My very specific gardening tips #2

Don’t be ashamed of collecting root vegetables.

Mostly potatoes.

Don’t be ashamed of having a box of potatoes growing in your basement.

Hey, some people collect shoes, or coins, you collect root vegetables. Be proud of  that!

Advertisements

365 Things to do with Potatoes, Episode 13

Roasted potatoes.

One of the easiest ways to prepare them in my opinion. Highly underrated.

Take one large russet potato per person, slice it in half lengthwise,
slice the half in half
and then chop into 1-2 bite size bits. Usually I get 4 out of each. 6 out of the bigger ones.

Now take a sheet pan, and drizzle over it some oil. Today I used Italian Dressing, because it’s a cooking lube, and also has some of my favorite seasonings already mixed in. It’s my shortcut sauce.

If you don’t have/don’t want to use Italian Dressing, olive oil with salt and pepper and rosemary is amazing to. Or really ANY combination of seasonings you like.

Periodically poke your nose in the oven and give ’em a stir so they have a chance to cook from every angle and get coated in the seasonings. Also so they don’t stick. A tip I figured out was if you put the oil on before the potatoes, you’ve got better chance of non-stickage. It helps, and it matters, sorta.

365 Things to do with Potatoes, Episode 11

The potato crustini.

We also call it “super fancy bar food.”

This one is actually really really easy and incredibly customizeable. Perfect for when you’re trying to feed an army and they’re all picky.

Take a potato, for 2 people, 1 potato is pretty perfectly sized. You need the potatoes that look like they ATE the other potatoes in the bag. You want them to be able to slice long-ways and be approximately the size of a slice of crusty french/italian breads around. But thinner than you’d use for a traditional crustini. No bigger than 2/3 an inch thick. Otherwise there is too much potato.

Drizzle olive oil over a cookie sheet, place the potatoes on that, more olive oil on top of them, salt, pepper, and place in a 450 degree oven. Time is going to vary depending on how crispy you want the outer potato, how thick the slices are, and how often you flip them.

Then you make your sauce. I recommend using velveeta cheese for your base. Add some butter, milk, hot sauce, and pepper. Melt and combine the ingredients over low heat, so you don’t scorch your cheese. And if you feel like it’s getting too bland or too thick, throw in some beef/chicken broth.

Cover that and keep it warm.

Meanwhile, take your chicken/ground beef/super finely diced chunk of dead furry/fluffly animal thing salt and pepper it, and brown it in a pan with butter. Always butter. Always. Butter.

De-glaze the pan with soy/teryaki sauce, and some fresh herbs and spices to your preference. Drizzle on a DROP of honey to eliminate the bitterness.

Layer potato, sauce, meat
and feast.

365 Things to do with Potatoes: Episode Nine

Poutine.

It’s one of those things that no matter what you do to it, it pretty much looks like dog food. But, when you try it. It tastes like heaven.

Poutine is basically three components:

French fries

Gravy

Cheese Curd

I do a really bastardized version. If you follow this link:

http://www.montrealpoutine.com/recipes.html

to get a very. very legit poutine recipe.

But, if you’re not Canadian, or into the very legitness of things, follow my instructions for VERY cheap and delicious poutine.

French Fries. Crispy ones, like, go to the Dollar Tree and get the steak-cut french fries there and deep fry them.

Then add gravy. Chicken gravy, brown gravy, turkey gravy, doesn’t matter. Add as much or as little as you want, you can treat the gravy like ketchup or seriously put enough in to make it like soup.

Then you drop your cheese on top. I’m a really big fan of Cheddar, which I think is the kind of cheese curd you’re supposed to put on it.

Then broil it and get the cheese melty.

Beware, the bowl will be hot.

365 Things To Do With Potatoes: Episode 8

Fried potatoes.

Nearly chips, but more dinner-ey. Where with potato chips it’s just that salty satisfying crunch, fried potatoes still have the potato taste. They can still have crunch, but it’s not so noisy.

For every person take a potato.

Heat up a non-stick or cast iron skillet to medium high, if you want you can spray it or drop a glob of butter in there.

