Consider the potato
November 6, 2019 4:40 AM   Subscribe

How do you prefer* yours? Noted for its occasional rudeness, the humble potato is a powerhouse of foods. Take a workshop in peeling one, and then cook! Steamed, boiled, fried (cast iron, oven), mashed with gravy, roasted and crispy, or microwaved. Nostalgic? Perhaps the potato of your childhood. Alternately, get some (UK) chips or French fries or fries or frites, or make some finger chips. Perhaps cook some Hasselback** potatoes, Dauphinoise potatoes, vegan sweet potato curry*** or roasties for Christmas instead? Or, traditionally, visit the UK and go to a chippy (maybe even buy one) and get some chips and associated foods - note that prices and regional variations exist, with options in Canada and elsewhere. (be careful)

* This stand-alone post was inspired by an unexpected potato discussion in the comments of this recent thread.
** Apologies for the presenter repeatedly pronouncing 'herbs' as 'urbs'.
*** Caution for cook being in a state of undress. I don't know why either.

Some recent AskMeFi questions
* Can I eat this, no. 28177.
* Help me find my sweet potato recipe.
* I love "floury" potatoes. What kinds should I look for in North America?.
* My potatoes have separation anxiety.
* Wales v England: potatoes and coffee.

The Potato Hack Diet is a fad diet where you eat nothing but two to five pounds of potatoes per day, for several days. It has no science behind it and isn't recommended.

A few recipes
* Potato masala toastie.
* Dishoom’s gunpowder potatoes.
* Potatoes boulangeres with rosemary.
* Fondant potatoes.
* Potato, parmesan and salami cakes.

“It consists of a layer of mashed potato seated on a bed of buttered, white toast, all crowned with a sprinkling of cheese.” Bon appetit!
posted by Wordshore (105 comments total) 91 users marked this as a favorite
 
You win MetaFilter, Wordshore.
posted by prismatic7 at 4:52 AM on November 6 [17 favorites]




French fries ? NO!!
posted by Pendragon at 5:01 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


And my I introduce the quintessential Dutch potato dish called stamppot ?
posted by Pendragon at 5:03 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


My favorite food. Some of my favorite methods:
Jeffrey Steingarten’s Gratin Dauphinoise
fork-crushed purple potatoes (Double the lemon)
Little red skin potatoes boiled and then crisped in butter with some parsley
Double-fried fries with vinegar and salt (boardwalk fries in the US)
Greek fries saturated with roast chicken drippings
Good old baked potato on a winter night
posted by sallybrown at 5:24 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


Wordshore, you are a beautiful human being.
posted by Mchelly at 5:24 AM on November 6 [6 favorites]


I make potato scones sort of regularly. Unlike Jamie Oliver, I put the scone dough on the griddle in a ball and flatten it with a spatula instead of rolling them out. I don't cook them cut into quarters, either - I either eat giant potato scones for dinner or cut them after cooking. You can if you wish use milk instead of butter. I use Yukon Golds, recommended by Cooks' Illustrated as the best readily available North American substitute for your classic floury potato.

(I don't understand why we can't have more potato varieties in the US. After the revolution I am going to see if the Whelk will make me potato commissar and take care of this for once and for all.)
posted by Frowner at 5:26 AM on November 6 [16 favorites]


Noticing that I've clicked one of these links before (the mashed potatoes and gravy one), I see that it's the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen Thanksgiving Mashed Potato recipe. Now I'm a huge Bon Appetit YouTube fan,* but that recipe was very disappointing. It's basically potato soup with a crunchy topping, covered in gravy, and while that might be good, it's not mashed potatoes.

*#IWDFCFTBATK
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:38 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


I found the hate for mashed potatoes -- the clearly superior preparation -- in the Christmas thread disappointing. Roast potatoes -- even very good ones -- are an everyday food. Mashed potatoes, requiring as they do nearly equal weights of potato and butter, are a celebratory food more suitable for holidays. Describing them as a vehicle for gravy belies a deficit in mashed potato preparation.

