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One Potato
Two Potato

One Potato, Two Potato
300 Recipes from Simple to Elegant -- 
Appetizers, Main Dishes, Side Dishes and More 
by Roy Finamore with Molly Stevens
Houghton Mifflin, 2001

Next to rice, the potato is the world's most important and widespread food crop. In terms of versatility, it may have no equal. Potatoes can be sliced, diced, chopped and mashed, fried, boiled, steamed, braised and baked. 

Compiling a comprehensive collection of the world's great potato recipes was the ambitious objective of cookbook editor Roy Finamore and food writer Molly Stevens, who cooked their way through 1,500 pounds of spuds in 20 different varieties as they tested the 300 recipes in this volume. 

Arranged by the type of dish, from Appetizers and First Courses to Breads and Rolls and then Desserts, the recipes for even the most basic meals are carefully spelled out and accompanied with preparation tips and variations. The authors precede the recipes with a chapter on "Potato Principles," explaining the differences in potato varieties and giving advice on how to select, store and prepare spuds. 

Sweet potatoes are included in this book because they share many of the same preparations as potatoes, even though they are not botanically related. Several dozen recipes and variations, from Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes to Venison and Potato Stew are included alongside the paler root crop. 

"If you are lucky enoughy to live near a farmers' market, shop there," the authors advise on buying potatoes. "Look for potatoes with smooth, unbroken skin. With the exception of new potatoes, which will have feathered, papery skin, all potatoes should have tight, even skin. At farmers' markets, you'll find potatoes still covered with dirt. This is a good thing, as it means that they weren't run through an abusive mechanical washer. 

"Avoid potatoes with cracks or blemishes, or any that show evidence of havng been mauled by a spade -- they will spoil more quickly. Squeeze the potatoes -- or try to. They should be firm and not yielding. If they are at all spongy, soft, or wrinkled, they are old and beginning to rot." 




Back to the Book Stall
One Potato Twoi Potato
300 Recipes from Simple to Elegant -- Appetizers, Main Dishes, Side Dishes and More

Recipe:
Shepherd Potatoes

What could be more fun than serving tiny bite-sized potatoes that you can pick up with your fingers or skewer with a pick with cocktails? This recipe from Mexican cooking authority Diana Kennedy is a winner. Rux Martin, my editor, has discovered what a standout this dish is: it's the star wherever she takes it.

You can use little red potatoes, but this is also an opportunity to showcase waxy heirloom potatoes. Look for the smallest you can find. If they're large, cut them down to size. And while you can adjust the number of serranos in the dish, never, never seed them.

   2 tablespoons olive oil
   1 pound very small waxy potatoes, scrubbed and dried
   Coarse salt
   1/3 cup chopped white onion
   1 garlic clove, minced
   3 serrano chiles, minced
   1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
   3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer. Add the potatoes and a good pinch of salt and fry them, shaking the pan occasionally, until the skins winkle and begin to brown.

Add the onion, garlic, and chiles and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice and cook, stirring, for another minute, or until very fragrant. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the liquid has just about been absorbed.

Scrape into a bowl and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2007  All rights reserved.

Recipes
Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes Baked in Sea Salt
Potatoes Roasted in Salt
Potato Cake


 
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