The Best Potato Latkes

latkes-01-rpLatkes seem so simple, grate some potatoes mix in some egg, fry. And yet, often they turn out limp, undercooked, and down-right blah.

Here’s a method more than recipe that I found quite good. It came from the TV show America’s Test Kitchen. It’s a bit more effort, but the results are worth it.

So do give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 russet potatoes ( you do want starch), grated
  • 1/3 c of grated onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the first three items in a bowl and toss until mixed.
  2. Remove to a clean cotton towel and twist to squeeze out the liquid.
  3. DO NOT DISCARD–pour the starchy water into a measuring cup or other cup.
  4. Return the potato mixture to the bowl and cover with Saran wrap and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Cool by spreading on a baking sheet or simply gently tossing every few minutes until cool.
  6. Take the starchy water and carefully pour off all the water leaving only the white chalky starch at the bottom.
  7. Add your two eggs and whisk with the starch.
  8. Pour into your potatoes along with the parsley and pepper, and mix.
  9. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls into oil heated to 350° for 3 minutes or so and then turn for another three minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  10. Drain on paper toweling and then place on a cookie sheet in a warm oven to keep hot until ready to serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Traditionally served with sour cream and applesauce. You could use chopped green onion, other herbs if you desire.

SOURCE: America’s Test Kitchen

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Pearls and Taters Gratin

pearlsnpotatoesIf you are like me, you’re always looking for  a new way tuck a few potatoes in the meal. After all, after the meat, the next question becomes, “what kind of potatoes shall I fix with that?”

Well, you won’t go wrong with this dish. It’s cheesy which is always good, and has lovely pearl onions which I adore. A bit more work than the average dish, but not enough to keep it off the menu.

If you follow the tips on cleaning your pearls, it will go quickly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 medium clove minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds pearl onions
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch lardons
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 6 ounces grated Comté or Gruyère cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Adjust an oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk together 1 tablespoon parsley, bread crumbs, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, peel onions by cutting off tops and bottoms, scoring a light X on one cut side, and plunging in boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse under cool running water. Peels should come off easily by hand or with the help of a paring knife. Set aside.

  4. Place bacon in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, until  bacon begins to crisp. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until bacon is browned and crisp all over, about 8 minutes total. Remove the bacon to a towelling covered dish. Add potatoes and onions and saute until browned nicely on all sides. Drain off most of the bacon grease.   Add  heavy cream, and remaining tablespoon parsley and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Transfer mixture to a rectangular casserole dish. Cover with cheese and transfer to oven. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over top and return to oven. Bake until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes longer. Allow to cool slightly, and serve.

    SERVES: 6

    NOTES: Feel free to substitute any cheese you wish.

    SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Puffed Up Potato Mashies

CheesyPotatoPuffs_bI found this recipe somewhere, but it was not acceptable since it was made with all kinds of fake food, such as boxed mashed potato flakes (gasp) and bacon bits from a jar.

I mean seriously, that is not food.

But the idea was good, you just need to actually cook real food.

Takes very little extra time.

Tastes vastly better.

Much healthier since there is not God-knows-what in the box.

So whatcha waiting for?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lg russet potatoes peels and diced and cooked until fork tender (enough to make about 3 cups)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 c cream
  • 4 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces and fried crispy, drained on paper towelling
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mash your taters, adding the butter and cream and salt and pepper as you would normally for mashed potatoes.
  2. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Once cool, add the bacon and the cheese.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop up balls of the mixture and place each on a parchment covered baking sheet.
  5. Place in a preheated 425° oven and heat until cheese has melted, and the potato is crisping on the edges, about 20 minutes.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You could substitute other cheese, add scallions as well if you wish, or chives or parsley.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

OVEN TEMP: 425°

COOKING TIME: 20 minutes

Passionate Parmesan Potatoes

Roasted_Red_Potatoes_Bacon_Garlic_Parmesan_41These are so good.

It goes well with so many dishes.

Try them with fried chicken or fried pork chops.

Try them with grilled sausages.

Try them with pie.

Or cake.

Or oatmeal.

Oh just try them.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs or so of small potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 small onions, quartered each so that the root is intact on each segment, holding each segment together
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 c shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 freshly minced parsley or chives

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Place the unpeeled chunks of potato and onion into a large plastic bag.
  • Add about 2 tbsp of canola oil. Turn bag up and down to coat.
  • Spread evenly on a parchment covered baking pan and  roast in a 425° oven until fork tender (30 minutes should be fine)
  • Meanwhile cut up the bacon into 1″ pieces and fry until done. Remove to paper towelling and blot. Set aside.
  • Remove all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat from pan and add the garlic.
  • Whisk the garlic until fragrant.
  • Add the cream and heat until just starting to bubble, but don’t let it boil hard.
  • Add the butter and continue whisking until melted and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  • Add the cheese and whisk until melted.
  • Add the potatoes and onions to the sauce and stir to mix.
  • Add the bacon and parsley and stir just until mixed.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You might want to use some other fresh herbs of your choice. You could also use Gorgonzola or Havarti or any other cheese you wish. Experiment with fingerling potatoes. Or add a combo of potatoes and turnips or parsnips. This is just versatile as you want it to be. With sliced sausage and perhaps some peas or green beans added, you would have a whole meal in the skillet!

