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.


  • 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


  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.


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

SOURCE: America’s Test Kitchen

Potatoes, Chiles and Radiccio Salad

homefriesSalads are always great as a side and this is one that is really nice both in the winter and summer.

It’s Southwestern in design but is not particularly spicy, so don’t be afraid of it if you have no taste buds for hot.

Ingredients are readily available in the north. Down here we use Hatch chiles, but just use Anaheim or Poblano and you’ll be fine.

I’ve changed this recipe a bit from its original by Bobby Flay.




  • 3 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 small head radicchio, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 green onions, green and pale green parts thinly sliced


  1. If you have a gas range, lay the chiles on the grate and turn on the jets, turning as needed until chiles are nice and black on the outside. Place in a plastic bag and seal. Leave until cool. Remove and under cold water rub off the skins. Slice off the tops and slit down one side. Remove seeds and membranes and then dice up.
  2. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside to meld.
  3. Dice the potatoes (you don’t have to peel) and boil until almost done. You want some integrity. Drain.
  4. Place in a cast iron skillet with canola oil which has been heated to fairly hot. Fry, turning as necessary until the potatoes are nicely browned on all sides.
  5. Remove the potatoes to a bowl. Add the radicchio, cilantro, scallions, chiles, and dressing. Mix gently and serve warm.


NOTES: This makes a great base for a meat salad…Just add your favorite grilled chicken, steak or pork roast slices and you have a great hearty salad meal.

SOURCE: Adapted from Bobby Flay

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.


  • 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


  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?


  • 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


  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.


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

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


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.


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


  • 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


  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.


  • 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


  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.


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