Dressing up the Potato

PotatoThe common potato is a commonplace ingredient for meals throughout the year. Food and Wine several amazing potato recipes from its contributing cooks. Here are three of those recipes. Try them and give your old side dish a lift.

Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust

Maria Guarnaschelli gives a sinfully rich twist to potatoes with her recipe for Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust .  Maria Guarnaschelli likes to joke that when you cook French food on a regular basis, you need a cow in the backyard to provide enough butter and cream. This dairy-rich recipe calls for whipped cream and cheese.”

Her recipe calls for two pounds of potatoes (Yukon Gold), half a cup of cold milk, seven tablespoons of softened butter (unsalted), a cup of heavy cream, half a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste.

After the potatoes have been boiled and pressed through a ricer, and the milk and salt have been combined into them, Guarnaschelli gets to the heart of her potatoes. She tells readers: In a large stainless steel bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Beat one-third of the cream into the potatoes, then fold in the remaining cream. Scrape the potatoes into the prepared dish. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Bake the potatoes for 25 minutes. Preheat the broiler and broil the potatoes for 2 minutes, or until browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.”

Crispy, Creamy Potato Puffs

Valera Huneeus of Food and Wine contributes a recipe from Chile for Crispy, Creamy Potato Puffs. To make about 60 fritters, you will need 2 ¼ pounds of potatoes (peeled, in 2-inch cubes), one beaten egg, a tablespoon of unsalted butter, two tablespoons of nonfat dry milk, two tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggianno cheese (freshly grated), half a cup of all-purpose flour, a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, and oil for deep frying.

Her method for preparing the puffs includes boiling them with a pinch of salt, draining them and returning them to the empty saucepan to cook over high heat for a minute or so while shaking the pan. This dries out the potatoes and prevents the potato mixture from being soggy. Once dry, the potatoes are passed through a ricer; the egg, dry milk, butter, cheese, salt, and nutmeg are stirred in. She then advises readers: “Using floured hands, roll the potato mixture into 1-inch balls; you should have about 60.

“Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Working in batches of about 12, fry the potato balls over moderately high heat until they are browned on 3 sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels, season lightly with salt and transfer the potato balls to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining balls.”

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

Justin Chapple’s recipe for Scalloped Potatoes with Ham posted in Food and Wine, His recipe includes three cups of heavy cream, one finely grated garlic clove, 2 ½  pounds baking potatoes, half a cup each of Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino (freshly grated), parsley, nutmeg, and six ounces of baked ham in ¼ inch cubes.

You simmer the heavy cream and slice the potatoes to an eighth of an inch thick using a mandolin. Then, you combine the cheeses and layer your baking dish. Here’s how Chapple

S layering process goes: “Arrange one fourth of the potato slices in the prepared baking dish, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and one third of the ham over the potatoes. Repeat the layering two more times. Top with a final layer of potatoes and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Pour the cream mixture over and around the potatoes…”

The layered creation is to be baked for half an hour, till you have a bubbling dish with a beautiful golden top. After a 15-minute rest, you can sprinkle the top with parsley and serve.

So, who says potatoes have to be boring? Served the way Guarnaschelli, Huneeus, and Chapple cook theirs, potatoes just might give the turkey a run for its money.

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