Posts tagged potatoes

Potato Taquitos

 Potato taquitos

We made two types of taquitos last night – shredded beef and mashed potato. Guess which ones got gobbled up first?

 

Potato.

 

The crisp outside of corn tortilla pairs perfectly with the smooth filling of the mashed potato. Plus, you can pump up the potatoes with whatever flavors your family likes – chopped green chiles, corn, loads of cheese, fresh cilantro… Yes, if you have leftovers in the fridge this is the time to dig through and add in a few to your mashed potatoes before you roll them into the corn tortillas.

 

A few taquito-making tips:

  • Don’t overdo it on the filling or else your taquitos will explode (yes, hot oil and filling all over!) when you fry them
  • Use a cast iron pan, if you have one, to heat the oil and then fry your taquitos – cast iron pans hold in the heat better than other types
  • Frying isn’t the only way to get your taquitos crisp you can also bake them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit on baking sheet coated with cooking spray (they won’t get quite as crisp)
  • Try flour tortillas (called flautas when they’re rolled and fried like this) instead of corn
  • Get your kids involved – they’re usually great at rolling taquitos

 

Recipe

Servings: 15 taquitos

Making taquitos

Ingredients

3 medium-sized potatoes

1 1/2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. milk

1 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro, opt.

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 tsp. cumin, opt.

15 corn tortillas

Oil for frying

 Frying taquitos

Directions

  1. Peel potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces and add to a pot of salted water.
  2. Place the pot on the oven and bring the water to a boil. Cook potatoes until soft.
  3. Using a hand-held blender, whip together the potatoes, butter, and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste (and cumin, cilantro if you’re using them). Blend until smooth.
  4. Over medium-high heat either on a gas grill top or a skillet, toast the corn tortillas and then immediately put them into a tortilla warmer or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel. This steams the tortillas and softens them so they’re more pliable.
  5. Spread 2 tbsp. potato mixture onto the steamed corn tortillas. Roll up the tortillas starting with one end and working to the other.
  6. Place the rolled tortillas on a plate while you finish preparing the rest. Finish rolling all of the tortillas.
  7. In a heavy-bottomed pan bring about 1/4″ oil to medium-high heat. Place the taquitos 5 at a time in the hot oil with the seam side faced down.
  8. Fry the taquitos until crisp and then flip to the other side – about 3 minutes. Cook on the other side for 3 minutes.
  9. Remove the first set of tortillas and cook the other two batches.
  10. Serve covered with cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa, and chopped tomatoes.

Potato Taquitos on a plate

 

 

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Ramp Au Gratin Potatoes

RampsRamps look like a cross between a green onion and a leek – but they have a pungent oniony-garlic flavor softened with a hint of sweetness. Also known as wild leeks, ramps are a sign it’s spring!

 

In my bag from my local CSA (community supported agriculture), Fresh Fork Market, I had a bunch of fresh ramps in need of a home. I paired them with a creamy au gratin recipe.

 

How do you cook with ramps? It’s easy. Wash them and then slice them thin as you would green onions. Remove any filmy parts that may be coming off the white ends already. For this recipe I used the entire ramp—white and green parts. Time to get cooking!

 

 

Recipe

Ingredients

6 Medium potatoes (Red, Yukon, regular, or a combination)

3 tbsp. butter

¼ cup onion, diced small

1/4 -1/2 cup sliced ramps

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. ground pepperSauting ramps

¼ tsp. ground thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh)

1 can (12-oz.) evaporated milk

½ cup half and half

½ cup water

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, diced (opt.)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel potatoes and then slice thin. I used my food processor with the slicing attachment.
  3. Place the thin-sliced potatoes into a pot and fill with water and a generous helping of salt. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat on the stovetop. Cook until the potatoes are just barely fork tender (about 4 minutes) and drain.
  4. Coat a 8” x 8” or similarly sized casserole dish with cooking spray. Place the potatoes onto the greased dish. Top the potatoes with the cheese.
  5. In a saucepan melt the butter on medium-high heat and add in the onions. Saute until translucent (about 4 minutes). Add the ramps and the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  6. Turn the heat to low and add the evaporated milk and seasonings.
  7. In a measuring cup, whisk the flour into the half and half and water until fully combined. Slowly pour into the saucepan and gradually bring to a boil stirring constantly. Simmer until thickened (about 3 minutes).
  8. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and bake for 25 minutes. Broil the potatoes on high for 3 minutes to crisp the top. Allow the potatoes to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Make it a meal—add in cubed ham, steamed broccoli or whatever else you might have leftover in the fridge.

Ramp au gratin potatoes*Tweaked from a recipe for Scalloped Potatoes from Very Best Baking.

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Whipped mashed potatoes

Growing up my Thanksgiving assignment was always potato duty. I’d use the potato masher to work out all of the lumps, then make it creamy by adding melted butter and milk at the end. But it never seemed like the butter really worked its way into the potatoes using the masher. Not any more! I use my handheld mixer instead of the masher to turn out creamier potatoes.

Whipping your potatoes takes a lot less time and it gives them an airy consistency that just soaks up gravy. I add butter for flavor and milk as the liquid but you can play around with both ingredients to make your potatoes healthier—or more decadent.

To lighten this recipe you can use nonfat sour cream (or nonfat cream cheese) and nonfat milk to give the whipped mashed potatoes their smooth texture. But if you’re not worried about the calories (and hey, if this is for Thanksgiving, who is?!), you can add both the butter, sour cream and use half and half or heavy cream in place of the milk. I’ve included a balanced version here—just enough butter so that you can taste it but not so much dairy that it overwhelms the potato flavor.