That said, I love potatoes. Even just a plain baked potato, with its skin crispy and well-salted, is a joy. I think we've got an eight-pound bag in the pantry right now, in fact ... maybe I'll eat one tonight.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:40 AM on November 6 [8 favorites]


Tater Tots seem to be missing from their proper place, an giant throne nestled upon the corpses of all lesser potato preparations.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:45 AM on November 6 [14 favorites]


giant throne nestled upon the corpses of all lesser potato preparations.

Composed of the corpses of other potato preparations. SPUDS FOR THE SPUD GOD! TOTS FOR THE TOT THRONE!
posted by zamboni at 5:50 AM on November 6 [21 favorites]


The "h" in "herbs" is silent. Well-known fact. Also, the "h" in "haitch" is likewise silent. Less-well-known fact.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:56 AM on November 6 [6 favorites]


Hasselback gratin is the best of both potato preparation styles.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 5:57 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


zamboni, I just couldn’t figure out how to word it properly. Thanks, you heretic you.

Also, for best mashed potatoes ever you will need

Potatoes, however you prepare them for mashing. Boiled, squishable.
Large fistful of butter
Sautéd onions
Roast garlic, one head of,
Smoked cream cheese
Cream, because why not
Salt, pepper, white pepper

Whole kernel frozen corn, boiled and drained, if you’re feeling adventurous.

Mash all together, adding onions and corn last to make mashing easier.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:58 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]




New subsite proposal: food.metafilter.com
posted by hippybear at 6:01 AM on November 6 [27 favorites]


Ici on mange poutine.
posted by rodlymight at 6:03 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: Unexpected Potato Discussion.
posted by ambrosen at 6:10 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


"The Potato Hack Diet is a fad diet where you eat nothing but two to five pounds of potatoes per day, ... and isn't recommended"

Gonna call BS on that last part.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:14 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


Here is an entire song devoted to the Irish potato dish colcannon, a dish which is one of my own favorites. Basically it is mashed potatoes with cooked chopped kale or cabbage mixed in, but there are those who also add bacon, chives, broccoli, leeks, or chopped scallions (at which point it somehow also goes by the name "champ" instead of "colcannon"). In Scotland this dish sometimes goes by the name "rumbledethumps", and the leftover colcannon looks awfully like the raw ingredients for the English dish "bubble and squeak" (basically if you fry lumps of leftover colcannon on a griddle, that's bubble and squeak).

I took several courses on Irish history in college (I was in a major Hiberniophile phase then), and I have Irish ancestry, so discussions of potatoes can also spark some interesting thoughts.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:28 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


Tater Tots seem to be missing from their proper place, an giant throne nestled upon the corpses of all lesser potato preparations.

Poutine made with Tater Tots instead of fries elevates the experience significantly. Highly recommend.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:33 AM on November 6 [8 favorites]


Scallops and minimum chips, thanks.
posted by zamboni at 6:34 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


I'm just gonna throw chip butty in there.
posted by lucidium at 6:40 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


This is relevant, I promise:

Sometime about a year ago I was back at my parents' for Christmas, and at one point started idly flipping through a cookbook they had that was all slow-cooker recipes. Dad saw me and said "you know, your mother and I never use that, so if you want it you can just have it."

As he was saying that, I flipped to a recipe that was something like this:

"Take a kielbasa, a pack of shredded cheddar cheese, and a bag of Tater Tots. Chop up the kielbasa, layer all the ingredients in 3 layers in your slow cooker, drizzle some milk on top and cook on high for 5 hours."

"Yes, I'll take this book, thanks," I told Dad.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 AM on November 6 [18 favorites]


i lov potate
posted by poffin boffin at 6:45 AM on November 6 [7 favorites]


never forget you'd all still be grimly choking down mashed turnips were it not for my glorious potato filled homeland paradise
posted by poffin boffin at 6:46 AM on November 6 [12 favorites]


I saw a recipe for twice deep fried that expanded into something like small crispy balloons... but cannot find it again. There is occasionally a soft yet very crisp fry in some batches, how to do that consistently?
posted by sammyo at 6:46 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


I'm a self potato kind of person.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:47 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


As it happens, I have some ground turkey, cabbage and plenty of potatoes, so I can make curried hotdish. It is a bright, sunny, cold, breezy day. I will be stacking some wood and running some errands, and this will be an easy, tasty meal.

