Posts tagged potato
Thursday, August 23, 2007

shepherd’s pie

shepherd's pie - vegetarian, deconstructed and with a kick

I can be a real bore sometimes, I really can. I get one idea of a meal in my head and when someone tries to throw me a curve ball, I have a cow. It’s not that I’m unwilling to rethink a recipe, turn it upside down and change its appearance – it’s just that I get a vision in my head and then I’m hopelessly stuck in it, at least for the duration of the recipe. Call it “recipe tunnel vision”.

It’s been awfully un-summery outside as of late. Temperatures in the fifties, winds, rain and me shivering outside. I pulled my trench coat out, my sweaters are back on shelves out of their temporary storage. I was going to make gazpacho for you people, and now what? I’ve been so distracted by this early onset of fall, that I not only made my favorite porcini mushroom soup, but also, so distraught by my distress, failed again, to take pictures of this soul and belly warming concoction. Gazpacho? Salads? Where are my soups and squashes to roast?

So when I emailed KS about dinner a few nights ago and he emailed me back that he was already on top of it (I know, I’m a lucky girl!), the nosy me, of course, just had to know what would be served. The response – vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

Oh and then the dreaming ensued. For the remaining hours at work, I was awash with anticipation – flaky pastry with potatoes, peas, corn, and other vegetables. I think that if you put a plain potato in front me of me, I’m in pure heaven, but mashed potatoes with the accouterments, or some other incarnation of them – few things make me happier. And so with visions of flaky pastry, I went rushing home, picking up a bottle of wine en route – to make our dinner all the more comforting. But KS, finding inspiration in the kitchen took the idea of shepherd’s pie and changed its structure by removing meat and crust. The result, not so much a shepherd’s pie, but rather fancy mashed potatoes. And yet, it tasted so much like shepherd’s pie that I took back my pouty face which was my initial reaction “What no crust? Why no crust? Must have crust!” But then again, my love of potatoes made that missing crust but a faint memory. I got so carried away with eating, that you get only one picture to feast your eyes on. See, this is what you get when KS makes me dinner – gushy write-ups and no pictures. I have much to improve upon!

Continue reading shepherd’s pie.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

easy potato latkes


Sunday morning was not a gentle awakening to some. Some of us, and it wasn’t yours truly, were recovering from a night of mixing rum, tequila and karaoke in one headache-inducing cocktail, making a solid, hangover-recovery breakfast (or lunch, in our case) an imperative cure.

Being that grease and starch go hand in hand to ease the next morning ache, and that Hannukah is upon us in full force, I thought it would be appropriate to fry some grated potatoes in oil and serve it up with sour cream. Latkes – were the main reason for the last minute, yet festive Sunday afternoon meal. For good measure, to round out the offering, I threw in some French toast, and some artisanal cheeses, Humboldt Fog*** among the selection.

Over the years, I’ve collected quite a few nouveau latke recipes. There are the zucchini and dill ones, the sweet potato and chili and cumin ones, the yellow squash and Parmesan ones and so on. I have about half a dozen and these are just the ones I’ve decided to keep
after trying all the recipes that came my way.


However, during Hannukah, nothing quite speaks to me like a plain, traditional latke – a recipe so simple, it seems almost lazy. I don’t even add onions or pepper to mine – I like the plain taste of salted, crispy potato so much! And so, after a quick consultation with my mom, I went straight to business. I avoided pureeing my potatoes in a Cuisinart, as that gives a bit of a soggy feel, and instead opted to grate the potatoes on the coarse side of the grater, by hand. I did a bit of approximating with other ingredients as the proportions are never quite exact – the starchiness of potatoes varies and it’s the consistency you’re after!

The result was nothing short of delicious – the latkes came out crispy on the edges and perfectly browned. I only wish I had photographic evidence, but my beloved SRL was left on the Upper East Side this weekend, while I stayed in Tribeca. Apologies to everyone for lack of original photography with this post. I am trying to make up for it with humor. And a recipe below.

Continue reading easy potato latkes.