potatoes

Mashed Potatoes, Two Ways (dairy-free and dairy-loaded)

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In our nuclear family of 11, there are the pro-potato people and the no-potato people.

I am a top level pro-potato person.

And as you can see from the photos, so are two of my grand daughters, who helped me make some mashed potatoes for dinner a while ago.

The recipe we made was a butter-cream-cheese-sour-cream indulgence. (It could be a meal in itself!) But we’ve also made dairy-free versions. Pro-potato people like it all ways.

Are mashed potatoes on your menu for Thanksgiving? If so — or any other time — check out both recipes, dairy-loaded and dairy-free.

dairy-loaded Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 pounds boiling potatoes (such as Yukon Gold)

  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, cut into chunks

  • 1/2 cup dairy sour cream

  • 1/4 cup warm milk, approximately

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Cook them in lightly salted simmering water for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the pan. Cook briefly over low heat to evaporate the excess moisture. Mash the potatoes with a ricer or potato masher. Add the butter and cream cheese and mash them in thoroughly until the butter and cheese are completely blended in. Add the sour cream and blend in thoroughly. Mix in enough milk for desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings

 

DAIRY-FREE Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 medium all-purpose potatoes such as Yukon Gold

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock

  • salt to taste

  • pinch or two of cayenne pepper

  • 3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and cook them in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes, or until they are fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the vegetables are beginning to brown. Set aside. Drain the potatoes and mash them with a ricer or potato masher until the lumps have disappeared. Add the vegetables and olive oil and stir them in gently. Stir in the lemon juice, stock, salt and the cayenne pepper. Place the mixture in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top is crispy and brown.

Makes 6 servings

Herb Roasted Potatoes

American politics is driving me crazy!

And I know, based on everything I've been reading for months and on conversations I've had with a zillion people, that a lot of other people feel the same way.

Therapists have been extra busy since November 2016.

This is the kind of stress that -- for me -- only a potato can help. Potatoes are my main comfort food. 

But what kind? 

Maybe homemade potato chips?

Only if you feel like frying food.

Warm weather's here so maybe potato salad

Not if you're in the mood for something hot and crunchy.

So -- it's time for these lemony-roasted potato chunks, which are crispy, tangy and satisfying. You can prepare them ahead and pop them in the oven just before you want to serve dinner (and also keep them nicely in a warm oven).

Lemon-Dill Roasted Potatoes

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold or all-purpose potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dlll
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Peel the potatoes and cut them into small chunks. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to coat the chunks. Add the lemon juice, garlic, dill and lemon peel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to coat the potato chunks evenly. Place the pieces in a single layer on the parchment paper. Bake for 50-60 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally, or until the pieces are crispy.

Makes 4-6 servings

 

Roasted Potato Salad

Although my Mom was a really good cook, there were a couple of recipes of hers that I absolutely didn't like. For example, her potato salad, made with cooked, cut up all-purpose Eastern potatoes mixed with onions and Miracle Whip.

And because I didn't like that potato salad or even that style of potato salad, I have spent years experimenting with different recipes.

A while ago I tried making potato salad using roasted potatoes and it opened up a whole new range of options. Roasting gives an entirely different texture and flavor to potatoes and, of course to any salad you create with them.

There's a wonderful recipe for Roasted Lemon-Rosemary Potato Salad in my book, The Modern Kosher Kitchen.

This one was a big hit recently at a buffet get-together at my house. A good choice for a Labor Day picnic.

Roasted Potato Salad

  • 2-1/2 pounds small red bliss or baby Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, savory, rosemary, marjoram (or a mixture)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes and cut them into bite size pieces. Place the potatoes on a baking tray. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the potatoes and toss to coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast the potatoes for about 25 minutes or until tender. Remove the tray from the oven and place the potatoes in a bowl. Add the red onion and pour in the white wine. Toss the ingredients and let cool slightly. Whisk the remaining olive oil, white wine vinegar and mustard and pour over the potatoes. Add the parsley and herbs, toss and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings

Mashed Potato Pancakes

It has been said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish.

That's okay by me! I've been to Ireland. It's gorgeous. The people are friendly, the sites are interesting, the weather is glorious, the food is awesome. What's not to like?