Idaho has won the potato wars, but Northern Maine is still a significant potato producer. Many schools close for a couple weeks in Fall for potato picking.
posted by theora55 at 6:48 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Mash 'em, boil 'em, stick 'em in a stew.
posted by vitout at 6:50 AM on November 6 [7 favorites]


Go to Balaton, in Krakow, get yourself the Hungarian style potato pancakes. You're welcome.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:51 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


sammyo, I believe you're looking for pommes soufflées.
posted by lucidium at 6:58 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


I am pleased that this particular MeFite has favorited this FP(P)P and feel that my work here is done.
posted by Wordshore at 7:01 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


The potato is the best thing that ever came out of the New (or any other) World. Especially if accompanied by a good quality fat (butter especially).
posted by Fuchsoid at 7:10 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


The spud of the gods!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:11 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


I confused the ** and *** and couldn't figure out why bare arms (Hasselback) were considered a state of undress. They seem yummy though.
posted by tommasz at 7:13 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


My nam is Tott,
So smol and browne;
In ovenn roaste
my brothyrs round;
In ketchp dipt
or hotdish ringg,
All hayle the tot
Potaytoe kingg
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:13 AM on November 6 [36 favorites]


There is occasionally a soft yet very crisp fry in some batches, how to do that consistently?

The absolute best thing
posted by sallybrown at 7:15 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]




*** Caution for cook being in a state of undress. I don't know why either.

She is simply furthering the stereotype that all vegans are hippie crunchy weirdos. Doesn't help their cause.

Regarding French fries: what the HELL is that batter they've been dipping them in for the past decade or so?? I can't eat Burger King fries anymore, only McDonald's, due to that extra layer of tasteless breaded crap which ruins everything. Way too many of my favorite diners have resorted to this horrible trend, and I've started to make a list of which places have not succumbed (#1 is Hadlock Field in Portland ME, home of the AA Seadogs, with the best crinkle cuts on the planet).
posted by Melismata at 7:27 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


Regarding French fries: what the HELL is that batter they've been dipping them in for the past decade or so??

It's starch and it's for making the fries crispier without altering the taste of them.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:40 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


My co-worker just told me that he heard that the temperature was going to dip down into the 30s this weekend and I swear to god my knee-jerk thought was "oh fantastic I can make that slow-cooker thing with tater tots I was just talking about!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


Like many places Canada has a potato industry which it staunchly protects with a passion only true poutine eaters can express. As a result Canada has an approved list of potato varieties. You will note that some of the more famed Euro potato varietals are not present. So... a few years ago, after watching a particular appealing British cooking show I was determined to track down one of these varietals grown locally. Much to my surprise I was told that these were FORBIDDEN and any growers caught growing such contraband patates would be banned from growing potatoes commercially (and perhaps from eating them forever - the law is vague here). So as one does... I met a guy.

I was at a local market one day and I watched as someone selling potatoes handed a customer a sack of potatoes taken from a bin underneath the counter. I thought it was kind of funny so I joked with the vendor about the "special" potatoes. He looked at me very seriously and pulled me aside. "Never mention those potatoes" he told me in a harsh whisper. So I said Ok and asked him what made them so special. He proceeded to tell me that they were brought into the country illegally and grown by a friend of his on a remote plot of land. And he'd let me buy some every other week if I kept my mouth shut. So I did and you know they were pretty good potatoes. Sadly however the potato grower stopped growing them because the "stress was killing him". Of course by this point I had moved on to French fingerling potatoes but didn't have the heart to tell him.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:50 AM on November 6 [23 favorites]


I see that it's the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen Thanksgiving Mashed Potato recipe.

