Monday, July 14, 2014

Five Ways to Use Potatoes!

Potatoes are always available in good bulk sizes for very little money. No matter what grocery store you shop at or if you go to a farm to buy a share, potatoes are probably the most affordable and versatile tuber. There are no seasonings that I can think of that can't go with potatoes in some way.

1. Hash. Dice, slice, or cut them into the shape you want and fry them in butter for a good start to hash. Throw in some veggies and/or bacon of your choosing and scramble an egg in there for protein. Simple, delicious, and as healthy as you could want it, since it can be customized in so many ways to use up your leftovers.

2. Mashed with the flavor turned up. I don't peel my potatoes, but if you prefer them peeled, go for it before you cut them up. Start cut up potatoes in cold water on the stove. Cook until just tender all the way through. The smaller the pieces, the smaller the cooking time. Make sure your water is well salted. When they're finished, throw them into a pan with some mayo, scallions, and cheddar cheese. Mix them up, breaking them up as chunky or smooth as you'd like. Add bacon in there for extra flavor, and you can add the bacon fat to your potatoes for extra homestyle happiness, or use it to make a gravy. Fresh cracked black pepper is the perfect finisher.

3. Not just any potato salad. Toss peeled, cut, and boiled (or roasted, mmm) around in a simple vinaigrette instead of the heavy traditional ingredients. For the vinaigrette, whisk your favorite vinegar or citrus juice with a good tasting olive oil or melted butter. Zest some lemon or orange in there for more flavor. Fresh cracked black pepper is perfect to finish this one too. Salt to taste. If you'd like, add in some bacon to this one too and use your bacon fat as your oil in your vinaigrette. You won't regret it. I toss in sweet peas and diced cooked carrot for a bit of sweet with my tangy vinegar potato salad.

4. Hasselback. So much flavor that you can hardly make yourself stop eating. You cut the potato like you would cut discs, just not cutting all the way through. It should look like an accordion. Put a tiny pat of butter between each crevice , rub the outside with butter, and salt your potatoes with a good flaky salt (I just use kosher). Feel free to use your favorite fresh herbs in the cuts, such as small pieces of basil, little sage pieces, or pieces of parsley. If you want to melt your butter instead to keep your hands cleaner, put the butter in a pan or microwave with the herbs and they will flavor your butter nicely for brushing it on and in the potatoes. Roast them on 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, then take them out and let them rest for a few. Sprinkle on a little parmesan or dollop some sour cream on top for an even greater treat.

5. Marinated. Cut up peeled potatoes and toss them in a baggie or self-made foil packet with salt, lime pepper or lemon pepper (zest and cracked black pepper that has been allowed to sit for a couple days), lemon or lime zest, a slice of onion, garlic powder. Let them hang out in this mixture for anywhere from a half-hour to overnight. Turn the oven on 400 and roast them for 30-45 minutes, stirring them around about halfway through cook time. Feel free to change up the add-ins. Cook them on the stove if you don't want to wait for the oven or the oven is occupied. Cut them to grill up without falling through the grate if you want them to have some grill action. You can even microwave them, the consistency will just be different.

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