That brings me to potatoes. For mashing, I usually use whatever is on sale at the grocery store, which means I get the big bag marked ‘Idaho potatoes.’ But if you’re looking for something different, Yukon Gold potatoes have a yellow flesh that’s sweeter than the Idaho variety, when I want to splurge, I buy Yukons.

Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

5-8 medium potatoes

2 Tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces

¼-1/3 cup milk

¼ cup sour cream (optional)

Salt

pepper

Directions

  1. Peel and dice the potatoes into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Bring a large cooking pot filled with water to a boil. Add ½ teaspoon salt to the water.
  3. Carefully place the potatoes into the boiling water and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the potatoes and add them to a large mixing bowl, place the butter on top immediately.
  5. Using a handheld mixer, start on the lowest setting, mixing the butter into the potatoes for 2 minutes.
  6. Add half of the milk and mix on medium high. Add more milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

*This recipe can be doubled—or tripled…

More Thanksgiving recipes to come! I have a winner in the Hardwood Oak Cutting Board Giveaway. It was lucky #16 this time. Congrats to TeresaR.

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Homemade hasbrowns

Okay, let’s just get this out of the way—I know that picking up a bag from the freezer section in the grocery store and making those hash browns might be easier. But tastier? Not close.

I’m all for taking shortcuts in the kitchen, especially if it tastes just the same—or better–as when you make it from scratch. Case in point: green bean casserole. That ever-present Thanksgiving favorite topped with French’s onions. I’ve gone so far as to fry my own onion pieces for the topping and crafted a cream of mushroom soup. And the results weren’t worth the effort. But hash browns are another story.

First off, I have no idea what kind of potatoes they’re using in the store-bought versions, and I’m picky about my hash brown potatoes, I like to use either red or Yukon gold. Both are softer and have more flavor than your standard Idaho potato. I also like to leave the skin on the outside of the potato.

I also take an extra step to the hash browns by boiling them in water first (as you would for mashed or potato salad) before frying. I cook them until they’re just soft, before throwing them on the skillet. My goal—soft hash browns on the inside, crisped on the outside.

Still not convinced it’s worth the effort to slice a bag of potatoes? One last try—I double the batch so that I can use the potatoes in other dishes throughout the week. We make breakfast burritos, thick chowders, and other meals by mixing in some of these pre-cooked potatoes.

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes + cooking

Servings: 4

Ingredients

5 medium-sized red potatoes

½ cup onions, diced

3 Tablespoons oil, divided

1 Tablespoon butter

salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place a pot of salted water on the stovetop and heat to boiling.
  2. Wash and dry the potatoes.
  3. Dice into pinky-sized pieces.
  4. Place the potato pieces into the boiling water.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just barely soft.
  6. On a large griddle, alternatively—two large skillets, heat the 1 tablespoon oil to medium-high. (The more heated surface area you have the more crisped the potato pieces will be.)
  7. Add the onions and cook until translucent, set aside.
  8. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the griddle.
  9. Place the potato pieces onto the hot oil on the griddle.
  10. Let the potatoes cook, without stirring often, until they start to crisp and add the butter halfway through cooking (about 5 minutes in).
  11. Sprinkle the potato pieces liberally with salt and pepper, stir to crisp all sides and mix the onions back into the hash browns.
  12. Serve.
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Hasselback Potatoes

Roasted. Mashed. Casserole. Baked. Hasselback?

Potatoes equal possibilities, but chances are your family might be getting tired of seeing them the same way over and over again—no matter how inventive you get with the baked potato toppings.

The answer? Hasselback potatoes. You’ll need to dig out a sharp knife to pull off this Swedish recipe. The recipe calls for you to make thin slices of the potato so that you can fan out the slices and fill them with breadcrumbs. You can do this with a whole potato, but my knife skills just aren’t that good (okay, I was going to say sharp, but I was trying to avoid a bad pun).

I make it easier by cutting the potatoes in half lengthwise so that they can lay flat while I make the slits. And to ensure that my slits don’t go right through the potato, I put the ends of two wooden spoons (or you could use chop sticks) so that the knife stops in the right place.

Once you’ve cut the potatoes you’re ready to pack flavor into each of the slits. I use breadcrumbs peppered with Parmesan cheese, paprika and garlic, but you might want to put your own spin on the recipe—maybe dried rosemary, thyme or basil.

Recipe

Servings: 4-6

Prep time: 30 minutes + baking

Ingredients

4 medium-sized potatoes (I use Yukon Gold)

½ cup bread crumbs

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1 Tablespoon butter, softened

1 clove garlic (or ½ teaspoon powder)

½ teaspoon paprika (optional)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Wash and peel the potatoes (or you can keep the skin on them).
  4. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
  5. Place one potato half between two ends of a wooden spoon (the flat end down). This will keep the potato in place while you make slits down the potato.
  6. Start at the top of the potato and make thin slits from the top to bottom so that the potato pieces fan out. The wooden spoons should keep the knife from cutting all the way through the potato.
  7. Repeat with the remaining 7 potato pieces.
  8. Add the bread crumbs, cheese, butter, spices and garlic to a food processor and pulse until combined.
  9. In a large plastic bag, place the oil and then the potatoes one at a time.
  10. First coat the potatoes with the oil and then pinching the ends fan out the potato slivers and dip them into the bread crumbs.
  11. Repeat with the remaining potato pieces.
  12. Place each potato on the baking dish. Sprinkle the potatoes with any remaining bread crumbs before baking.
  13. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisped on the outside and soft on the inside.
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