We were yelling at the TV. Those potatoes were too effin' runny!
posted by terrapin at 7:51 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


i prefer my potatoes with some whack svankmajer-esque creepy potato vibes
posted by zsh2v1 at 7:53 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


never forget you'd all still be grimly choking down mashed turnips

In my opinion, mashed squash is always better than mashed potatoes. Potatoes really shine when they can be crispy and mealy by turns.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:55 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


What do the English do with the potato skins if they don't eat them? Have they never tried potato skins? What kind of recipe starts with "remove the good part of your ingredients and bin it"?
posted by mattamatic at 7:57 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


never forget you'd all still be grimly choking down mashed turnips

Mashed potatoes are improved substantially by the addition of mashed yellow turnip (AKA tatties and neeps).
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:59 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


The search for more potato varieties leads to the choice between nuclear and pre-nuclear stock. ( And then to oca, which is another thing.)
posted by clew at 8:00 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


"My co-worker just told me that he heard that the temperature was going to dip down into the 30s this weekend and I swear to god my knee-jerk thought was "oh fantastic I can make that slow-cooker thing with tater tots I was just talking about!"

Aside from the drizzle of milk I don't understand, it sounds pretty good. My first thought is to add in some onions and peppers to make it a full on hash brown crock pot dish. I had to make room in freezer so first up is some general slow cooker pork, probably just pulled pork as it usually winds up, but now I'm thinking use the pork in this tater tot thing
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:00 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


To crib from Walt Kelly, I like my potato salad pure, with no potatoes in her.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:09 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


WOOOOOORDSHOOOOOOOORE!

What did you do with the rest of the duck, Wordshore!? Where's the rest of the bloody duck!?

*challenges Wordshore to pistols potatoes at dawn*
posted by loquacious at 8:13 AM on November 6 [6 favorites]


GoblinHoney, I think the drizzle of milk was to add some liquid to moisten things a bit. Chopped-sausage-and-tater-tots-and-cheddar-cheese might not have enough moisture alone.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:17 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


The "h" in "herbs" is silent. Well-known fact.
Eddie Izzard Disagrees

Nothing else to add, but I do think tonight's dinner is quite likely to include more potatoes as a result of this conversation...
posted by cirhosis at 8:46 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]




ovgolemtato
posted by poffin boffin at 9:21 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


the potato dish I learned about just yesterday was Brunede kartofler which looks totally awesome
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:24 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


if you want to be fancy but you still a little trashy, tater tots are very good with dijon mustard for dipping. you can stick your pinkie out...
posted by supermedusa at 9:26 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Ok, I went to check the " roasted and crispy" link in the post, to see if it might be the recipe I want to suggest, and the video starts with someone slicing a potato on a mandolin slicer without a finger guard and in the name of anything you consider holy, DO NOT DO THAT! You think you know the risk, that you'll pay attention closely, that you'll be fine and safe, until the moment you're not and a chunk off the tip of your finger is suddenly gone and you're off to an urgent care clinic or E.R. to get the bleeding stopped.

(holding up bandaged finger.) Trust me on this!
posted by dnash at 10:20 AM on November 6 [10 favorites]


nuclear and pre-nuclear stock

It would be practically impossible to overstate my disappointment in the actual meaning of these terms.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:39 AM on November 6 [8 favorites]


Thanks for this. Marvellous post and definitely a "keeper" for me. I love potatoes way too much, so much so that I can even eat them raw - well, the left over bits when cutting potatoes to particular size.
posted by vac2003 at 10:40 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


(holding up bandaged finger.) Trust me on this!

Confirms. Dunno whether the physical pain or embarrassment is worse.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:40 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


nuclear and pre-nuclear stock

It would be practically impossible to overstate my disappointment in the actual meaning of these terms.


