By this time, you've likely heard the reports that weak potato harvests in the U.S. and Canada will lead to an imminent French fry shortage. While those reports seem to be overblown (if you're a fast food person, you're probably still safe), they reminded me of how incredible and versatile potatoes are. They're also durable, meaning that if you live in a place with actual winter, they're likely to be one of the few vegetables that reliably remain in farmer's markets and CSAs throughout the season.
A good potato can be incredibly delicious sautéed in a little garlicky olive oil, simmered in stock, boiled and drizzled with the tiniest amount of butter and a sprinkle of mint, or mashed with greens. And that's just the start. In the something like 10,000 years since the potato was first cultivated (it has been in the hands of Europeans and their descendants for only 500 years), there have been something like 10,000 different ways of cooking it.
Below are a mere twelve, but at least a few of them are bound to be new to you. All these recipes are based on using about 2 pounds of potatoes, or roughly four medium to large spuds. If you're looking for something "fancy" for a festive dinner, check out the Pommes Anna or Gratin. There are also Latkes for Hanukkah (or Rosti, which is a fun spin), three different versions of braised potatoes (so underrated), healthy and unhealthy takes on mashed, and even a recipe for DIY tater tots (involved, but kind of amazing).
Hopefully these ideas will help get you through the holiday season and well beyond. Even if there's a shortage of potatoes, it's nice to know that we'll never run out of ways to use them.
Sure, farmer's markets in the winter (in much of the country) can be slim pickings, but there'll always be potatoes. Let's lean in.
Talk To Me, Goose!
Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.