The potato dishes are especially good.

Like mashed potato pancakes. You absolutely cannot go wrong making these. A terrific side dish with fish or at a vegetarian dinner. But, ya know, I've had these for dinner just by themselves, topped with sunnyside eggs (and served with some grilled tomatoes) and that's a perfect meal as far as I am concerned.

 

Mashed Potato Latkes

  • 2 pounds boiling potatoes (such as Yukon Golds)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, optional
  • 1 large egg
  • Panko crumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying

Wash the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Bring them to a boil in a large pan in lightly salted water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes. Mash the potatoes in a bowl using a potato masher or ricer. Add the butter and the milk and stir them in. Stir in the chives, if used, and the egg. Make flat cakes, about 1/4-inch thick out of the potato mixture. Press each side of the cake into Panko crumbs. Heat about 1/4" vegetable oil in a cast iron or other heavy heat retaining skillet over moderately high heat. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until the pancakes are golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Makes about 12

Oven Roasted Cheesy-Crusted Potato Sticks

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If someone mentions Idaho the first thing you're likely to think is: potato.

Of course.

Potatoes are Idaho's leading crop and Idaho is also first in the nation in potato production.

Why do I tell you this now?

First because of all foods on earth, my favorite is the potato. I've written about it before. 

But also because as I have said, I love the political scene and keep track of all the state primaries and caucuses. Idaho's is coming (Republicans today, Democrats on March 22). And that fact reminded me of potatoes.

As if I needed any reminding.

I decided that no matter which political party or candidate you prefer, if any, at primary/caucus time a good dish to honor Idaho would be this particular recipe for crispy cheesy-crusted oven roasted potato sticks. I could make this dish into dinner all by itself. Maybe with some sunnyside eggs. They're nice as part of a vegetarian/meatless Monday dinner too. 

Oven-Roasted Cheesy-Crusted Potato Sticks

  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch thick strips. Place the strips in a single layer on the parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme and paprika. Pour over the potatoes and toss the strips to coat them completely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter the cheese evenly over the potatoes. Roast for about 30 minutes, turning the strips once or twice.

Makes 4 servings 

 

 

Potato Galette with Caramelized Onions and Sincerely Brigitte Parsley and Chives Cheese

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Latkes on Hanukkah? Of course! But cheese is also a Hanukkah tradition.

I’ve written about it before.

Why cheese?

Because of the role a woman named Judith, who lived in Judea, in biblical times. According to legend, the Syrian-Greek army was about to invade. Holofernes, the general of the enemy army, was smitten with Judith. So she agreed to dine with him and at that dinner she fed him lots and lots of cheese, which got him thirsty, so he drank lots and lots of wine, which made him sleepy. At long last he fell asleep and she cut off his head! Upon hearing that their leader had been killed, the enemy army fled instead.

So, cheese. To celebrate!

Good cheese is worth celebrating too. Like the ones from Sincerely Brigitte, which produces delicious cheeses with interesting flavors, like Jack with Parsley and Chives. Besides a good variety, Sincerely Brigitte cheeses have a lot more to offer. They are made without animal sourced rennet and starters. The milk comes from a small Wisconsin farm and is rBST-free. Also, the cheeses are kosher.  

I wanted to develop some good Hanukkah-cheese recipes and this Potato Galette with Parsley and Chives Cheese was a big winner at our house. Not just fabulously rich and tasty, but simple. 

AND you can make it ahead and pop it into the oven to complete the cooking a day or so later.

Perfect for Hanukkah. Or anytime really.

Potato Galette with Caramelized Onions and Sincerely Brigitte Parsley and Chives Cheese

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 7-ounces Sincerely Brigitte Parsley and Chives Cheese, grated

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Remove the onions to a bowl to cool. In another bowl, mix the melted butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Brush a film of this mixture inside a baking pan about 11”x7” (or 10” round). Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices. Wipe the potatoes with paper towels to dry the surface. Place the potato slices in the bowl with the melted butter and olive oil and toss them around to coat them completely. Place a layer of potatoes in the pan, overlapping the slices. Top with some of the onions. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and some of the thyme or rosemary. Repeat layers two more times. Scatter the cheese on top. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

 

Note: You can make these in individual ramekins; cooking time after you remove the cover will be shorter; check after 20 minutes.