I thought it was going to be like low background steel (all steel made after the detonation of the world's first nuclear bombs is lightly radioactive)
posted by JDHarper at 11:57 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


During my tumultuous puberty I once attempted to cut a hole in a potato for use as a masturbation aid. It did not work well, but the fallout was much worse when my friend's mother found it and instantly guessed what it was for.
posted by slogger at 12:07 PM on November 6 [18 favorites]


Oh, I thought I was being all clever and Meta, by catching up on the comments in this thread whilst eating chips dipped in thick, creamy mayonnaise. Until I read...

During my tumultuous puberty I once attempted to cut a hole in a potato for use as a masturbation aid.

...and now I have a facial expression of horror, regrets, and a half-unfinished chip supper.
posted by Wordshore at 12:37 PM on November 6 [21 favorites]


slogger, I don’t think anything can ever top that comment.
posted by sallybrown at 12:38 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


I was trying to resist the urge to make some kind of a peach-vs.-potato joke, myself
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:58 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


During my tumultuous puberty I once attempted to cut a hole in a potato for use as a masturbation aid.

Well if I knew this was going to be that kind of party.
posted by loquacious at 1:07 PM on November 6 [8 favorites]


The 2008 UN Year of the Potato website has a lot of good high fiber content if you are still unsatisfied.
posted by vespabelle at 1:11 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


I could easily watch an extended version of the visit a chippy link .. I’m not sure what they could add but I was fascinated....
posted by one4themoment at 1:38 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


And now I’m watching all of that fish frying skills series...
posted by one4themoment at 1:48 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


During my tumultuous puberty I once attempted to cut a hole in a potato for use as a masturbation aid. It did not work well, but the fallout was much worse when my friend's mother found it and instantly guessed what it was for.
posted by slogger

Is that some kind of Eponysterical?
posted by MtDewd at 1:56 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


I was just composing a playlist for a holiday party for wino friends, and I settled on selections from Frolic Diner 1 and 2 interspersed with other swinging food & drink themed tunes. The song that I was listening to was Mo Taters from Las Vegas Grind Pt 2, so enjoy while preparing:
Pommes Annette (this is a Martha Stewart recipe but I couldn't find it online)
basically slice starchy small potatoes very very thin (that mandolin without blood should work)
put generous slurp of clarified butter into mini muffin pan
layers of potato, fresh thyme, goat cheese, s&p, more butter; top with grated parmesan
bake until crispy brown and eat all of them before your guests arrive, then make another batch.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 1:59 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


From Wordshore's Bon appetit! link at this end of this FPP:

Derby man claims mashed potato on toast is 'a culinary classic'
An undiscovered gem? Or an vile abomination?

...Whether the addition of gravy would improve the overall eating experience is a moot point.

I beg to differ! Add gravy to that dish and it is no longer disgusting.

Also, you Idaho potato fans may think you're all that (and perhaps you are) but I rent a room from a Peruvian woman who is sad that she cannot grow Peruvian potatoes in Sweden. According to the New York Times, the Humble Potato is Exalted in the Mountains of Peru, but I would say not only in those mountains but also many other places. And I would ask the headline writer, why must we consider the potato humble?

Especially in Peru, which reportedly has close to 3,500 different varieties of potato. Swedish grocery stores tend to have two kind of potatoes in big bins, then a couple more fancy types in small packages. No wonder she finds the potato situation here disheartening.

In the US, the commercially conjured National Potato Day falls on August 19 while, in a similar vein, September is National Potato month. In service to marketing, one company did a survey of 1000 randos so it could claim that the potato is America's Comfort Food of Choice. Maybe it is. I do know that I find pan-roasted potatoes with olive oil and salt ridiculously tasty. And courtesy of dorothyisunderwood, I also know that I could survive on potatoes, milk, and oatmeal alone if necessary–and now you do, too. You're welcome!
posted by Bella Donna at 2:58 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


What's a potato? (H/T to a Reddit meme)
posted by Splunge at 3:23 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


I peel and mash potatoes to bind my tourtière filling. While the filling is cooking through, the peels get baked with olive oil and herbs because the cook damn well deserves a treat halfway through the process.
posted by maudlin at 4:05 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


Potatoes are the spice of life.
posted by mumimor at 4:14 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Potato curry is one of my faves, especially with paneer. unfortunately this often also comes with peas in but one endures.
posted by hearthpig at 4:18 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


...and now I have a facial expression of horror, regrets, and a half-unfinished chip supper.

