Friday, May 16, 2008

Potatoes, potatoes, and MORE potatoes!

Tried these first two recipes out earlier in the week and loved them both! As for the third, all credit goes to my mom. She made these a ton when I was growing up, and to this day they are the best french fries I've ever tasted!

So for all you potato lovers out there, here's your fix for the week!

Petite Potatoes with Herbs

1-1 1/2 pounds petite potatoes, unpeeled
1 cup chicken broth (I used chicken stock and threw in a chicken bouillon for even more flavor)
3 T. butter
1 t. chopped fresh parsley
1 t. chopped fresh chives (or 1/2 t. freeze-dried chives)

Scrub potatoes with brush and cut them into quarters (I only cut mine in half because they were so tiny to begin with). Arrange quarters (or halves) in large heavy skillet in one layer. They must fit snugly. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and cook about 4 minutes, shaking skillet over high heat until almost all liquid has evaporated. Lower heat, add butter and cook gently 10 minutes, uncovered, shaking skillet often. Test with fork. Partly cover and set aside; keep warm. Sprinkle with salt, chopped parsley and chives just before serving. Serves 4-5.

Parmesan Baked Potatoes

6 T. butter (or margarine), melted
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
6-8 small baking potatoes, halved lengthwise

Pour butter into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Place potatoes in pan with cut side down. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until tender.

*I cut the recipe in half (as you can see in the above photo), and used a combination of basil, oregano and chives instead of Italian seasoning (I didn't have any on hand). In addition to garlic powder, I added a pinch of cayenne pepper. Baked in a 7x11-inch baking dish for 35 minutes, and they came out perfectly. I'm not huge on baked potatoes, but I liked these. You can still add all the normal toppings that you would to a traditional baked potato. This just adds a little extra crunch and flavor.

Mom's French Fries

4-5 medium russet potatoes (this makes enough for Neil, Chloe and me)
6-8 cups canola oil (or enough to fill a small stock pot 3-4 inches)

Heat stove to medium-high heat (I put the knob to 7). Scrub and rinse potatoes, and slice lengthwise into strips to whatever thickness you prefer.

After the oil has heated about 7 minutes, dip one fry slightly into the hot oil. If the oil immediately starts fizzling around the fry, that's a pretty safe bet the oil is ready (see picture to the right). If not, give it another minute and try again. If on the other hand the oil immediately starts splattering around, it's too hot, so turn it down slightly and give it another minute. Every stove heats differently, and the temperature of the oil is key to success with this recipe. My stove takes 8-10 minutes to heat the oil, but that doesn't mean yours won't heat faster (or slower).

When the oil is ready, place the fries carefully into the pot. The oil should immediately come to a rolling boil, but again, not splattering all over the place. Immediately turn the temperature to medium heat (5) once the fries are in the pot (again, this is just what works with my stove. Adjust the temperature to whatever keeps the oil at a consistent rolling boil but not splattering - this may mean high heat for your stove - just use your own judgement). With a slotted spoon, gently break up the fries to prevent sticking (I know that sounds silly since they're in oil, but they can stick if they aren't separated). Gently stir fries every couple minutes.

Everyone likes their fries different, so after another 7 or so minutes take one out, let it cool off a bit and give it a taste. If it has just the right amount of crisp to it (and is entirely cooked through), then they're done and you can remove the rest. Just use your own judgement. Mine usually take 9 minutes, and I like them just barely crispy. Be sure to remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a few layers of paper towel to absorb the grease. Sprinkle with salt (that's all we ever use) or whatever other seasoning you'd like.


Wendy said...

I LOVE potatoes and these recipes all look yummy to me! You probably remember this but I craved potatoes like crazy when I was pregnant. This post made me smile because you're pregnant and eating a lot of potatoes (at least this week).

Also, love the new background. I have these same papers and love them!

stephschmidt said...

I also love potatoes and am excited to try these recipes! It's so funny that your mom's fries are your favorites, because the fries that my mom makes are MY favorites! I guess nothin to compares to mom's cookin :)

Camille said...

Dearie, you know I don't cook! You must make these recipes for me and send them in the mail. Or better yet, come out here and cook them at my house - that way they'll still be warm!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so beautiful - I'll definitely have to try the two top recipes.....Dad will love them. So glad they turned out so well. As for the fries.....brings back lots of memories. Dad and I just had some night before last. I used gold potatoes.....they're so tender and easy to slice, and they make yummy fries. I never peel them. Steph, I want to try your mom's! Camille, you're funny! Wendy, I love you! Valeri, I love you too.

Love love love,

Pat said...

Valeri, I love all your recipes too, and also think all of the potato dishes look wonderful! I also love reading everyone else's comments. I don't know how you girls keep your blogs up so well, but I love reading them! :) Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. They all look delicious!!

Aunt Carolyn