Category Archives: Potatoes

Perogies

This post was originally published on January 6 (Orthodox Christmas Eve!), 2013.  Re-published today for those that took my session at Eat Alberta 2017.  The only difference between what we did at Eat Alberta and the recipe below is that we used Sylvan Star medium gouda instead of orange Cheddar.

Perogies!There are as many recipes for perogies[1] as there are babas in the world.  Some pillowy perogies have potato in the dough, as well as the filling.[2]  Others are made with a simple dough of flour, sour cream, butter, and eggs.  This is what I prefer…

This afternoon I made perogies, then ate four dozen of them, giving me ample opportunity to contemplate their mysteries.

The Dough.  … Continue reading.

Potato Salad

The potato salad I grew up on was “creamy”,[1] that is, dressed with mayonnaise.  While I remember that dish fondly, I now make a very different type of potato salad, one closer to those I ate in Austria.

The single biggest challenge in making potato salad is having well-cooked potatoes that still hold their shape, and the most important factor in this regard is the variety of potato used.  It must be a waxy, yellow-fleshed variety.  North American varieties like Yukon Gold are okay, but there are some European varieties, like Linzer Delikatess, that are quite simply made for German potato salad.  They have the proper smooth, creamy mouthfeel, and a roughly cylindrical shape that means they slice into … Continue reading.

Scallop Potatoes

Scallop potatoes: sliced potatoes, cheese, and creamI think I remember scallop potatoes more fondly than any other form of the tuber.  Maybe French fries were more highly prized when I was a child, but truth be told I ate them much more often than scallop potatoes.  Scallop potatoes, being a casserole dish, was reserved for large dinners, especially Easter.

At its core the dish is potatoes, cut into rounds (scalloped), then baked in cream and cheese.  There are obviously countless variations; I know some mothers who bake their scallop potatoes in mushroom or onion soup mix.  There is a classic French dish called pommes à la dauphinois that is identical to scallop potatoes.  The addition of grated cheese to the top of the dish would make … Continue reading.

My Ideal Hash Browns

When you order hash browns at a diner, you’re liable to get any number of things.  In my experience, all hash browns can be broken into two broad classifications:

Hash Browns Made from Cubed Potato.  Also called home fries.  This is the less interesting of the two classes.

Hash Browns Made from Grated Potato, bound to varying degrees.  Highly bound and cohesive varieties include McDonald’s Hash Browns, Tater Tots, and Jewish latkes.[1]  Loosely or not-at-all bound varieties would be found in corned beef hash.  Hash browns made from grated potato are similar to several traditional European potato dishes, notably the Swiss rösti.  They are superior to those made from cubed potatoes because they have a much higher … Continue reading.

Steak Fries

Steak friesSteak fries are big French fries, usually in the form of wedges cut from a whole potato.

As with French fries I use a two-stage cooking method: one low-temperature stage to cook the potato flesh, and one high-temperature stage to crisp them up.

Because steak fries have a more substantial interior than French fries, I think they can handle a much crustier exterior, one that walks the line between crispy and crunchy, with jagged bits of browned potato to contrast the starchy inside.

For reasons explained below I like to use a potato variety that doesn’t hold it’s shape very well during cooking: Russets, which also happen to have a great fluffy, slightly granular texture.  Yellow-fleshed varieties hold their shape … Continue reading.

Potato Dumplings in Broth

This post is about simple potatoes dumplings, served in an interesting potato broth.

Conversations about potato dishes usually focus on texture (the ideal French fry has a crisp exterior and fluffy interior, the ideal mashed potatoes are smooth but not gummy…) I love this broth because it makes you think about how potatoes taste. Potato skins are used to infuse a vegetable broth with potato flavour, without any of the thick starchiness we associate with potato soups.

Let’s start with the dumplings. The key to pillow-like potato dumplings is to have very little moisture in the potatoes. This way the milled potatoes will require less flour to form a dough, and there will be accordingly less gluten in the finished … Continue reading.