Sunday, May 3, 2009

a million ways to cook potatoes

Okay, I don't really have a million ways to fix potatoes, but I do have several. I have compiled this list because potatoes are a simple side that always pleases both vegetarians and carnivores. (Think about it, most carnivores would describe themselves as 'meat-and-potatoes' people.) Not to mention it is a very budget friendly. I always have a bag in my pantry that I break out when I am too tired to think. So, look over the list below of numerous ways I make potatoes and maybe you will get inspired by the spud as well.

1) Au gratin - I'll be honest, I have never made these myself, but I do enjoy them when we are going out. And, since this started with an "A" I thought it should kick the list off. Plus, they involve one of my other favorite foods - cheese!

2) Baked - I like them naked (jut butter and salt), but they are also good loaded with bacon and cheese for carnivores or broccoli and cheese for vegetarians.

3) Chips - Isn't this everyone's favorite snack? Once, the carnivore and I made homemade ones with a friend and they were even more divine! If I could I think I would build a kitchen around a deep fryer just so I could make my own all the time.

4) French fries - Whether they are just regular fries or fancy ones with garlic and parmesan, fries are easy to make at home, and they can be healthier if baked at home. Of course, if you decide to make your own chili cheese fries then ignore the previous statement.

5) Potato pancakes - What's better than potatoes to start the day? Pancakes combined with potatoes, of course! The carnivore is in charge of foods that flip (like pancakes), so this would be a dish he would have to prepare. (It's fair, since I make everything else on this list.) Some people make these by shredding the potatoes (also known as latkes), while others puree the potatoes first. Either way, they are wonderful.

6) Hashbrowns - The carnivore and I like ours regular most days, but every now and then we like to add in some garlic. Even better, sometimes I like to make them spicy by adding peppers and onions. In any case, they are a wonderful weekend breakfast side dish.

7) Scalloped - This milked based baked potato dish is a great idea for when you have potatoes lying around, but don't want to do the same ol' thing with them. You probably have the other required ingredients in your fridge and pantry too.

8) Mashed - Is there a better comfort food in the whole world? This simple side goes with everything. It can be time intensive though. My favorite variation is a killer cheese mashed potato bake that my mother-in-law makes.

9) Boiled - The easiest trick in the book is boiling some potatoes and them tossing them with either butter or olive oil and fresh herbs. I am enjoying rosemary from my herb garden these days, but parsely, thyme, or dill can also be special any day of the week.

10) Roasted - In the fall I love to roast root veggies together, like potatoes and carrots, in some veggie stock and kosher salt. They go great with a roast for the carnivore or a hearty mushroom for vegetarians like me.

11) Perogies - I must admist I never knew what a perogie was until I went on my first trip with the carnivore to his parent's house. His small town has this drive up shack that serves chilli dogs and perogies. And while I always pass on the chilli dogs, I never pass up an opportunity to have a freshly cooked perogie. It is like a potato ravioli that has been deep fried (or they can be boiled). Amazing!

12) Potato salad - It is that time of year when I love to enjoy a good potato salad. I am not a fan of mayo so I make mine with sour cream. Most importantly, I like fresh dill in mine. Add in the crunch of celery and tang of a red onion and enjoy at a picnic or just at lunch.

13) Potato soup - My mother makes the best soups. Her potato and white bean soup is one of my favorites. But, potatoes also go great in a regular vegetable soup or a cream of potato soup as well. These soups are all hearty enough to be a meal on their own.

14) Gnocchi - These little pasta dumplings are wonderful. I had the best dish of gnocchi with truffles in Rome a few years ago that I still dream about. While I have never made them on my own, I do like to buy freshly made gnocchi from my local Italian market. I like to toss them with a creamy pesto or serve them with sausage and spinach.

15) Sweet potatoes - Okay, I know this isn't a way to cook potatoes, but it is another way to get potatoes on the plate. And these guys are sweet! Who wouldn't want that? Plus, they pack in lots of vitamins, especially if they are purple.

So that's my list. Do you have another suggestion? Let me know. Let's see how many ways we can list to fix the budget friendly spud.


  1. So happy pierogies made the list!! If I'm not at Yocco's buying the full-fat, full-grease, full-calorie deep fried variety, I buy frozen Mrs. T's pierogies, and sautee them in a pan with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. I eat mine with ketchup. I actually ate them yesterday. Delicious!

  2. Potato is always my favourite. It's so nice of you to show the ways to prepare it.

  3. i should add we also like them herb roasted and campfire grilled!


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