In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Potato dishes

The lowly potato!
One of my favorite staples, being a good German Hausfrau (NOT)!!!

The Kartoffel is versatile, nutritious, and EVERYBODY in the family likes them!
So here are a couple of recipes that are popular in this Haus:

Roast Potatoes

Firm potatoes, such as red
other root vegetable: turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes (optional)
olive oil
salt, pepper
rosemary (optional)

Cut all the root vegetable to uniform size (approx. 1 inch cubes). Coat with olive oil and spices. Bake at 375 F until done (approx. 1 hour) -- We like to bake them uncovered, and let them get a good crust on!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
potatoes (optional: leave the skin on)
milk or half-half
black & white pepper

I like to leave the skin on (much to my German mother's chagrin!) Wash the potatoes well, using a brush to get all the soil off. Remove any brown spots or where they begin to sprout. Boil potatoes in salt water until soft, drain. Heat butter and saute garlic. Mash potatoes with generous amounts of garlic butter, milk, salt and pepper. Remember, garlic is a vegetable, not a spice!

Heaven and Earth (German: Himmel und Erde)
This is a favorite dish from the Rhineland (Koeln), where my father and I were born. The name of this dish comes from the combination of apples, which are from above (heaven) and potatoes from below (earth). It's basically potato pancakes fried in butter, often served along with sauteed liver, roast lamb or mutton.

leftover mashed potatoes
salt, sugar, vinegar (to taste)

The original recipe is basically to mix it all together, and serve with browned butter on top. In our family, I often make mine more like Reiberdatschi or jewish potato latkes (like those pictured on the left), and serve with applesauce and optional sourcream. Yummy!

Bubble and Squeak
Traditionally served in England on Boxing Day (December 26th) with leftover meat.
Hint: Known to appeal to people who don't normally care for cabbage!

leftover mashed potatoes
other leftover veggies, mashed
onion, chopped
olive oil
green cabbage, thinly sliced
parsley, thyme & dill, salt

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Then add garlic, and herbs and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the cabbage, another ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ cup water. Cover and cook slowly until the cabbage is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, turning it occasionally. Add more liquid as necessary. When tender, uncover and raise the heat to evaporate some excess moisture, but it’s OK if it’s a little soupy.
3. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
4. Mix the cabbage in with the mashed potatoes, and then fry in some olive oil.

Leek and Potato Soup
Leeks, washed well
spinach or other dark leafy greens (optional)
stock (chicken, beef, vegetarian) or plain water
grated cheese (Parmesan, Romano, or other)
salt, pepper
cream or half-half (optional)
instant mashed potato flakes (optional)

1. Cut leeks in rings and saute in butter (I save the ends and darker ends & outer leaves for making stock -- I'll post something on making homemade stock soon!).
2. Add potatoes, remaining vegetables and stock. Cook on low until potatoes are soft. OK to let it cool at this stage. I often do this part early in the day, and finish soup later.
3. Puree in blender. Reheat.
4. Add grated parmesan cheese and spices to taste.
5. Shortly before serving, add some cream if desired (don't boil).
6. If some thickening of the soup is desired, add some instant mashed potato flakes -- it's an easy way to add substance to a soup without needing to use flour or starch.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget my favorite potato: the sweet potato! It's delicious roasted with onions, garlic, rosemary, s&p, and olive oil. It can be wrapped in foil and stuck in the coals of a campfire, the sweet version involving butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon/nutmeg, the savory involving butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Sweet potatoes can also be deep fried or made into pies like in the south. I've made a dang-good quesadilla Barbara Kingsolver style with cooked sweet potatoes, chard, garlic, basil, cheese, and black beans. The sweet potato makes it super fluffy, thick and filling, and best of all, reduces the amount of cheese my poor lactase-free stomach must handle!