My friends at Long and Short Reviews started a blogging challenge and this week’s topic is favorite foods–an offer I can’t refuse. Looks like they’ve turned me into a food writer!
You Say Potato, I Say Wonderful
Potatoes were nearly always on the dinner plate in my youth, since my family’s Irish. Yet unlike most childhood staples, I’ve never gotten tired of them. In fact, I love them more than ever.
Spuds are tasty, filling and comforting, plus they’re full of nutrients. I read that if you had to live on two items, whole milk and white potatoes with skin would provide the most complete diet.
My kitchen is rarely without a bag of potatoes plus a box of good instant ones. Don’t knock the latter; a chef taught me that adding some to hand-mashed potatoes makes for a smoother texture. And whatever you’d use for a loaded baked potato you can also load onto a scoop of mashed.
When I was young and broke, potatoes were an economic godsend and inspired endless cooking creativity. Want to use up leftover scraps of chicken, spoonfuls of soup, assorted veggies and other meal fragments? Blend in milk or wine, add a spice or two and serve on a baked potato. Dish it up in a bowl or crock and it’ll look practically elegant.
Anything you’d mix into pasta, put on a sandwich or heap onto rice, add to a potato instead. Pour on spare marinara or meat sauce or spoon on your chili and shredded cheese. Spritz salad dressing on chunks of potato, celery and tomato for a yummy salad.
Speaking of salad, I invented one to enjoy cold potatoes sans mayonnaise. I call it Potato Salad Provençal since I use ingredients of the region (and I’m part French), but I like to experiment and rarely obey recipes so I keep varying it. If you don’t like tomatoes, olives or onions, omit those and stick to potatoes by their lonesome. They’ll still taste fine. After all, they’re potatoes.
Potato Salad Provençal
6 medium to large cooked potatoes (at least some red if possible) with skin, cubed
½ – 1 cup sliced olives, depending how much you like olives
1 large red onion, diced
½ cup sundried tomatoes, cut in thin strips
1 tsp. dried basil or ¼ cup fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil *
¼ cup cider vinegar *
2 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. herbs de Provençe (optional)
* Substitute ½ cup or so of vinegary dressing, maybe Italian or balsamic, if you like.
Combine ingredients in a large bowl, refrigerate an hour and try not to keep sampling it until the bowl looks depleted and you have to make another batch.