While your pan is getting hot, slice up the potatoes. I wouldn’t recommend using a mandolin for this, they’ll end up too small and just get mooshey. Slice them in half long ways, and then slice in small little half-discs. Don’t fret too much about how equal the sides are, one of the greatest parts of these is the variation. I wouldn’t let any get bigger than half an inch thick though.

Variety is actually good for the flavor and texture profile here. (See what I did there? See? I used a real culinary phrase! The endless hours of watching the food channels are paying off! +1 cooking skills for me)

Once all your potatoes are sliced, drop them into the hot pan. Spread them out so as many are touching the bottom of the pan as possible. Let them sit like that until they’re brown and even a little blackened on the bottom. Trust your nose, if it smells burnt, it probably is. Toss them around until they’re brown and crispy on both sides.

When they’re brown and crispy on both sides, go ahead and turn the heat off. While they’re still hot and in the pan, go ahead and add the salt. Doesn’t need much more than that. Remember, some are going to be crispy all the way through (the thinnest ones) but most of them should have a crispy exterior and on the inside still be soft and full of potato goodness.

Serve!

 

I want to take a minute to thank everyone for following my blog, I know I’ve been lacking in updates lately. I blame company, followed by illness, followed by mild depression caused by being ill for two weeks and the apartment turning into a disaster zone worthy of hazmat suits. But school is starting up again, I’ve got my classes all set, I’m volunteering / being mentored at the schools library, and an internship with the schools galleries. Being busy is good for me, I’ll have more updates soon.

365 Things To Do With Potatoes: Episode 7

Finally. Finally I will get to it. Today, we’re making Mashed Potatoes.

There are instant mashed potatoes, which to me, are for coating chicken and burgers and cheap steaks. Sometimes though, the urge to eat potatoes grows so much, and my ability to get to real ones so limited, I just go ahead and make some instant mashed potatoes, add a bunch of salt, butter, garlic powder, and bacon bits, until I can pretend it tastes like real potatoes.

http://idahoan.com/products/butter-and-herb-flavored-mashed-potatoes/

This brand though, this particular one too, is acceptable. I don’t feel compelled to add bunches and bunches of crap to these.

 

The best, absolutely the best, is real potatoes.

Take 3 to 7 potatoes, figure between one and two potatoes per person. Cut them up into small chunks and boil them in standard water until they’re done. This can take anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes, the volume, and how hard you want to boil them.

Once they’re done drain the water out of them.

Splash a little water, drop some butter, maybe if you’re feeling adventurous some garlic or some greens. Not Lettuce. Lettuce will not work, or any lettuce like green. Spanish like greens, the kind that wilt like that, those are good.

Then, mash. Mash until they’re as chunky or creamy as you like. Personally, I like mine chunky so I can tell I’m eating potatoes that really came out of the ground.

Mashed potatoes are good on their own with salt, maybe gravy, or as ingredients for many of the other things that are to come!

 

I’m so excited! Today I sat down and wrote out the next 27 recipes for this project. Several I’ve never even tried before! Do not fear, I am not just going to throw out recipes.  I am going to do each and every one before I blog!

365 Things to do with Potatoes: Episode six

Twice baked.

Because the simple deliciousness of a once baked potato needs to be altered.

Alright, they don’t always necessarily need to be altered. But gracious, they’re good when they are.

And here’s what you need:

A potato

Cheese (Cheddar, cream, soft mozzarella)

Bacon

Spinach.

 

So, here’s what you do.

Bake a large potato at about 450 for about 30 minutes. Pull them out and let them cool completely.

Once they’re completely cool to touch, cut it in half. Take a spoon and dig out the middle, try not to get too close to the skin, it’s going to be pretty fragile at this point. You’re looking to make a potato “bowl”.

Put the potato bits in a bowl, and add cheese, crumbled up fully cooked bacon (bacon bits), and spinach to your tastes. Mash it all up together. Spoon it back into the remaining bowls of potato. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese, and broil on high until the tops are melted or long enough so that they’re crunchy. Makes a good texture.

Serve.

They’re pretty easy, I wish I could tell you they were posh, but they qualify more as “redneck posh” than really posh. You can call homemade potato chips posh, but not really a potato filled with cheese and bacon….

 

Next time, we’ll have something you can call posh 🙂