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Posts Tagged ‘potato recipes’

potato_2220

            Although I hadn’t eaten a potato croquette in years nor had I made one either, I decided to use some leftover mashed potatoes to create some crispy tater tots to accompany some steaks I was cooking up.  Many years ago there was a small Italian restaurant, Capri, in Manhattan’s theater district that served extraordinary croquettes – usually with a beautiful veal chop.  Theirs were so light and delicate that they seemed impossible to replicate at home so I didn’t even try.  They only came back to my sensory memory when I bit into my version.  Not fluffy, not terribly light, and certainly not delicate.  But, they tasted pretty good.  Now that they are back on the menu I’ll try to refine my recipe – I promised Steve that I’ll get to light and delicate.

Here’s what I did:

I had about 2½ cups of cold mashed potatoes to which I added 2 large eggs, ¾ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons of flour.  I beat the mix until very well combined and then seasoned with salt and pepper.  I whisked 2 eggs with a bit of milk in one shallow bowl, put about 3 cups of lightly salted bread crumbs in another, and then Wondra flour in a third.  I formed the potato mixture into logs – they were much too big I realized – and then dipped the logs into the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally into the breadcrumbs.  I fried them in olive oil and dusted them with sea salt at the finish.  If I’d used freshly made dry potatoes that I’d pushed through a food mill, formed the mix into smaller logs, and fried them a little bit less, I think they would have been the light and delicate croquettes I remembered.  I’ll ace it next time.

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Company_Coming_MG_2625

 

If so, my son Chris pulled together an easy, but a so elegant and pretty dish while he was visiting us a couple of weeks ago.  We were having a big family cook-a-thon or actually a throw-down where every cook tries to out-do the others and Chris was nominated to do the fish course.  Often the recipes my sons create are extravagant and complicated, so it was amazing to see this simple dish appear.  I had purchased some opah (sustainable fish when caught by U.S. fisheries), a wonderfully dense, meaty fish that has a glorious pale pinky, salmon color when raw, but turns white once heat hits it.

First, Chris made mashed potatoes, but instead of making them buttery and rich, he beat in olive oil, the juice of one lemon, and some lemon zest along with sea salt and white pepper. They were smooth and almost refreshing.  He made a very light lemon vinaigrette flavored with chervil.  He cut the opah into small blocks and seared it briefly – or just long enough to make each side crusty while keeping the flesh moist and tender.  As you can see, I placed a mound of the potatoes in the center of our plates, Chris nestled a crusty piece of fish into the center of the potatoes and drizzled the vinaigrette all around the plate.  I fancied it up with a few tiny chervil leaves and Chris presented an elegant, easy, and wonderfully delicious fish course.

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Marble_Potatoes_DSC_0969

I don’t know if these little gems are actually called “marble” but they sure look like those big “shooters” I remember being used to start a game of marbles so even if they aren’t so named, they are marble potatoes to me.  They were absolutely delicious steamed and then sautéed in a toss of olive oil, sliced shishito peppers, and salt and pepper.  Great and easy side dish.

Marble_Potatoes_IMG_0590

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hashbrowns_7672

 

What I call hash browns, lots of people call home fries.  And this is simply because that is what my mom called cubed raw potatoes fried with chopped onions in (for her) bacon fat.  When she fried – and now when I fry – shredded potatoes mixed with shredded onions, she usually formed them into one big pancake in a cast iron skillet and called it a potato cake, not hash browns.  Although they are usually associated with a diner breakfast, I often make my hash browns for dinner, particularly with steaks or chops.  And, occasionally they do make it to the breakfast table but, when that happens they are usually leftover and added to a frittata.  If you have bacon fat on hand, it adds wonderful flavor to the potatoes as does duck fat.  But, taking care of health issues, I mostly use olive oil as my fat of choice.  The following very simple recipe should serve 6 people.

2 to 3 tablespoons fat of choice
    6 large russet or other all-purpose potatoes, well-washed, peeled, and cut into small cubes
    1 large onion, peeled and diced
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Sprinkle of paprika, optional

Heat the fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When very hot, but not smoking, add the potatoes and onions.  Season with salt, pepper, and paprika and fry, tossing and turning frequently, for about 25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown with a few charred edges.  You can, if you want to speed things along, cover the potatoes for about 10 minutes, but they do tend to sweat rather than crisp.  However, once uncovered, you can raise the heat and toss and turn until they crisp up.

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