At least you hadn't asked them to stick a saveloy in.
posted by biffa at 4:38 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


hippybear:

New subsite proposal: food.metafilter.com

hippybear, if you have not suggested this in MetaTalk, please do so! I would definitely increase my monthly contribution to have this feature/see what others are making/learn tips and tricks from around the world.... Jeez, the possibilities....

New Potato recipes I found recently, which I am so stoked about!

Screaming Potatoes

Salt Potatoes

Spouse couldn't tell the difference between them. I saw a world of difference. To start, the screaming potatoes we used the baby red potatoes and for the salt purple fingerling. Just completely different pots that will give a different end result.

I had been doing a lot of cooking that weekend and I think the screaming pots came towards the end of the weekend (like, last thing to cook for dinner on Sunday), so it just blended in to all of the other food. "Good. Would cook again. Interesting way to cook pots."

The salt pots, on the other hand.... WHOA! Super soft and tender. I made it about two weeks ago to just try out the recipe (you really need to watch when the water is almost gone. I turned my back for literally less than a minute and the last 1/8 inch of water was gone.) and the first thing I thought was, "Oh, Wow! This is going to make Mashed potatoes mind-blowingly easy to make. They will be made next week to prove that theory.

In those mashed potatoes, I of course fully plan on adding butter. But, instead of boring old Heavy Cream, sour cream and horseradish, a la the stuff they give you on the side when you order Prime Rib (in USA, at least). I have done this before at restaurants and the taters.... *chef's kiss*!

Thank you Wordshore for the awesome FPP!
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:48 PM on November 6 [6 favorites]


What kind of recipe starts with "remove the good part of your ingredients and bin it"?

You're unfamiliar with English cooking I see.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:01 PM on November 6 [9 favorites]


I did it! I made baked potatoes tonight, with sour cream and bacon and cheese, and damnit, they were delightful.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:30 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


All potatoes should either be mashed or crispy.
posted by soelo at 5:46 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


@sammyo
I saw a recipe for twice deep fried that expanded into something like small crispy balloons... but cannot find it again.
Souffle Potatoes? There is a recipe in my old (mid-1980s) Joy of Cooking.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 5:51 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


One of the most egregious ongoing crimes against potatoes in the world right now is how In-N-Out makes their fries. No double frying, so you either get limp sadness sticks or, if you ask for them well-done, soulless ass crackers. I hate that potatoes are being sacrificed in the service of such mediocre ends. I’m going to have to make some patatas bravas to feel better about it.
posted by invitapriore at 8:48 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


I’ve had many excellent potatoes but none better than the ones roasted in chicken fat at the bottom of a rotisserie at a French country market.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 9:07 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Somewhere in the attic is a booklet I got from my grandmother. It's from the WWII days and is called 101 ways to cook potatoes and I've always wanted to inflict all those ways on my kids.
posted by Harald74 at 12:37 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


So, as I was reading the Mefi post about poems written by the GPT-2 neural network and clicking around a bit online I came to a site that allows you to see how a modern neural network completes your text, so I decided to use the first lines from this post as a writing prompt for the AI: "How do you prefer* yours? Noted for its occasional rudeness, the humble potato is a powerhouse of foods."

The first thing that utterly delighted me was how it decided to deal with the asterisk ... thusly: *not sure, not all varieties are the same, so take what you like, or what you don't.

I feel like there's a whole philosophy of life and choice in there.

Next came a very authoritative-seeming but nearly entirely fictional history of the potato:
1. Potatoes

We begin with an interesting history. The potato was originally domesticated as a weed in South America (the word for "potato" in Spanish is "pechuacue"). By 1500 A.D., it was planted throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. But the plant never took off in the U.S. until the late 1800s, when potatoes were introduced to farmers and food scientists by a U.S. Army captain, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.