 

Makes 6-8 servings

 

 

Baked, Stuffed Potatoes

Some people eat out on their birthday and that’s fine, but I prefer to be in my casual clothes and eat exactly what I want (over the course of the entire day) rather than in a chair all dressed up at a restaurant having to choose from a menu someone else planned. 
 What I like could vary, depending on my mood, but often the birthday food has something to do with  fried chicken . Or anything made with a potato. And, most especially, homemade  apple pie  the way my mom made it. 
 I already have the pie in my freezer. So, I am getting ready for my birthday (in a few days) by making baked stuffed potatoes: organic Russets baked to a crisp, the insides removed and mashed with  plenty  of butter and cream cheese (maybe even a little dairy sour cream), salt and freshly ground black pepper before being stuffed back into the potato skins and baked until the top is crusty. 
 Please don’t tell me that white potatoes are unhealthy and fattening. I know. The flesh is high on the glycemic index and that’s not good But potato skins contain good supplies of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  
 And of course I am aware that adding butter and cream cheese adds fat and calories. That’s what makes this recipe so awesome. Besides, I am a big believer that if you eat healthy most of the time — we do — then indulging occasionally is not only good but important for one’s emotional well being. 
 By the way, if it turns out I don’t eat these baked stuffed potatoes on  the day , they freeze well and I know I’m gonna want them sometime soon. 

                                                                                                                    
 Baked, Stuffed Potatoes  
  4 Russet type potatoes, scrubbed  
  2 tablespoons butter  
  3 ounces cream cheese  
 4-5 tablespoons milk or dairy sour cream 
 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
 paprika 
 Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, place them in the 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 it into the potatoes. Add the cream cheese and blend it in thoroughly. Mix in enough of the milk or dairy sour cream 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. Sprinkle the surface with paprika. 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

Some people eat out on their birthday and that’s fine, but I prefer to be in my casual clothes and eat exactly what I want (over the course of the entire day) rather than in a chair all dressed up at a restaurant having to choose from a menu someone else planned.

What I like could vary, depending on my mood, but often the birthday food has something to do with fried chicken. Or anything made with a potato. And, most especially, homemade apple pie the way my mom made it.

I already have the pie in my freezer. So, I am getting ready for my birthday (in a few days) by making baked stuffed potatoes: organic Russets baked to a crisp, the insides removed and mashed with plenty of butter and cream cheese (maybe even a little dairy sour cream), salt and freshly ground black pepper before being stuffed back into the potato skins and baked until the top is crusty.

Please don’t tell me that white potatoes are unhealthy and fattening. I know. The flesh is high on the glycemic index and that’s not good But potato skins contain good supplies of vitamins, minerals and fiber. 

And of course I am aware that adding butter and cream cheese adds fat and calories. That’s what makes this recipe so awesome. Besides, I am a big believer that if you eat healthy most of the time — we do — then indulging occasionally is not only good but important for one’s emotional well being.

By the way, if it turns out I don’t eat these baked stuffed potatoes on the day, they freeze well and I know I’m gonna want them sometime soon.

                                                                                                                  

Baked, Stuffed Potatoes 

4 Russet type potatoes, scrubbed

2 tablespoons butter

3 ounces cream cheese

4-5 tablespoons milk or dairy sour cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

paprika

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, place them in the 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 it into the potatoes. Add the cream cheese and blend it in thoroughly. Mix in enough of the milk or dairy sour cream 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. Sprinkle the surface with paprika. 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

Crispy Sautéed Potatoes with Rosemary

Did I mention that every New Year’s Eve I make the  same dinner ? 
 I know I have. 
 It’s very unlike me to do that sort of thing, but our little group has been spending the evening together for oh so many years that we know what we like and that’s what we want on that particular night. In the early days I experimented and served a new a tried-to-be spectacular entree each time. Most were terrific and there were a few notable failures, like the pseudo, gray-looking Beef Stroganoff that we laughed about for years. 
 So for years it’s been  rib roast , which my mother-in-law taught me how to make, the way Ed likes it. 
 And always, always, these sauteed rosemary potatoes. 
 There are six of us for dinner but I make a double recipe (each serves six) because these potatoes are so fine with morning eggs. 

