Potatoes Archive

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

baked potato soup

baked potato soup

We’re on day two of something called a “wintry mix” which I suspect if I lived in one of those places where one was forced to wear shorts and sunglasses in January, eating food plucked recently from the ground (pea tendrils, anyone?) I’d imagine constituted a fun day of mixed winter activities, like snowfall fights followed by ice skating and then, if you’re not too tuckered out, some hot cocoa before you head home. Alas, a “wintry mix” is the precise reason my only current goal in life is to flee to someplace tropic and sandy.

russets
peeling and cubing

And make soup. Except, me and soup have been on unstable terms this year. I know its the “right” thing to eat this time of year but my relationship with soup has been near-irreparably damaged by too many bowls of vegetables boiled to death in an oversalted broth, soups assaulted with so much cream that whatever healthy things in there cannot be tasted, and in what I imagine had to have been some sort of practical joke, a soup I ordered from from a cafe a few weeks ago that tasted, smelled and sloshed about like freezer-bitten spinach pureed in water. (It cost $6.95.)

leeks

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Monday, November 15, 2010

sweet potatoes with pecans and goat cheese

this fall thing I made

This is the kind of thing you come up with when you have a one year-old who, like many one year-olds, wishes to eat sweet potatoes with every meal. Sure, the goal is for the kid to eat exactly what the rest of the family is eating for dinner, but there are only so many days in a row we can feign excitement over a side of sweet potatoes and I have only so much heart to deny the kid something he delights in. And so I spent a good part of September and October roasting sweet potatoes, repeating the task enough times that I made two great discoveries.

roasted and downright marshmallow-y
goat cheese

The first discovery came about through laziness. Tired of slicing thin pieces and laying them out over two trays, one day I cut very thick rounds that would fit on one tray and discovered that like steak, if you want three layers of texture (two satisfyingly firm exteriors and a soft center), you want a thick piece, high temperatures and to flip your “steaks” halfway through for even cooking.

terrible photo of a good salad

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

blue cheese and red potato tart

blue cheese potato tart

I bought the prettiest little “freshly dug!” (I could not resist this sign) red potatoes at the market last week. They’re sweet, creamy and cute and need almost nothing to make them welcome on any table — roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper or boiled until tender and tossed cold with a vinaigrette, they’re heaven.

freshly dug baby reds
some spanish blue cheese

But if I were the kind of person who even knew when to leave well enough alone, what would we ever have to talk about? And so I sifted around my endless lists of things I think I might want to cook and landed on what has to be the most pretentious recipe I’ve ever read. I’m know, I really should just focus on the positive (and I will, soon) but seriously: instead of water in the pastry crust, it calls for San Pellegrino, and instead of butter, it calls for Plugrá, an ultra-creamy European butter. Here I had been operating under the assumption that the goal of recipes were to encourage home cooks, not discourage those who don’t keep imported Italian mineral water around for pie doughs, silly me. Harrumph!

cooked potato coins

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

spring asparagus pancetta hash

asparagus pancetta hash

A few times a year, I go on a Dinner Intervention, which might sound a little more gentle than it is. It sounds like a “Honey, I was thinking I’ll do something different with dinner this week” but in reality it is more of a “Gah, I am so sick of take-out and fobbed together meals! I’ve had enough!” wherein I throw down the proverbial spatula and demand we do better.

heads

Dinner is not my strong suit; I love side dishes and “tapas-style” meals (a joke consisting of bits and pieces of leftovers from the fridge meals.) I’ve got pancakes, slaws and potatoes down pat, but when it comes down to what I consider the Holy Grail of home cooking — Getting Dinner On The Table with any regularity — I fall woefully short. Seeing as we can get great salads, hummus platters and cracker-thin pizzas delivered in no time, why would I want to bother cranking up the broiler?

toes

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Monday, March 22, 2010

romesco potatoes

romesco potatoes

Meet my new favorite potato dish. Oh, those mustard-roasted potatoes were wonderful, weren’t they? And who doesn’t love baked pommes frites? And latkes, they were a force to be reckoned with. But they’re dead to me, or they would be, if in some cruel parallel universe I was to choose only one way to eat potatoes from this day forth.

chiles, angstsoaking the chiles, stemmed and (mostly) seededfried breadgrinding the fried bread with nuts

I should have made this years ago, when my friend Luisa got all adorably shouty over them — “Roasted and raw garlic! Toasted nuts! Fried bread! Mellow thyme! Hot chiles! Creamy potatoes!” I have the cookbook, and I’ve yet to make a recipe from it that did not blow my already Goin-obsessed mind. But it took me until that aforementioned tapas party to put those chile peppers, hazelnuts, almonds, fried bread and herbs together in a blender.

romesco sauce

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