Potato-centric recipes

Potato2In case you were asking yourself why so many potato-based recipes, it’s because I bought a giant bag of potatoes and realized something was going to have to be done with them. Now that I have an actual pantry, I will buy way more than I used to, and often more than I need. Then I scramble to use up the food before it goes bad. It’s an unhealthy cycle.

In other news, I’ve encountered some of the challenges of trying to cook while taking care of a baby at the same time: extreme distraction. This can lead to distinct problems. For example, when I started making these Chorizo and Potato Spanish Tortilla Bites, I knew that I had a full carton of eggs. I had seen it the other day. Only I couldn’t find it anywhere. Cursing, I packed X up and we went to the corner store to get a new carton. The next day, as I guessed would happen, wouldn’t you know I found the carton of eggs that had gone MIA. In the pantry with the baby food. Obviously. I have no idea what my state of mind was when I decided that was a good idea.

These tortilla bites are delicious, and can work really well for a breakfast or brunch. I know this because I “tested” them out for breakfast today. The chorizo adds a spicy little heat to them. The recipe I found on Epicurious.

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Chorizo and Potato Spanish Tortilla Bites
1 bunch scallions
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 oz Spanish chorizo (cured spiced pork sausage), cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
9 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
5 oz Manchego or white Cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a 13- by 9-inch baking pan or dish.
Finely chop white and green parts of scallions and reserve separately.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onions, garlic, white parts of scallions, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown and release oil, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate, then stir in potatoes and cover skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool slightly.
Whisk together eggs, sour cream, cheese, scallion greens, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then pour into baking pan. Sprinkle potato mixture over eggs (some potatoes will stick out). Bake until custard is set, about 20 minutes.

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Cool in pan on a rack to warm or room temperature. Trim 1/2 inch off each side, then cut tortilla into 1 1/2- by 1-inch rectangles.

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To continue on the potato theme, I thought I’d whip up a potato salad, as if to pretend the mercury is not hovering near freezing. Because I’m having guests over, I pulled all the stops and went for broke by using Tyler Florence’s recipe – Tyler of Tyler’s Ultimate. All of his recipes are frickin incredible, but health does not always factor in. Which means delicious.

Tyler’s Ultimate Potato Salad

2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
2 large eggs
Kosher salt
1/2 bunch sliced scallions, white and green parts
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles with 1/4 cup juice, about 2 pickles
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 bunch dill, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Put the potatoes and eggs into a big saucepan of cold salted water. Bring to a simmer. After 12 minutes remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let cool. Continue cooking the potatoes until a paring knife poked into them goes in without resistance, about 3 minutes longer. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool.

Reserve some scallion greens and capers for garnish. Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and their juice, onion, remaining scallions and capers, parsley, and lemon juice in a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes.

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Yes, all those delectable ingredients are floating on a heavenly cloud of mayonnaise

Peel the cool eggs and grate them into the bowl. Stick a fork into the potatoes and lift them 1 at a time out of the colander. Break up the potatoes by hand into rough chunks, add them to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.

Word of the day:

Juggernaut: any large, overpowering, destructive force or object, as war, a giant battleship or a powerful football team; anything requiring blind devotion or cruel sacrifice

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