AUTHOR: Sherry Peyton

OVEN: 425°

TIME: 30 minutes

 

Classy Colcannon

colcannon_zoomThis is surely peasant food, but it’s a dish that I just adore, and surely don’t make it often enough.

There is just enough of a twist on the classic dish to liven it up and make it an excellent choice not only for that St. Patrick’s Day meal, but for many others.

Think, grilled sausage for starters. I think it also goes well with a pork roast.

It takes little more time than making regular old mashed potatoes so do surprise your family from time to time with this delightful Irish dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 – 6 slices of bacon, thick cut.
  • 4-6 red potatoes, peeled or not as you prefer
  • 1/2 medium cabbage, sliced in nice shreds
  • 1 /2 of a medium onion, also sliced thinly
  • salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 c cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Chunk up the bacon and fry until crisp. Drain and set aside.
  2. Chunk up the potatoes and boil in salted water until just done, drain.
  3. Slice the cabbage into shreds and place in a steamer pan, steaming until done but still having a bite
  4. Saute the onion in some butter, for 15-20 minutes or so, just until starting to caramelize. Set aside.
  5. Add butter and cream to the hot potatoes and mash.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Fold in the cabbage and the onions until mixed.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the bacon.

Serves: 6-8

NOTES: Beware, you family may demand you make this on a regular basis. It’s really that good. Kale can also be added for an extra punch of flavor. I’d say about 2 c loosely packed should do it. Swiss Chard would also be an option.

Why They Call Them That Fresno Potatoes?

Fresno PotatoesOkay, this dish is called Fresno Potatoes. I got it from a site called, Alaska From Scratch.

She doesn’t seem to know why the name, and I checked a few other sites, who did not credit her with the dish, but just posted it, without any explanation either.

So I’m callin’ it “Potato Casserole I Discovered”. No reason t credit Fresno is there?

Anyway, it’s a great little potato casserole that’s easy and full of flavors and I think works with so many meats that it’s what I can call versatile.

Boiling the potatoes ahead of time until 3/4 done, really helps make sure they are done when you pull them out of the oven. Other “scalloped” type dishes often run the risk of not getting done on time. This one is pretty much fool-proof.

Apparently a lot like it for Easter. So do try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (or a red would be fine I think too)
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces and fried crisp.
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 c milk
  • 1  1/2 c sour cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  •  1/4 c Panko crumbs or homemade bread crumbs, toasted
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil sliced potatoes in salted water until just tender, but still not quite done.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. In a greased 9 x 13 baking dish, layer half the potatoes slices, top with half the bacon and onions.
  4. Whisk together the milk and sour cream and flour. Season the first layer with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour half the liquid mixture over the layer, and sprinkle with half the cheese.
  6. Repeat the layer.
  7. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and drizzle the butter over all.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top.

SERVES: 6-8

NOTES: Vary the cheese as you wish. If you want a bit of heat, mince up a jalapeño and sprinkle that on each layer.

 

Smooshed and Loaded Taters

I love potatoes.

And so, I’m always looking for more ways to fix them, and keep the meal fresh and interesting.

This is an adaptation to my recipe Wacka-Mole Potatoes. Just take ’em up a notch.

You can substitute all kinds of additions here, which a good recipe always offers, so be inventive, and depending on the dish it is being served with, think out of the box.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6-8 new potatoes
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 c fried onions
  • 1 c corn, defrosted
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash potatoes and place in plastic bag with oil, massage until all are coated. Spread out on parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan, and roast for about 40 minutes at 425°.
  2. When done, remove from oven. Leave potatoes on the pan. Using a small saucepan, place over each potato and press down until “smashed”. When all are done, slide them together into a rectangle or place in a casserole in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Place under broiler until the edges are starting to crisp.
  3. Remove again.
  4. Cover with a layer of fried onions, then the corn, and then the cheese.
  5. Turn off oven and place back in just to let the cheese melt.

Serves: 4

NOTE: You can used caramelized onions, chives, chopped fresh chiles, vary the cheese, sweet peppers (lightly sautéed), lightly sautéed mushrooms. This goes really nicely with ribs or hamburgers. Any other fresh herbs you like would also be nice.