"I saw potatoes at the local market, and thought they were the most interesting, exciting thing to see," Kellogg wrote in his memoirs. "I asked the proprietor if they were cultivated; and was informed that they were; that they were grown for their skin and starch." Kellogg planted the tuber in his garden in 1834 in an attempt to increase his family's food supply by feeding his family potatoes and
and...? And what??? And this is why generations of Americans have enjoyed Kelloggs Potato Flakes for breakfast?

But maybe the best thing is the AI just totally making up a word in "Spanish." Please, if anyone here creates an original potato dish, do call it something like "Pechuacue Delight" or similar. Thank you.

Anyway, this has been my 100% True AI-Mashed Potato Story.
posted by taz at 2:09 AM on November 7 [5 favorites]


I found my favorite Madhur Jaffrey recipe online: Potatoes with Sesame Seeds, Cumin Seeds & Black Mustard Seeds. Try it!
posted by mumimor at 7:03 AM on November 7 [4 favorites]


Oh; this thread has appeared on Twitter. {checks} And no surprise at all where the tweeter is geographically based.
posted by Wordshore at 7:44 AM on November 7 [6 favorites]


OK, so I'm ill with a bad flu of sorts. Just moving from my bed to the kitchen makes me dizzy and I cough like I'm in La Traviata. And the kids are out. So how do I get food? I took Dysk's potatoes from the mother-thread. And I had toum in the fridge because of an Ask. And there was half a tomato, and a bit of cucumber for a side salad. I even found a glass of red wine. What a luxury dinner!
posted by mumimor at 9:24 AM on November 7 [4 favorites]


Glad to be of service! The best way to do simple roast potatoes is to just roast them, no faffing about with basting parboiling, etc. Go hasselback or dauphinoise (called potato dolphins in my household) if you really want to go fancy.

Can't believe I missed this thread - anyone who knows me in real life knows I am all about the potato. I love it in just about every form (special shout out to cold boiled potato on dense rye bread!) except brunede kartofler (mentioned previously in the thread, but so innocuously that I think a lot of people will have missed that it is literally caramel coated potatoes, invented as a poor person's stand-in for roast chestnuts at Christmas dinner in Denmark) which I cannot stand. Everything else though? Mash on toast? Yes please (though proper mash, full of butter, or colcannon, never the powdered stuff which should be a crime). Chip butty? Plain baked potato? Tater bread? I'm all over all of it. Mmm, potato. Could literally eat it for every single meal.
posted by Dysk at 12:00 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


i meant to post this as its own fpp a while back but i'm lazy and anyway

ancient potate saved ancient lives, deliciously
posted by poffin boffin at 2:44 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


In Canadian poutine related news, Toronto poutinerie nearly causes a constitutional crisis by introducing unicorn poutine.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:41 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


Dysk, I am going to try your oven roasted potatoes tonight ... do you spread out the potato pieces on a large flat metal pan (like for cookies or biscuits, say) or in a porcelain or glass casserole type thing like this?
posted by taz at 5:31 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Good news, Australian potato lovers, as the World Potato Congress is coming your way in 2023:

"Romain Cools, World Potato Congress President & CEO, commented: 'Together with our Board and the International Advisory Committee, I am so pleased that Adelaide will host the 12th World Potato Congress in 2023.'"

Yes, it's real, and no, Romain Cools is an actual person and not a type of potato.
posted by Wordshore at 6:08 AM on November 8


do you spread out the potato pieces on a large flat metal pan (like for cookies or biscuits, say) or in a porcelain or glass casserole type thing like this?

You can do either! There's something of a risk that they can come out a bit soggy if you overfill a ceramic dish, but if you're using a baking tray, the thicker the better - I have a nice chunky enameled baking tray that I use if I'm cooking something else on my big ceramic dish. Thermal mass is good, basically! Turning them during cooking can help, but with a hot enough oven and if you haven't overcrowded them, it isn't necessary. You want at least 200C on your oven, and firmer potatoes are better in my experience. It's hard to really go wrong with this though, it's a matter of degrees of awesome.

