The other day I received an email from a PR company that read, “Are you ready to show that [name brand stuffing mix] ‘tops’ the potato? [name brand stuffing mix] is challenging families to escape the same old, boring potato routine …!”
Frankly, this annoyed me big time. Hard core. Spuds to the wall. No one — and I mean no one — disses my potatoes.
Potatoes are the food of my people — quite possibly the most perfect food in all of the world (except maybe for bacon, with which they -not entirely coincidentally- pair beautifully). They’re a nutritious, mineral packed, inexpensive, simple to prepare food. They’re versatile. They store well. They make people happy. And they are most emphatically NOT boring.
And so… because I am quite firmly a member of the “don’t whine unless you’re going to do something about it camp,” I am presenting for your unboring cooking pleasure a round-up of the greatest potato hits here on Foodie With Family. And as a bonus? A homemade *gaspshriekfaintthud* stuffing recipe that doesn’t involve anything at all from a box. And it doesn’t have any unpronounceable or unidentifiable ingredients*. BONUS!
*Unless you have a problem with the following words: cornbread, bread, buttermilk, chicken stock, onion, celery, sage. I know. Sage can be tricky. But under perfectly controlled lab environments with a herb guide book, sage is known to be safe and identifiable. Don’t worry. I’ll be right there with you.
Let’s begin our celebration of the potato with dishes that are made either entirely or mostly from the humble and amazing tater.
Where potatoes are the star…
All hail the perfect potato dish. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. This makes it onto our table to accompany many, many main dishes, but it’s not just regulated to meal time. I make this dish for late night snacks for The Evil Genius and myself. I’m not a doctor or a fertility expert, but let me just say this. It’s one of our favorite snacks and we have five kids. Draw your own conclusions.
I mentioned that potatoes are the food of my people, right? As in the Irish people? This is Irish on Irish (which sounds bad, but is really quite tasty. Stop it.) Cabbage and onion studded mashed potatoes stuffed back into a baked potato shell, topped with Guinness and cheddar potted cheese, baked once more for good measure and crowned with glazed corned beef and more onions. Phew. I got happy just typing that.
Pure posh potatoes. These elegant, intriguing potatoes are much simpler to turn out than you would ever think. Crispy on top and bottom, creamy and garlicky on the interior and making ample use of blessed butter, these would never, ever be mistaken as boring.
Oh my yes. And a big Amen. Potatoes, skins, bacon, cheese, creamy good stuff and green onions. Are you bored? I’m sure as heck not.
This is the glorious companion recipe to the Loaded Baked Potato Skins. You want this and you want it ba-a-ad. Creamy, thick potato soup made from baked potatoes and topped with all your favorite toppers for baked potatoes. Make this the night before or after you have the Loaded Baked Potato Skins. Or, dear ones? If life is treating you wrong, make them both on one night. The grey skies WILL clear up. That’s a guarantee.
I think the name pretty well explains this but I’ll break it down a bit. First, let me say this is my Grandma’s recipe which is pretty much all you need to know. Grandmas + potatoes = amazingcomfortfoodglorioushappiness. Am I right? But I digress. You cut up potatoes into bite sized pieces, put them on a baking pan with a full stick of butter (Oh merciful Father in heaven, you DO love us.) and a seriously dangerous amount of grated parmesan cheese. Ta da!
Being away from home is NO excuse to skip the potatoes. A little advance preparation can give you some of the best homefries of all time under the sky and canopy of trees. If I skipped the Campfire Homefries on our annual camping trip the minions would revolt.
Where potatoes have a supporting role…
Much like Natalie Portman’s dance body double in The Black Swan, potatoes don’t appear in the credits here, but they’re CRUCIAL to the overall finished product. No potatoes? No pot pie. No pot pies? Tears. And lots of them.
As a self-respecting Yooper-born gal, I was acquainted very early on in life with the wonders of potatoes. A Yooper Pasty without potatoes is, well, like a pasty without rutabagas. It just ain’t done, people. You might as well leave off the ketchup. (Now sit back down. We’ll get into the ketchup vs. gravy debate another time. Right now we’re rallying behind the long suffering potato.)
Here’s the thing you need to know about this dish. You can never make enough. It’s true. I made an 18-inch cast-iron skillet brimming with it. I counted on a couple days of leftovers. There. were. none. Sad doesn’t begin to cover it. The moral of the story? Make way more than you might ever think you could possibly consume. Not to put too fine a point on it…
Oh, stuffing. We love you, too. Just not from a box…
This is also not boring. And this is also not the aforementioned brand of stuffing. This is the best stuffing you will ever stuff in your face. Trust me. You’re going to stuff it in your face. Or you might stuff your face in the stuffing. It’s very stuffable. And it will stuff you. In a good way. With all pronounceable and identifiable ingredients. And it’s another one of my Grandma’s recipes. ‘Nuff said?
One last question. Were you bored by these recipes?
The post above is taken from Rebecca Lindamood’s blog archives. For her most recent recipes, kitchen tips and parenting adventures, visit FoodieWithFamily.com. Rebecca also writes a monthly column in the Record-Eagle’s Food section.