butter isn’t necessary, even if it is rich and luscious when mixed in.

Although I never tire of a plain baked potatoes, I do make stuffed potatoes for company or special occasions. Like during Sukkot, when stuffed foods are traditional. One of the good things about baked stuffed potatoes is that you can make them a day or so ahead (even freeze many) and then reheat at 375 degrees.

Stuffed potatoes begin with a good baked potato. After that there are all sorts of possibilities, like this one:

Baked, Stuffed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Spinach

4 Russet type potatoes, scrubbed

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped chard

8 ounces crumbled goat cheese

2 teaspoons thyme leaves, optional 

4-5 tablespoons milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes. Prick the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife. Bake for another 45 minutes or until the knife can easily pierce through the potato. When the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the butter and mash into the potatoes. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chard and cook for 5-6 minutes until it has softened. Press to discard as much liquid as possible and add to the potatoes. Add the goat cheese and thyme, if used, and mix ingredients gently. Mix in enough of the milk to achieve a moist and tender consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture back in equal amounts inside the potato skins. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the filled potato skins on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until hot, with the skins crispy. Makes 4-8 servings

Roasted Potato Salad

There’s an old saying: “you can never be too rich or too thin.” 
 But when it comes to aphorisms, my own personal one is “you can never have too many recipes for potato salad.”  I must have a zillion of them. Almost as many as the number of recipes I have for banana bread.  
 Potato Salad is, of course, the American summer classic. How could you not have it on Father’s Day, especially if you’re going to be eating barbecued chicken or burgers and things like that. And even if you aren’t, well, potato salad goes with so many entrees, you really can’t go wrong serving it. 
 I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with potato salads because I didn’t start out with a good family recipe. My mother  made it with cut up all-purpose potatoes and Miracle Whip; i  t was one of the only dishes of hers that I didn’t like.       
  But I knew, instinctively, there’d be a recipe I’d love. After all, the dish begins with  potato , one of my favorite foods.      
 After many experiments I know that small, waxy potatoes are best for potato salad. They hold up better, so the texture is firmer and more resilient. 
 And, sue me, I hate Miracle Whip. Most of my potato salad dressings are variations on vinaigrette. 
 Recently I decided to try a new approach. I roasted the potatoes first. Winner! 
 The potato edges were crispy and brown. I gave them a light, mustardy white wine vinegar dressing, just tart enough to complement the mild potato flesh. 
 Try this salad for Father’s Day! Pour the dressing onto the potatoes when they’re still warm. If you make the salad ahead and refrigerate it, get it to room temperature for serving. 

 Roasted Potato Salad 
     
 1-1/2 pounds “new” waxy potatoes (such as Red Bliss or baby Yukon Golds) 
 4 tablespoons olive oil 
 salt to taste 
 2 scallions, chopped 
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 
 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
 freshly ground black pepper to taste 

 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes and cut them into bite size pieces. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the potatoes on the paper. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the potatoes, toss them to coat all sides and sprinkle with salt. Roast the potatoes for about 25 minutes, mixing them once or twice, or until tender and crispy. Place the potatoes in a bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, add the scallions and parsley. Mix the remaining olive oil, white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Pour over the potatoes. Toss the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6-8 servings 

  

There’s an old saying: “you can never be too rich or too thin.”

But when it comes to aphorisms, my own personal one is “you can never have too many recipes for potato salad.” I must have a zillion of them. Almost as many as the number of recipes I have for banana bread.

Potato Salad is, of course, the American summer classic. How could you not have it on Father’s Day, especially if you’re going to be eating barbecued chicken or burgers and things like that. And even if you aren’t, well, potato salad goes with so many entrees, you really can’t go wrong serving it.

I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with potato salads because I didn’t start out with a good family recipe. My mother made it with cut up all-purpose potatoes and Miracle Whip; it was one of the only dishes of hers that I didn’t like. 

But I knew, instinctively, there’d be a recipe I’d love. After all, the dish begins with potato, one of my favorite foods. 

After many experiments I know that small, waxy potatoes are best for potato salad. They hold up better, so the texture is firmer and more resilient.

And, sue me, I hate Miracle Whip. Most of my potato salad dressings are variations on vinaigrette.

Recently I decided to try a new approach. I roasted the potatoes first. Winner!

The potato edges were crispy and brown. I gave them a light, mustardy white wine vinegar dressing, just tart enough to complement the mild potato flesh.

Try this salad for Father’s Day! Pour the dressing onto the potatoes when they’re still warm. If you make the salad ahead and refrigerate it, get it to room temperature for serving.

Roasted Potato Salad

 

1-1/2 pounds “new” waxy potatoes (such as Red Bliss or baby Yukon Golds)

4 tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

2 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes and cut them into bite size pieces. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the potatoes on the paper. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the potatoes, toss them to coat all sides and sprinkle with salt. Roast the potatoes for about 25 minutes, mixing them once or twice, or until tender and crispy. Place the potatoes in a bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, add the scallions and parsley. Mix the remaining olive oil, white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Pour over the potatoes. Toss the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6-8 servings

 

Potato Latkes

What do you do when you have finished preparing potato latkes for a Hanukkah party and you’re sitting in your family room watching TV and your husband comes in with a handful of the latkes you just made and says “I’m taking a down payment on our Hanukkah party on Saturday night.”

And you’ve cleaned up the kitchen and everything and you thought you were done with latkes and the entire house smells from fried so you had to make a kitchen bouquet (1/4 cloves, 3 broken cinnamon sticks, tablespoon or so cardamom pods, orange peel, water) so that anyone who comes to the house even the next day (like the UPS delivery man or the guy who is coming to repair the oven) isn’t blasted with stale fried smell?

Why, you get up the next day and make more latkes. Otherwise there won’t be enough. Because I know what happens when people see potato latkes. You can’t eat just one.

And so I did.

These:

Potato Latkes

  • 4 large peeled baking potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • vegetable oil for frying

 

Shred the potatoes in a food processor. Squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible (I put portions of the shreds in a kitchen towel and squeeze until they are practically dry). Place the shreds in a bowl. Immediately mix the eggs in (this helps keep the potatoes from browning). Add the potato starch, salt, pepper and baking powder. Heat about 1/4” vegetable oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Shape latkes by hand, squeezing liquid out if there is any, and place them in the hot oil, leaving space between each one so that they brown well and become crispy (if they are too close they will “steam” and become soggy). Press down on the latkes to keep them evenly shaped. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until the pancakes are golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Makes 12-15