Enjoy!
posted by Dysk at 6:13 AM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Thank you! I got a bag of small "new potatoes," as we call them, especially for this. And by the way, while I was searching for this variety of potato to know what to call them, I came across a recipe for Crispy Smashed Potatoes that looks interesting!
posted by taz at 6:55 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I've literally just got back from the shops, where I bought a bag of new potatoes because after all the potato talk, I'm going to have to roast them for dinner myself as well.

The smashed potatoes don't look half bad either! Maybe I'll try that for lunch tomorrow with the ones I don't use tonight.
posted by Dysk at 7:11 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I'm the only one in my family who likes potatoes (or pasta, wth. My wife and kids are of Scottish/Italian ancestry respectively, but prefer rice to all other starches). I have a personal mission to make them love the lowly patate, which I have done with some small success. Smashed potatoes are an in-demand hit, as were the Roastie potatoes I tried after the infamous Christmas thread last week. Colcannon, bubble and squeak, even beautiful mashed potatoes with unctuous gravy pleased only me. Shameful.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:35 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Dysk's potatoes turned out great; both moist baked and crispy, as promised! Also, very easy! I cut up enough new potatoes, cutting either in half or in thirds depending on individual potato size, for a "friendly" single layer (very close, but not really on top of each other too much) in my glass casserole dish, drizzled a generous amount of olive oil, tossed and seasoned with rosemary and fresh ground black pepper, then roasted at 240C for 30 minutes, took them out and tossed them and then put them back in for another 10 minutes (as Dysk says, you don't necessarily need to toss/turn them while roasting, but I wanted to see how they looked anyway at that point, and decided to go for another 10 minutes and also took the opportunity to shift them a bit).

Finally, I salted them and tossed again when I took them out. The only thing I will change next time is to add more pepper and rosemary; these potatoes can handle more spice. Also I think I will try this with tarragon. (I would also try oregano, but then they would be encroaching too much on our Greek potatoes, and it's nice to have different lovely potato things.)

Bonus: I thought my casserole dish would end up with baked on blackened bits, but it didn't. Very easy clean up.
posted by taz at 11:10 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I used thyme on mine the other day, because I had fresh sprigs. Very good too.
posted by mumimor at 1:10 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


So I just made the One True British Potato Recipe (including parboiling with baking soda) for last night's dinner and it was unanimously loved. Planning to try Dysk's variation next week. Also Mumimor's.

I love all of you.
posted by Mchelly at 3:49 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


As much as I love British style roasted potatoes, I love the fried potatoes made from the leftovers. Usually just fried in left over fat from the roast beast or bacon (maybe turning that into a fritatta if I'm hungry) but also as Bubble and Squeak (obvious choice) but in our house sometimes a version of Red Flannel hash or a more French Canadian style hash with some kind of salty and/or smokey pork product rather than the usual corned beef. Or sometimes I'll make a version of bateta nu shaak with the re-cooked potatoes (I add more onions then that recipe calls for) and sometimes I turn that into fritatta as well.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:08 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Only offering this update because it involves a SECOND recipe from that cookbook:

I did indeed stay home and play with the slow cooker. Only I went with chicken and bacon instead of kielbasa, for the same basic recipe: here is more detail.

32-oz bag of tater tots
2 boneless chicken breasts
About 8 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup of milk

Cut up the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Dump half the tater tots in the bottom of a slow cooker, throw in half the chicken, half the bacon, and half the cheese. Add the rest of the tots, the rest of the chicken, the rest of the bacon, and the rest of the cheese. Whisk a little salt and pepper into the milk (I also added a little cayenne because why not) and drizzle over everything. Cook on low heat for 6 hours.

....that'll do for a standard 6-quart cooker. I halved it for my baby one, and I still ended up with enough for dinner last night plus two lunches over the course of the week in my tiffin-style thermal bento thingy.

I also ate half of the remaining package of tots for lunch on Sunday and feel no guilt about that whatsoever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:59 AM on November 11


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