 Mmmmmmmm 

  Sautéed Potatoes   
     
  18 “new” or small red bliss potatoes  
  lightly salted water  
  2 tablespoons butter or olive oil  
  2 tablespoons vegetable oil  
  1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)  
  freshly ground black pepper to taste  
  2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, optional   
     
  Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with lightly salted water. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the potatoes 15-20 minutes or until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and peel them when they are cool enough to handle. Cut them into smaller pieces if you like extra crispy potatoes. Heat the butter or olive oil and vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt, pepper and rosemary. Sauté the potatoes 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, or until the potatoes are browned on all sides and are lightly crispy. These may be reheated in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 6-8 minutes. Makes 6 servings  
     

   

Did I mention that every New Year’s Eve I make the same dinner?

I know I have.

It’s very unlike me to do that sort of thing, but our little group has been spending the evening together for oh so many years that we know what we like and that’s what we want on that particular night. In the early days I experimented and served a new a tried-to-be spectacular entree each time. Most were terrific and there were a few notable failures, like the pseudo, gray-looking Beef Stroganoff that we laughed about for years.

So for years it’s been rib roast, which my mother-in-law taught me how to make, the way Ed likes it.

And always, always, these sauteed rosemary potatoes.

There are six of us for dinner but I make a double recipe (each serves six) because these potatoes are so fine with morning eggs.

Mmmmmmmm

Sautéed Potatoes

 

18 “new” or small red bliss potatoes

lightly salted water

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, optional

 

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with lightly salted water. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the potatoes 15-20 minutes or until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and peel them when they are cool enough to handle. Cut them into smaller pieces if you like extra crispy potatoes. Heat the butter or olive oil and vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt, pepper and rosemary. Sauté the potatoes 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, or until the potatoes are browned on all sides and are lightly crispy. These may be reheated in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 6-8 minutes. Makes 6 servings

 

 

Mashed Potatoes with Frizzled Scallions

Mashed Potatoes with Frizzled Scallions  You know that question people ask: “if there was only one food you could have if you were alone on a desert island, what would it be?”   I say potato.  Of course that’s not realistic. But I’m never going to be stranded on a desert island. (But of course, if I were, I’d want to be Mrs. Howell and have my butler bring me whatever I wanted.)  I know the question really isn’t about forcing me to think about survival. What they want to know is “what’s the first item that comes to mind when someone asks you what your favorite food is.”  I say potato. All kinds. Every way.  And did I mention some time ago that when Ed and I traveled to Ireland we ate  salmon, salmon, salmon  and potatoes, potatoes, potatoes? And it was SO delicious?  Most of the potato dishes we ate were plain. Baked, boiled, roasted, mashed. But several of the mashed potato dishes also included steamed cabbage, kale, scallions or leeks (variations on Colcannon).  When we got back to the States I decided to create a variation on this theme. Here’s the result: mashed potatoes with scallions, but the scallions are fried and caramelized and I serve them on top because they are crisp and make a nice contrast to the soft and creamy stuff beneath.  Another wonderful thing about mashed potatoes? They are non seasonal. Perfect any time of year.      Mashed Potatoes with Frizzled Scallions      8-10 scallions  2 tablespoons olive oil  6 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped  5 tablespoons butter  1-1/2 cups milk, heated to warm  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  Wash the scallions and with the tip of a sharp knife, cut along the length of each to cut each scallion in half lengthwise. Remove the root. Cut the lengths in half to make them shorter. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the scallion shreds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until the scallions are tender and browned. Set aside. Cook the potatoes in lightly salted simmering water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Add the butter and mash the potatoes until most of the lumps have disappeared. Add the heated milk, salt and pepper and mix the ingredients until evenly distributed. Place in a serving bowl. Top with the scallions. Makes 6-8 servings

Mashed Potatoes with Frizzled Scallions

You know that question people ask: “if there was only one food you could have if you were alone on a desert island, what would it be?” 

I say potato.

Of course that’s not realistic. But I’m never going to be stranded on a desert island. (But of course, if I were, I’d want to be Mrs. Howell and have my butler bring me whatever I wanted.)

