Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Power of Potatoes - a Great, Filling Food - and a Blank Canvas for Cooks

I love a good baked potato. Come to think of it, I also love a delicious dish of cheesey Scalloped Potatoes. Oh, and a plateful of fries...and mashed potatoes are my ultimate comfort food. Hmmm, come to think of it, I just plain old love any kind of potato.

Buy a big bag of potatoes on sale, and just look at some of the amazing ways you can use them to feed your family inexpensively!

  1. Stuffed Potatoes - basically just bake your potatoes as usual and then add all sorts of yummy fillings. It's a great way to use up leftovers. Top with cheese if you like (I do, because I'm a huge cheese fiend!) Add some extra veggies on the side and you have a meal all in one potato.
  2. Mashed Potatoes - A delicious side dish that we all know and love, but make sure to make extras. The next day, you can make yummy potato cakes - just mix the mashed potatoes with some green onions (or regular onions if that's what you have on hand), an egg, salt and pepper, and any other leftovers. Again, some grated cheese works marvellously in this, as would some crumpled up cooked bacon. Yum!
  3. Scalloped Potatoes with Onions - If you've never made this nourishing, filling and oh so delicious dish before, don't worry! All I do is butter a casserole dish, and then put a layer of thinly sliced potatoes (you don't even have to peel them; I often don't!) on the bottom. Follow up with a layer of onions, salt and pepper. Continue those layers, until you're nearly at the top of the dish. (I like to add seasoning to each layer, as then you have a perfectly seasoned dish when you're done.) Then, pour milk or half and half (or a combination of both) over, until the milk covers the potatoes. Dot a bit of butter on top, and bake in a 350 oven until the potatoes are tender and the whole sauce has thickened. No need for flour or cornstarch - the natural starch of the potatoes will thicken it up beautifully. Grate a bit of parmesan or cheddar over top if you like, and pop into the oven just to let the cheese melt and get browned and bubbly. Oh, so good!

Adding a bit of meat to any of these - let's say sliced up leftover ham - would make them a real meal. The ham would be especially good in the scallopped potatoes. Then all you need is a salad or some steamed veggies on the side, and you're set. No wonder I love potatoes so much!

Have a great potato idea to share? Please send it to me at

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