Apr 11

Potatoes

Close up of two red potatoes sprouting on my windowsill.

Close up of two red potatoes sprouting on my windowsill.

Potatoes, Murphy, Mickies, papas, spuds, taters, tatas, pomme de terre (French), patata (Italian), aardapple (Dutch), kartoffel (German), zemniak (Polish),…sorry I don’t know how to say potato in Japanese or Mandarin. Would someone please tell me?

In Western culture potatoes are as widely used as rice is in Asian countries.

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New Red Potatoes with Chives.

New Red Potatoes with Chives.

Boiled potatoes with butter and parsley are a classic pairing for a fish feast. For this I like to use, new potatoes, like Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn or a new red potato.

Mashed spuds with plenty of butter and a touch of cayenne pepper.

Mashed spuds with plenty of butter and a touch of cayenne pepper.

Mashed potatoes, sometimes called smashed, are best if you steam off the excess moisture after draining off the cooking water. Next, add plenty of butter, salt and white pepper, a touch of freshly ground nutmeg and then cream or milk. If you have a potato ricer your can use that or you can mash the spuds by hand or with an electric beater.

Potatoes fried in duck fat.

Potatoes fried in duck fat.

The fried taters pictured above are done in such a manner so the outside is crispy-crunchy, like a potato chip, and the inside is a soft, spud-tater goodness that just melts in your mouth! The rendered duck fat heats to a little higher temperature than other oils and creates a delicious crust as it seals the potato flavor in.

A freshly baked russet potato is a great accompaniment to BBQ foods, roast chicken or meatloaf. I usually fix mine with butter, salt, cayenne pepper, chives and sour cream. Some folks like to add; grated cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, diced onions or peppers and more!

Potatoes are usually added to hearty soups and stews to help thicken the broth and make the soup a stick to your ribs meal! In fact, potatoes alone can be made into a rich and creamy soup and served hot or cold. Oh, and let’s not forget that potatoes may be made into salad and served hot or cold. Potato salad is staple at picnics and barbeques and during hot weather a batch of cold potato salad made early in the morning saves the cook the trouble of heating up the kitchen in the hotter part of the day. It is common in German cookery to serve a hot potato salad usually a bit tangy with vinegar and onions.

The limits of what you can do with potatoes are only bound by your imagination and the ingredients on hand. For many more ideas on how to cook potatoes go here.

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