I know the question really isn’t about forcing me to think about survival. What they want to know is “what’s the first item that comes to mind when someone asks you what your favorite food is.”

I say potato. All kinds. Every way.

And did I mention some time ago that when Ed and I traveled to Ireland we ate salmon, salmon, salmon and potatoes, potatoes, potatoes? And it was SO delicious?

Most of the potato dishes we ate were plain. Baked, boiled, roasted, mashed. But several of the mashed potato dishes also included steamed cabbage, kale, scallions or leeks (variations on Colcannon).

When we got back to the States I decided to create a variation on this theme. Here’s the result: mashed potatoes with scallions, but the scallions are fried and caramelized and I serve them on top because they are crisp and make a nice contrast to the soft and creamy stuff beneath.

Another wonderful thing about mashed potatoes? They are non seasonal. Perfect any time of year.

 

Mashed Potatoes with Frizzled Scallions

 

8-10 scallions

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

5 tablespoons butter

1-1/2 cups milk, heated to warm

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash the scallions and with the tip of a sharp knife, cut along the length of each to cut each scallion in half lengthwise. Remove the root. Cut the lengths in half to make them shorter. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the scallion shreds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until the scallions are tender and browned. Set aside. Cook the potatoes in lightly salted simmering water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Add the butter and mash the potatoes until most of the lumps have disappeared. Add the heated milk, salt and pepper and mix the ingredients until evenly distributed. Place in a serving bowl. Top with the scallions. Makes 6-8 servings

Crusted Mashed Potatoes

Prune or potato?  My mother, who was very funny, always said that when a woman gets old she becomes either a prune or a potato. You know, she gets thin, frail, fragile and wrinkled or, um, plump and not so frail or fragile (and not so wrinkled).  I like prunes. The dried plums and also some people I know who are senior citizens and slim, whom my mother would regard as prunes.  But potatoes! What can I say?! To me, there is nothing better than a potato, except maybe a cup of hot coffee, but that isn’t food.  Potato. Every kind, every way. That’s for me.   Women? Men? I don’t really care about their girth or lack thereof.  Give me a potato to eat and I’m happy.  Today, National Potato Lover’s Day, seems made for me, don’t you think?  I’m having potatoes with dinner.  These:      CRUSTED MASHED POTATOES      5 medium all-purpose potatoes such as Yukon Gold  1/4 cup olive oil  1 small onion, chopped  1 large clove garlic, chopped  3 tablespoons lemon juice  3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock  salt to taste  pinch or two of cayenne pepper  3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs     Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and cook them in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes, or until they are fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the vegetables are beginning to brown. Set aside. Drain the potatoes and mash them with a ricer or potato masher until the lumps have disappeared. Add the vegetables and olive oil and stir them in gently. Stir in the lemon juice, stock, salt and the cayenne pepper. Place the mixture in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top is crispy and brown.  Makes 6 servings   

Prune or potato?

My mother, who was very funny, always said that when a woman gets old she becomes either a prune or a potato. You know, she gets thin, frail, fragile and wrinkled or, um, plump and not so frail or fragile (and not so wrinkled).

I like prunes. The dried plums and also some people I know who are senior citizens and slim, whom my mother would regard as prunes.

But potatoes! What can I say?! To me, there is nothing better than a potato, except maybe a cup of hot coffee, but that isn’t food.

Potato. Every kind, every way. That’s for me. 

Women? Men? I don’t really care about their girth or lack thereof.

Give me a potato to eat and I’m happy.

Today, National Potato Lover’s Day, seems made for me, don’t you think?

I’m having potatoes with dinner.

These:

 

CRUSTED MASHED POTATOES

 

5 medium all-purpose potatoes such as Yukon Gold

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock

salt to taste

pinch or two of cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and cook them in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes, or until they are fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the vegetables are beginning to brown. Set aside. Drain the potatoes and mash them with a ricer or potato masher until the lumps have disappeared. Add the vegetables and olive oil and stir them in gently. Stir in the lemon juice, stock, salt and the cayenne pepper. Place the mixture in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top is crispy and brown.

Makes 6 servings