I have lately been thinking about potatoes. Maybe because they're such a winter staple. Perhaps because they're such a blank canvas, a go-to starch that will complete the plate you are building.
(See what I mean?) There is much to consider about potatoes.
In the 1970s & 1980s the height of suburban chic was the New Potato. With it's sleek red skin and white interior, it was the darling of every meat-n-potatoes dinner party*.
When once we had baking potatoes or new potatoes, now we have a rainbow of varieties!
This summers CSA (Gathering Together Farm) taught me a lot about differing strain of potatoes. We had Cara, Huckleberry Gold, Purple -- and those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head.
I remember because..... Cara, with it's pink skin and creamy flesh, is delicious roasted or boiled.
Purple taters boil poorly. They break down to mush quickly and turn a sickly gray. But! They make great mashed potatoes -- bright purple. Got a kid who won't eat potatoes? Try purple potato & cauliflower mash.
My absolute favorite local (Oregon) variety is Huckleberry Gold. It has purple skin and yellow flesh. It's perfect boiled (see the recipe at the bottom of this post published a few weeks ago), then crisped in a saute pan for 20 min or so as in the photo above taken at the coast while camping.
I think the secret of perfect fried potatoes is to cut the boiled pots into chunks then saute them in OO and butter (2:1 OO to butter), flat sides down. Crisping the skin yields a less satisfactory potato chunk. You've got to crisp the sides.
We had duck for Thanksgiving so tonight the potatoes will be crisped in duck fat.
Potatoes have personalities and attributes that suit them to differing applications.
Yay! & Spud-out.
* Truth be told, I still roast them with olive oil, garlic and rosemary with just a pat or two tossed in on the way to the table.