The potato is the humble star of the comfort-food pantry. We've gathered a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this down-to-earth spud.
February 16, 2012
1 of 17Photo: José Picayo
Our Favorite Healthy Potato Recipes
Before we start serving up the recipes, we'll help you brush up on your potato jargon:
Hashed | Whether the spuds are diced or shredded, this approach is all about texture: crisp and golden outside, starchy goodness within.
Mashed | Fluffy, soft, warmly satisfying: simple and—with endless stir-in and topping possibilities—never dull. But there isn't one definitive smoothness: Vary with the dish.
Stuffed | Baked potatoes are hot, starchy bowls ready to hold tasty fillings—self-contained suppers ideal for cold nights.
Our Home Fries recipe is an ideal example of the hashed method. The key to this dish: Resist the urge to stir. Leave the potatoes to cook at the right temperature, and they'll brown gorgeously.
2 of 17Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
Go Big Or Go Home Fries
This procedure gives you boldly flavored potatoes that are crunchy and creamy. Because home fries usually pair up with delicious but mild eggs, they need big flavor. These get a hit of sweet paprika, pungent garlic powder, and tangy, zesty Worcestershire sauce. If you like yours spicy, add 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the spice blend, or just drizzle them with some hot sauce on your plate. A cast-iron pan works best here to put ample crust on the potatoes.
This simple skillet supper uses shredded potatoes as a base. The potato mixture cooks on the stove top first to get it browned and crisp on the bottom. Use a cast-iron skillet to get the potatoes perfectly crusted on the bottom, then bake them with smoky chorizo under a blanket of gooey cheese.
"Always looking for ways to use fresh herbs, I came up with these parsleyed roasted potatoes," said reader and recipe developer Marti LoSasso. "You can also use a mixture of herbs, such as basil and thyme."
The combination of buttery Yukon gold and fluffy baking potatoes offers richness and a nice contrast both in flavor and texture. We recommend using a food mill to ensure the potatoes are evenly mashed and, just as important, not overworked, so they won't get gluey. If you don't have a food mill, cream the potatoes and cooking liquid with a potato masher.
Twice-baked sweet potatoes get mixed with a spicy-smoky chipotle butter that balances the sugar. Look for similar-sized sweet potatoes so they'll cook at an even rate. To make ahead, stuff the potato halves, cover, and refrigerate up to one day. Set out at room temperature as the oven preheats to take the chill off.
Smoked Salmon and Cheese Mini Twice-Baked Potatoes
This scrumptious low-cal finger food was developed by reader Abigail McMahon who was inspired Ireland. "I love Ireland and the country's wonderful food. When I think of Irish food, the first items that come to mind are potatoes, salmon, and cheese." Luckily, this recipe has all three.
Some think the potato exists purely for French fries. If you’re a fan of all things fried, try this oven-baked version that sizzles in garlicky butter. Russet or other starchy, larger potatoes are best for cutting into matchsticks and keeping good form. Also try the blue varieties Purple Majesty or All Blue, or the all-purpose Kennebec.