A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Tons of Potatoes

December 18th, 2009

A couple weeks ago I ran a marathon.  A friend asked me if I eat pasta the night before the big race to carbo-load.  Although I love pasta, I prefer a  baked potato for my pre-race meal because it’s easier for me to digest. Actually I ate a steak, carrots, and a huge baked potato the size of my shoe. As I ate it, it  reminded me of my youth because baked potatoes were a weekly staple in my house. Today I rarely eat a baked potato, but I consume other types of potatoes at least three times a week. I love potatoes.

My favorite potato is a fingerling (or yukon) roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. So simple, but the essence of the potato screams deliciousness.

For special occasions I am torn between two more decadent potato dishes: scalloped potatoes (sometimes called potatoes gratin) and twice baked potatoes. My mother served scalloped potatoes for festive occasions. Although there are different variations, you basically bake sliced russet potatoes in milk and cream. I add sliced onions and some garlic between the potato slices, but it’s the cream that makes the dish so rich and tasty.

Have you ever made twice baked potatoes? After baking russet potatoes for an hour or so,  scoop the potato out of the skin and mix with butter and sour cream. Put the mixture back in the potato and top with grated parmigiano reggiano and bake for another half hour.

I am crazy about potatoes. I could eat them almost every day, except for boiled potatoes. Did you every eat a boiled potato? It has to be one of the most tasteless and boring dished ever invented.

So, if you had one last meal and it had to include a potato…what potato would you pick?

12 Responses to “Tons of Potatoes”

  1. Ed,
    This is real proof of your Irish pedigree! A love of potatoes.
    Ellen

  2. Jean Brooks says:

    I have three favorites. Roasted potatoes with kosher salt and olive oil
    roasted til very crisp.

    Potatoes Anna all time favorite

    Patricia Wells for Joel Robuchom in Simply French the Upper Crust
    potato gratin made with gruyere cheese-

    I too could eat potatoes daily.

    Love your blog. Jean

  3. Jean Brooks says:

    I love Joel Robuchon and Patricia Wells Upper Crust potato gratin
    in her Simply French book

    Potatoes Anna hard to beat

    Weekly we have rosted russets chopped in large wedges with kosher
    salt and olive oil cooked at $400 til brown and crisp on the outside
    tender inside.

    Who doesn’t like potatoes?

  4. Ed,

    I agree with your 3 choices, although I make the twice-baked potatoes with cheddar. I also like The Barefoot Contessa’s Smashed Potatoes.

    The best potatoes I ever had in my life were at L’Ami Louis in Paris: A potato pie.

    I think there’s a version in Julia Child, but I’ve never dared try it because it involves flipping a pan!

    Susan

  5. Betsy says:

    My husband (and consequently my son) are both Irish and they LOVE potatoes. I have therefore learned all sorts of potatoe dishes over the years. I agree with roasting fingerlings…but I like to toss in several shallots with them before I roast them.
    You may already know this, but we BOIL white rose potatoes in our CornedBeef liquid during the last 45 minuntes of cooking. They soak up a lot of flavor and taste great with just a little butter…

  6. Paul says:

    Roasted, can’t beat them. Tasty, variety of textures and seasonings, and easy to make.

    Have to try the twice baked.

    Last potato would be a russet.

    Then I’d top it off with a sticky bun made with potato water

  7. Nick says:

    Ed,

    Well done on the marathon. Elise and I are going to do the LA Marathon in March. Come join us!
    Your roasted potatoes remind me of the neighborhood joint I used to frequent when going to school in Florence. Their secret had something to do with frying the chopped potatoes is lard either before or after baking them (with rosemary, salt and pepper). Seems like cheating but they were so good.

  8. Maureen Ferrari says:

    Ed, Congrats on completing another marathon. You are an inspiration :-) When I saw you last it didn’t look like those potatoes where sticking to you like they stick to me! I love potatoes… mashed, french fried, roasted…when I’m being healthy…a baked potatoe with mustard :-)

  9. Linda Rosso says:

    Ed,
    I just fell in love with this potato preparations from Alice Waters:
    Bake a sweet potato (you can actually pierce it and microwave it in about 7 minutes) cut it in half lengthwise and give it a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of coarse salt. Scoop and eat.
    Congratulations on the marathon!
    Linda

  10. sheila says:

    Thank you to those that posted recipes. Freedom Fries a favorite here.

  11. Diane & Harold says:

    Congrats on your marathon run. My other favorite use of potatoes is leek and potato soup. Wonderful on a cold wintery day after skiing.
    Diane

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