Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with potatoes

Colcannon is a traditional Irish food but there are myriad ways to prepare spuds to create delicious side dishes

    To commemorate the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day next week, try a new twist on the humble potato.
    After all, potatoes have been associated with the Irish for decades.
    One of the most popular Irish potato dishes is colcannon, a combination of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. But potatoes are a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in numerous ways.
    Potatoes also have many health benefits. They’re fat-free, cholesterol-free and a good source of minerals, vitamin B6 and dietary fiber. They are also high in potassium and vitamin C.
    Potatoes are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates.
    They are delicious on their own and can be prepared numerous ways — fried, roasted, mashed, baked or boiled, for example — and can be made with or without their skins.
    It is best to eat potatoes with their skins, because that’s where many of the nutrients are.  If you need to peel potatoes, it’s best to boil them in their skins and peel them afterwards.
    Potatoes are also a vital, and delicious, component of many dishes.
    One medium potato is only about 100 calories. However, high-fat toppings can cause that count to increase rapidly.
    There are alternatives. Try topping potatoes with toasted sesame seeds, whipped butter and poppy seeds, a spoon full of stewed tomatoes and a bit of grated cheese, melted butter or margarine thinned with lemon juice, a mix of dried herbs such as parsley, chives, basil and dill, some chopped onion with coarsely grated black pepper, chive-spiked yogurt or salsa.
    When buying potatoes, don’t buy spuds that are soft or have excessive cuts, cracks, bruises, discoloration or decay. Choose potatoes that are free of sprouts, green skin, or spots.
    Potatoes should be stored in a dark, dry place that is well ventilated.
    Following are a few potato recipes from letsdishrecipes.com.


Crispy Garlic Rosemary Smashed Potatoes

18 to 20 small red or yellow potatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

    Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Salt the water generously. Bring to a boil and cook about 20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and cool slightly.
    In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic and rosemary. Drizzle a large sheet pan with olive oil.
    Arrange potatoes on the pan, leaving about an inch of space between them. With a potato masher or fork, press down on each potato until it flattens, but is still held together by the skin. Drizzle the butter mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle with additional rosemary, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
    Bake in a 450-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown.


Browned Butter Roasted Potatoes

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter
1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 to 3 green onions, sliced
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

    Place potatoes in a large, shallow baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Roast, uncovered, in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes.
    In a small saucepan, heat butter over low heat until melted. Continue cooking until butter turns light golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and set aside.
    Pour the browned butter over the potatoes and sprinkle with brown sugar and green onions. Stir to coat potatoes evenly in the butter and brown sugar.
    Return to oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and golden. Season with salt and pepper, if needed, before serving.
    Makes four to six servings.


Moroccan Roasted Potatoes

2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    In a small bowl, combine cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper and olive oil.
    Add cubed potatoes and stir gently to coat in oil and spices. Spread potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown, stirring once halfway through cooking time.
    Before serving, toss with fresh cilantro and re-season with salt and pepper, if needed.
    Makes four to six servings.

Cajun Roasted Potatoes With Creole Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds potatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Whisk together oil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. In a large bowl, toss potato wedges in oil and seasoning mixture to coat well.
    Arrange potatoes in a single layer on two large baking pans that have been lightly greased. Roast in a 450-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until tender, flipping potatoes and rotating pans halfway through baking. Season with additional salt, if needed.
    Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, parsley, vinegar, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with potatoes.
    Makes six to eight servings.


Melt in Your Mouth Potatoes

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chicken broth
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

    In a small bowl, combine melted butter, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
    Cut potatoes into 3/4 to 1-inch thick slices, discarding ends. Toss potatoes in butter mixture. Arrange in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet that’s been coated with cooking spray.
    Roast potatoes on a rack in the upper-middle position of a 475-degree oven for 15 minutes. Flip potatoes over, return to the oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
    Remove potatoes from oven and flip one more time. Add broth and garlic to the pan and return to oven. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
    Makes six servings.

Loaded Slow Cooker Potatoes

2 pounds baby potatoes, halved and quartered if large
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 slices bacon, cooked
1/4 cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon paprika
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream, drizzling

    Line a slow cooker with foil and coat with cooking spray. Add half the potatoes, 1-1/4 cups cheese, half the garlic, one-third of the bacon, half the green onions, and half the paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat.
    Cover and cook on high for five to six hours, until potatoes are tender. The bigger your potatoes, the longer they’ll need.
    Twenty to 30 minutes before serving, top with remaining cheese and bacon.
    Garnish with more green onions and drizzle with sour cream before serving.


Bacon Wrapped Parmesan Potatoes

2 large russet potatoes, cut lengthwise and then into 3 wedges per half
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 thin slices bacon
Ranch dressing, for dipping

    Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet, then spray with cooking spray.
    In a large bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan. Add potatoes, tossing wedges until fully coated.
    Keeping as much cheese on each wedge as possible, wrap potatoes in bacon.
    Place bacon-wrapped potatoes on rack and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 35 minutes, turning halfway through, until the bacon is cooked and potatoes are tender.
    Serve with ranch dressing.


Stuffed Hash Brown Waffles

2 cups frozen hash browns, defrosted
2 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Fried egg, for serving
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

    Preheat waffle iron to medium-high and spray both sides of the grates generously with cooking spray. Spread about 1 cup hash browns on the waffle iron, focusing on the center of the grate. Sprinkle with bacon, cheddar, and chives. Top with the remaining hash browns and press down to cover.
    Cook until the hash browns are golden brown and crispy and the cheese has melted. Carefully remove waffle from the iron. Top with a fried egg, if desired, and season with salt and pepper.



Potato Gratin Bites

2 pounds peeled russet potatoes, thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère
2 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
Fresh chopped parsley, for serving

    Toss potatoes in half-and-half, garlic powder, nutmeg, pepper, thyme, salt and Parmesan. Divide potato mixture between 12 muffin tin cups that have been coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes, until tender.
    Remove foil and top each potato stack with Gruyère and bacon. Bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sides begin to turn golden. Garnish with parsley and let cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
    Makes 12 servings.


Garlic Parm Au Gratin

3 pounds russet potatoes
2-1/2 cups half-and-half
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

    Grease a large baking dish all over with butter and place on top of a baking sheet. Peel potatoes then cut into 1/4-inch thin slices. Place in a bowl and cover with water.
    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine half-and-half, garlic and thyme. Heat mixture until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Stir in 1-1/2 cups Parmesan, then season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
    Drain potatoes and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Arrange potatoes in the baking dish, fanning the potatoes to look like shingles. Pour warm cream mixture over the potatoes and press down on the potatoes to make sure that every potato is coated. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
    Bake in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes, until the top is bubbling and golden and the potatoes are tender.
    Serve warm.


Dill Pickle Potato Chips

2 russet potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups pickle brine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons freshly chopped dill, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Ranch dressing, for dipping

    Place sliced potatoes in a large bowl and add enough pickle brine to completely submerge them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one to three hours.
    Drain. Pat potatoes completely dry, then place in a large bowl. Add oil, dill, garlic powder, onion powder and crushed red pepper flakes to bowl and toss to coat potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
    Lay potatoes in an even layer on a large baking sheet, making sure none overlap. Bake in a 400-degree oven about 40 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender on the inside and crisp and golden on the outside. Garnish with more dill and serve with ranch dressing.




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