365 Things To Do With Potatoes: Episode 5

Hash browns!

I’ll be honest, homemade hash-browns still get the better of me.

I broke the cheese grater I was using to slice them up, and then when I switched to the mandolin (I have a fancy one with different slicing abilities) I couldn’t get them the same size and texture.

You’re supposed to soak them in cold water for a while to, well if you’ve been following along on the potato adventures, you know. You soak potatoes in cold water to help remove the starch and help them brown up.

When I cooked them though, they were mushy. Maybe I didn’t soak them long enough, maybe I froze them before they were completely dry, I don’t know. I looked up other recipes online, and apparently a cool trick is to completely cook the potatoes before you grate them. Honestly, this makes great sense.

I’ll probably throw out a quick sidebar later with some other recipes telling you how that new version with already cooking the potatoes goes.

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365 Things to do with Potatoes: Episode 3

What’s better than just a potato? Put it in the loving and comforting, non-judging format of soup.

I didn’t make it though. Noah did. After my disasters the last few days and an encroaching sense of mental exhaustion. So, here is the total of how it came out.

Delicious. It became more of a chowder than a soup, we scooped it into our bowls with a masher…

Here’s a trick, if you’re using bacon instead of ham, cook the bacon in a separate pan, and cut it up REALLY small, and drain the grease into the pot with the soup and put the bacon in right before you serve it. It’ll stay crunchier and add a bit more texture to the soup. And, when you reheat it, because it was so small, the salt soaks into the soup and it doesn’t get that soggy.

https://www.google.com/search?q=potato+soup+recipe&oq=potato+soup&aqs=chrome.1.57j0l3j62l2.3678j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Tada! I have done the search for recipes for you.

I also highly recommend using this:
https://rattledup.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/olive-garden-style-chicken-and-gnocchi-soup/

Feel free though to substitute the gnocchi with just chunks and hunks of potatoes with or without the skin. I love the skin, makes it more comforting, less fancy, more nutritious.

Well! that is episode 3. Stay tuned for the other 362 episodes of what happens when you give an Irish Girl a Potato!

365 Things to do with Potatoes: Episode 2

Chips.

Potato chips.

They’re great.

Not as simple as a baked potato mind, unless you buy them from the store. But you can make them at home and be a lot more posh when you’re entertaining guests.

Homemade Potato chips!

5 Large Potatoes. Any kind you like, but I prefer Russet.

Salt

Oil

Water.

 

Slice the potatoes really thin with a Mandolin. They should be pretty translucent. (You can peel them if you want, but I think they’re pretty good either way).

You can brine the chips, which adds a little bit more flavor to them, or just soak them in water first. I like to brine them. Basically, it’s a mixing bowl full of salted water, and whatever other seasonings you like (pepper doesn’t exactly work that well in this process, so stick that aside til the end).

I brine them.

Once you’ve got all the potatoes sliced and sitting in the brine, let them soak for an hour to a day. While this is happening all the moisture is being sucked out of the potato and so is the starch. The starch would normally keep them from frying up right. Make sure the water is cold.

Heat up your oil to about 375 when you’re ready to make your chips. Personally, I use veggie oil, but you can substitute canola oil or corn oil (probably even peanut oil too if you wanted, but I classify that more as olive oil style ingredients and not good for frying)

DYK!! Making your own food leads to better choices in what you eat? Look at the ingredients of what you buy pre-made in the store, you can make it at home and for just a little extra effort, be more secure about what you’re putting into your body. Also! When done correctly, it’s cheaper.

While you’re oil is heating and your first batch of chips are drying, take a metal bowl (or a plastic bowl lined with tinfoil, aren’t I clever?) It would probably be a good idea to take a paper plate with some paper towels out too. unless you’ve got a fancy deep fryer that has a basket, then don’t bother.

So your oil is hot enough? When you put A DROP or two of water in does it sound like its boiling hardcore? Take a handful of the chips and drop them in carefully (unless you have a basket, then just do your thing).

Keep them from sticking together as they’re frying and try not to mess with them too much. They’ll be floating at the top and golden brown when they’re done.

Some people like to double-fry them, if that’s the case, don’t put them in the metal bowl. Put them in a different bowl or on a plate until they’re completely cooled and you toss them through again.

No matter how many times you fry them, when they’re done, and no longer dripping oil, toss them in the metal bowl with the salt, pepper, basil, cayanne pepper, or whatever seasonings you like.

Serve them with hotdogs, burgers, fried chicken, with dip, without dip, alone, inside the hollowed out form of another potato. Whatever floats your boat!

365 Things to do with Potatoes, Episode One

When you get a potato, what is the first and simplest thing to do with it?

Bake it.

Duh?

Seriously, nothing is easier to do with a potato than *bake it*.

Pull a good sized potato out, wash it off a little, just knock the dirt off and pick off any eyes if they’re there. It’s not gone bad if it’s got the eyes growing on it. If you’ve got a little one though with a lot of eyes go ahead and stick it in a pot! It might grow. I have no idea, I have never done it before. (Considering I have twenty pounds of potatoes I might give it a shot.)

Once it’s been in a 350-450 Degree (F) oven for 40 or so minutes (stick a fork through it, if it feels crunchy at all in the center, it’s not done and let it go some more.) It’s done! Pull it out, cut it in half, add some butter and some salt, some sour cream maybe, or cheese.

So this here is a new thing I’m doing (along with a couple other new series) in which I just spew out 365 things to do with potatoes. There’s no deadline. It would honestly suck to figure out new things to do with potatoes every day. Being able to take a few days to do other things is going to clear my head quite a bit and give me time to do some research.

So, go out and buy yourself 20 pounds of potatoes, trust me, summer heat doesn’t beat a potato.