Good to Eat This Week: Potatoes
Jonathan Roberts for the Village Voice
The official collective noun for potatoes is a sack, but really, wouldn't a treasure be closer to the truth? Potatoes, harvested in the fall and content to be stored all winter, are here in our coldest, bleakest weeks, to comfort and warm and cheer.
And the markets are full of them right now — or perhaps it's more that the markets are less crammed with everything else and you can see the potatoes more clearly.
"We grow about 35 types of potatoes," notes Jo O'Brien, farmer of Healthway Farms and stalwart of the Union Square Greenmarket.
"Take your Yukon Gold." He holds one up, rubbing the skin clean with a thumb. "It's a creamy, all-purpose kinda potato; and you want to be looking for smooth skin, nice shallow eyes, and a little pink in there — look closely and you'll see it. That's how you know you've got a good one. Just perfect for mashing."
Potatoes are everywhere on restaurant menus, so you hardly need suggestions if you'd like to eat them out. They're particularly nice as fries at Balthazar.
Some other eating ideas:
- Boiled, drained well, then mashed with warm cream, butter and lots of salt and pepper
- Rubbed with a little oil and salt and baked until crispy-skinned and fluffy within; topped with sharp, sharp grated cheddar cheese
- Sliced into wedges, tossed with paprika and salt, then baked in a hot oven until crunchy; served with marinara sauce for dipping
- Sliced, doused with cream and baked long and slow into Dauphinoise
- Boiled in chicken stock with an equal weight of leeks, then blended into soup
- Peeled, cut into chunks, then boiled and served with a blanket of sour cream, dill and parsley alongside some slices of ham and mustard
- Cut small and fried with some pancetta chunks until crisp, with a handful of cherry tomatoes tossed through at the end, topped with a fried egg.
- Roast potatoes. 'Nuff said.
See more of Katherine's recipes on her blog.
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