Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Irish In Me

I have Cunninghams, Sullivans, Kelleys and Greens in my family tree, so it isn't surprising that I never met a potato I didn't like. On a cold, snowy day like today, nothing beats a tattie, baked or roasted. Here are some recipes:

Baked Potato
Bake a potato. But here's the trick I just learned: After you put it on the plate, cut a cross in the top and pinch the potato's ends, which fluffs the insides out. SO much better than just cutting it apart and trying to get butter to melt on the slick halves.

Roast Potatoes
Peel and cut potatoes (and carrots and celery and parsnips, if you want) into sections. Put into cold salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes while heating oven to 450F. Drain water from pan. Add oil and seasonings, cover, and shake until the outsides of the potatoes are covered with starch fluff. Put to pan in hot oven and bake, turning occasionally, until brown and crispy on the outside, about 30-45 minutes. Got this recipe from one of my British Twitter friends, KJSmyling.

This Other Kind of Potatoes
Take a baking potato and cut it in half, then into not-quite-slices--in other words, don't cut the slices all the way through, just most of the way through, so the slices are still all attached at the bottom. Mix butter with herbs, salt and pepper and stick bits of it between slices. Brush outside with olive oil. Bake at 450F for about an hour, basting with olive oil.

As for mysteries, all this talk of potatoes casts my mind back to my childhood, when I read a potato mystery story in my cousin Ronnie's Boy Scout magazine. This Boy Scout was out in the woods and some kind of bad guy--an escaped prisoner or some such--came across him and caused him to fear for his life. But first the bad guy forced the kid to cook supper for him. So the kid deliberately put a potato into the hot ashes of the campfire without piercing the skin first. Ladies, you know EXACTLY what happened. The tattie exploded, the criminal freaked, and the Boy Scout prevailed. Don't remember if the Scout walloped him with a branch, or he knocked himself out, or ran into the arms of the police or what, but the Boy Scout defeated him with the help of a humble potato.



Dana Fredsti said...

Oh, how I love potatoes. Atkins Diet is evil just by forbidding them! Being a bit allergic to wheat/Gluten, potatoes are one of my favorite carbs...

Lisa Hall said...

I cannot imagine life without pototoes! I'm with Dana on Atkins. I admire the will-power of those who can do it, but I just can't give up my starches.