March Food Pick — The Versatile Potato

By Chef Dawn, Dining in by Dawn

Ahhhh, the potato! Who doesn’t love them? So versatile, so tummy-warming and just plain yummy! The perfect cold-weather staple that can be used in soups, stews, or stand-alone dressed with bacon and cheese!

Potatoes come in many forms that lend themselves to various methods of cooking, the russet is perfect for baking then split and dressed with a dollop of herbed butter, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives…I could go on and on with creative toppings like salsa, olive tapenade, sundried tomatoes or pesto!

Red and fingerlings are perfect tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted until their skins are crispy then sprinkled with a little chopped parsley or snipped chives!

I love to add Yukon gold potatoes to layered casseroles as they add a wonderful creamy texture. They’re also my potato of choice for roasted garlic smashed potatoes; the star of the Thanksgiving table and a show stealer anytime!

Here’s an idea for St. Patrick’s Day: Try roasting your carrots, onions and potatoes instead of boiling…do a quick boil of your cabbage in the braising liquid from your corned beef. More flavor, less mush!

Potatoes are a budget saving item that can be used as a side, hot or cold in salads and prepared in so many ways that it’s really one of my favorite foods!

Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes

1 head garlic and a drizzle of olive oil

2 lb. yukon gold potatoes

¼ C. half and half

½ C. Sour cream

2 Tbls. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the stem end of the garlic and place the head sitting upright in a small square of foil. Pour a tiny amount of olive oil and a few drops of water over the top and bring sides of foil up to form a package. Place in 300 degree oven for 40-45 min. Peel potatoes and cut into 1 inch pieces. Steam over boiling water for approximately 20 minutes until fork tender. While still hot, place cooked potatoes into large mixer bowl and add the next 3 ingredients. Squeeze the roasted garlic into a small side dish to make sure you don’t get any of the paper into your potatoes then add to the mixing bowl. Mix until all ingredients are combined. You may need to add more liquid as you mix….just a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Do not over whip as they will become sticky and heavy. We are looking for nice, fluffy and flavorful potatoes!

For a low-fat version, use low-fat, low-sodium veg. or chicken stock instead of ½ and ½, Greek style yogurt or light sour cream and Smart Balance instead of butter.

Adjust quantities according to your taste and enjoy!

Comments are closed.