French fries aside, my kids don’t exactly clamor for potatoes. I’ve made them all sorts of ways: oven-roasted fries, mashed with kale and Parmesan cheese, smashed with Greek yogurt, steamed with butter and herbs — and while those options have all had their ups and downs, this technique is the one that brought actual squeals to the table.
The trick was a simple bag of colored potatoes along with a set of vegetable cutters. Together they produced a giggle fest of interest before our girls even tried the potatoes. Before I even baked them. What color will the potato be inside? Will there be stars or hearts? Can I mix them up in the oil?
For roasted potatoes, my favorite way to go is extra-virgin olive oil, garlic pushed through the press, salt and a couple rounds of pepper out of the grinder. Dump all that along with the potatoes right onto a baking sheet, mix with bare hands, spread out and roast at 425 degrees F for about 25 minutes, depending on the size of the potato pieces. Flip them once along the way.
Mashed potatoes are a new item on our three kids’ menus — ages 3 1/2, 2 and 10 months. We’ve lived in Italy for the last four years, where potatoes aren’t very starchy, so we didn’t eat them this way often. Now we’re in North Carolina, where the local spuds are organically grown and perfect for mashing. Because they’re novel, I’ve got a few tricks to make them a successful part of the meal.
Always: Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and buttermilk for cream — both add protein and cut fat, two habits I’d like our kids to get used to early.
Sometimes: Add finely diced veggies to the boiling water during the last few minutes of cooking. Shredded spinach, kale or carrots can always be called “confetti.” Or get more clandestine with turnips or cauliflower.
Keep reading for recipes
Not merely a starchy side dish playing second string to the meaty entree, the everyday baked potato can be the star of your dinner simply by topping it with a few hearty ingredients. When it comes to stuffing baked potatoes, think of the spuds as blank canvases through which you can showcase your favorite flavors, textures and ingredient combinations inspired by some tried-and-true dishes. They’re plenty filling on their own, but when finished with fresh or roasted vegetables, creamy cheeses, eggs and more, baked potatoes are transformed into all-in-one suppers that are budget-friendly and quick to prepare.
When cooking for your family, particularly if you’re trying to cater to little ones’ picky palates while feeding your own adventurous appetite, it’s best to bake the potatoes first, then let everyone add their preferred toppings. Set up a baked potato bar complete with salsa, sour cream, roasted peppers, herbs, sauces and just about anything else you can imagine, so each person can assemble his or her own meal and get exactly what they like.
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Sometimes coming up with a side that can feed a crowd is harder than figuring out the main dish. But this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Food Network Magazine‘s Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, can feed a hungry army of eight people. A big-batch side dish that pairs well with any main course, this foolproof, cheesy batch of potatoes turns out tender and golden brown every time.
For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Recipe of the Day board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Simple Scalloped Potatoes
Whenever we dip fries in ketchup, spoon gravy over mashed potatoes or savor an egg with a side of home fries, the good ole potato is doing what it does best. As the foundation of our most loved sides, it comforts us to our very core. That’s why in this second week of frosty January, we’re moving down the line of our favorites potato recipes, from mashed to pancaked.
Is it a holiday? Steak night? You can bet a mound of Velvety Mashed Potatoes will be in attendance. For those who yearn for more structure, Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs go in the oven until golden brown.
A burger has never seen a day without fries. Guy Fieri’s golden Double-Fried French Fries (pictured above) are everything you’d ever want in a fry, while Tyler Florence’s Oven Fries are baked in lieu of visiting the fryer.
Get more potato recipes from family and friends
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
A baked potato is a Food Network essential for dinner. We got creative by using leftovers in our kitchen refrigerator, and the final products were all relatively healthy, delicious and filling.
First, start with the classic version
There’s no question that a Thanksgiving plate is not complete without a piping hot scoop of silky smooth mashed potatoes nestled next to a few slices of juicy turkey, a heaping mound of stuffing, a small pool of cranberry sauce and a buttery roll. However, the way to make the perfect bowl of mashed potatoes isn’t so obvious. Which kind of potato yields the creamiest mashed mixture? What size should the potatoes be when you cook them? And what about butter, cream or milk — which is best and at what temperature should you incorporate them? We have the answers, plus tips, suggestions and easy recipes to make this Thanksgiving’s starchy side dish better than ever.
Select a Spud: Thanks to their high starch content, russets or Yukon Gold potatoes will be your best potato picks and yield an extra fluffy finished product. I’m partial to Yukon Golds for their natural, slightly buttery flavor, though regular baking potatoes mash up nicely as well.
To Chop or Not? »
- Can you tell this is Rahm Fama's dream job?
Rahm Fama, host of the new Food Network series Meat & Potatoes, is a self-proclaimed meat nerd. “If you’re a car nerd, you know as much as you can about cars, but you’ll never know everything. You’re always willing to learn more,” the enthusiastic carnivore explains. “I am consistently and always excited to learn about new meat.”
On Meat & Potatoes, Rahm travels the country, checking out (and, naturally, tasting) the best and most interesting meat and potatoes America has to offer. It’s a dream job for a guy who grew up working on his family’s cattle ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then became an established restaurant chef.
To get everyone in a meaty mood for Friday’s premiere of his new show (10pm/9c), we played a little meat-and-potatoes word association with Rahm. His pairings will undoubtedly induce cravings, so try them out at home with some top Food Network recipes…
Let’s start with a classic. French fries and ________?
You know, I’m actually not going to go with a burger. I’d do steak au poivre with pommes frites.
Braised short ribs and _________?
Short ribs go great with pureed potatoes.
Potato gratin and _________?
I’d do a grilled filet mignon—gotta have those char marks.
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