Potatoes Archive

Thursday, November 12, 2009

swiss chard and sweet potato gratin

swiss chard and sweet potato gratin

Surely I’m not alone in this: When I’m eating starchy foods, I think I should be eating more greens. When I’m eating my greens, I wish I had heavier foods to balance them. And pretty much all of the time, I wonder why it has been so long since I made macaroni and cheese.

so much chard!yamsmise, messgreens and yams gratin

And this is what happens when I stewed all of these thoughts together in my head over countless feedings. I love sweet potatoes but I find most preparations of them too heavy and sweet (which is why I stick to spicing, curry-ing and/or spicing, curry-ing and frittering them); I love chard but I find most preparations of it too earnest but when I put these together in a gratin I ended up with the most bubbling, gurgling, cooing delight of a fall comfort there could be.

(Or maybe I’m just talking about the baby.)

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, July 16, 2009

arugula, potato and green bean salad

arugula potato and green bean salad with walnuts

I wasn’t kidding last week when I said that I have staged an intervention with myself and am trying my hardest to cook more things at home that can be even loosely construed as dinner. I mean, somehow the farmers markets are bursting with beans and greens and peppers and potatoes and peaches and… And I ate (average) pad thai for lunch. It doesn’t even compute.

arugula

But I still only want simple food. When food is this fresh, little needs to be done to make it stand out, which is perfect as I’m exactly lazy enough right now that I barely want to fuss. I saw this recipe from Martha Stewart a few weeks ago when I was trying to dream up a potato salad that wasn’t so… weighty. Basically, I wanted my potatoes but I didn’t need them swaddled in mayo or sour cream or chopped eggs and pickles… at least not every day.

fingerling segments

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, June 21, 2009

horseradish potato salad

horseradish potato salad

It’s Father’s Day around these here parts which is supposed to mean one thing, really (you know, aside from hanging out with the dads, and papas-to-be in your life): backyard grilling. Alas, New York City has moved to Seattle this June, and we’ve spent more time umbrella bumping on sidewalks and avoiding street juice puddles than actually being beckoned to suburban backyards for some sun and chaise lounge napping but don’t worry, I still made you some potato salad. You know, in case the weather decides to get out of its funk for an hour or two.

rainbow potatoes
rainbow potatoes, cooked

I’ve been mumbling about making a horseradish potato salad for a few weeks now, threatening I guess is more like it, because I know horseradish is another of those Great Divider ingredients. Many find it spicy, and well, many varieties are, but the vast majority of the jars that I grab in the grocery store aisle are about as ferocious as a kitten. What I was really after was that cool but heady sinus-clearing aroma, which I imagined that paired with creamy dressing and some fresh dill and chives would be a most welcome accent to whatever we throw on the grill. (Oh please please let it be Molly’s ribs!) And while we’ve only had the smallest of samples (see how giving I am?), this Russian I live with gives it his hearty seal of approval, and looks forward to next Father’s Day, when he won’t be stuck washing up the dishes when he’s done.

horseradish

Continued after the jump »

Monday, June 1, 2009

pesto potato salad with green beans

pesto potato salad

If you think my slaw affliction is bad, let me introduce you to my potato salad habit. There’s that everything-but-the-kitchen-sink version, with its pickles and onions and vinegar and mayo and mustard and celery and then hard-boiled eggs, as if there were a risk of potato salad monotony. Then there’s the stepped-up dilled version, where you start by making your own cucumber pickles the night before and then finish it with radishes. It’s heaven in a Central European bowl. Oh, and now there’s this pesto too, just perfect for the mayo-phobic out there and look, it has green beans! It must be healthy.

green beans, trimmed and tailed
chunked yellow potatoes

This recipe comes courtesy of my green tomato and okra-frying friend Ang, who says it’s her go-to favorite. But what captivated me about it was the play on that Ligurian pasta dish called trofie with potatoes, pesto and green beans that several readers notes when I made a riff on it a couple month ago. I played around with it a little, deconstructing the pesto so the toasted pine nuts became a crunchy garnish and finishing it with wide flakes of parmesan. It was delicious and summery and my only regret was not taking any of the leftovers home so I could eat it today for lunch.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, April 13, 2009

simple potato gratin

potato and mushroom gratin

I think that gratins get a bad rap. I mean, if you’re ordering them in restaurants, swimming in layers of triple creams and crusted with four different varieties of cheese, they might even (most deliciously) deserve it. But after coming home from the farmers’ market in our new neighborhood (!) last weekend with potatoes and shiitakes and no real inkling of what I wanted to do with them, I turned to Alice Wates — her books are increasingly become my cooking bibles these days — and realized that something I’d never much associated with easy, light meals, a gratin, was exactly what was in order.

sauteeing the shiitakessliced potatoeslayering the gratinadding the milk

At its simplest, a gratin is sliced potatoes, a cup of whole milk (yes, milk though you’re welcome to gild the lily with half, full and double creams) and a few pats of butter on top. Adding a wee bit of a cheese between the layers goes surprisingly far — once it is all baked together, you’ll feel like you’re eating a macaroni-and-cheese level dish, minus that extra pound-and-a-half of cheese, not bad for four ingredient dish! — and if you season it well, you wonder why you don’t make them more often.

Continued after the jump »


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