Category Archives: Potatoes

Pesto Potatoes with Poached Eggs & Spinach

Any meal that is centered around potatoes is going to be a winner in my book. There is no better way to get me to eat a whole bunch of spinach than to pile some wonderful potatoes on top of it.

I’ve been known to make this particular meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner (sometimes more than once in a day if I have leftovers). Not only that but the potatoes used in this regularly show up as a side dish for dinner or breakfast as well.  Now that summer is approaching, I already have one pot of basil growing with more to join it soon, which means pesto in my fridge ALL SUMMER LONG!

If you have your favorite pesto recipe or store brand, feel free to use that. For my fresh basil pesto, click here. Or for something slightly different, try my recipe for hazelnut pesto.

Pesto Potato Masterpiece!

Pesto Potato Masterpiece!

Pesto Potatoes with Poached Eggs & Spinach
(Serves 2-3)

2-3 cups red potatoes, quartered
2-3 tbsp. basil pesto
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Eggs (1-2 per person)
3 cups spinach
Handful of kalamata olives, pitted

For sauce:
1 tbsp. mayonnaise (or olive oil if you don’t like it creamy)
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. pesto

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook about 10 minutes until fork tender (but not mushy). Drain potatoes. In a bowl, whisk together 2-3 tbsp. pesto, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt & pepper. Add potatoes and toss to coat.

Divide spinach between two plates.

Spinach

Spinach

 

Top with potatoes.

Then potatoes. Mmm.

Then potatoes. Mmm.

Bring a small pan of water with 1/2 tsp. of vinegar to a boil. Gently break eggs into the pan (1-2 per person). Turn heat down to simmer. Cook 3 minutes until whites are set. Remove with a slotted spoon and lay on top of potatoes.

Perfectly poached eggs on top. If you prefer your eggs a different way, do your own thing here.

Perfectly poached eggs on top. If you prefer your eggs a different way, do your own thing here.

Mix together sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Scatter a few olives on top of the eggs & potatoes. Drizzle everything with sauce, add a grind or two of fresh pepper and eat!

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Potato Palooza! My Top 20 in Spuds

This week marked two years since I started this blog. It started with a 30-day vegetarian challenge issued by my daughter, Claire.  From there it has become a fun way to share my love of food and cooking with my family and friends (even the friends I’ve never met!), an online recipe box for myself and an ongoing cooking project for me and my kids to work on together.

To celebrate, I thought I would highlight my favorite food – the potato! I know National Potato Day is in August, but let’s be honest.  If you know me, you know it’s always National Potato Day at my house.  Maybe it’s my Irish side, or maybe just because they are irresistible, but I love them.  And apparently, so do you, since some of these rate among my most popular posts over the last couple of years.  I thought it made sense to have a collection of these favorites all in one place.  So I give to you my top 20 in spuds.

One of the most fun things about potatoes are all the incredible ways to cook them.  Which is your favorite?  It’s so hard to choose! Just click on the photo caption to go to the corresponding post.

The #1 most popular potato post on my site, and in the top five of ALL my posts, you can’t go wrong with this fancy presentation of an old favorite.

Like salt & vinegar potato chips?  You will LOVE these zippy roasted potatoes!

Who says potatoes are a side dish?  Grab yourself some big spuds and let them shine as a main course.

Forget frozen french fries.  Leave the chemicals behind and make them yourself!  Easy and oh so good.

Work out your aggression and enjoy a tasty side dish with these delightful smashed and baked potatoes.

One of my very favorites and a cure-all for just about everything.  Restaurant quality hash browns right in your own kitchen.

Spanish tortilla. One of my favorite tastes of Spain and such a beautiful presentation too!

Easy to throw together for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  And you can even use up your leftovers!

My favorite camping food – but perfect for a lazy evening at home too.

Not your mama’s scalloped potatoes.  No cans of soup here.  Just unbelievably good comfort food.

Breakfast anyone?  Easy baked eggs with a little potato and cheese.

Lemony potatoes, perfect side dish for fish or chicken.  I can eat a whole batch of these by myself. Scroll down past the fish recipe for the potatoes (but the fish is worth stopping for too!).

 

The most perfect side dish with just about anything, but especially if you are a “meat & potatoes” type.

A very veggie version of Shepherd’s Pie.

The best – and most unusual – stuffed peppers you will ever eat.  A touch of heat and Indian spices make these irresistible.

A classic potato salad to make your grandma (and mine!) proud.

A not-s0-classic potato salad.  This hearty spinach salad features tiny potatoes that steal the show.

Put your leftover baked potatoes to good use in this hearty, comforting soup.

Cheesy, with a southwestern kick.  This is a great spin on the classic potato soup.

Who says potato soup isn’t healthy?  Get your veggies for the day without evening noticing in this delicious concoction.

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Hearty Red Potato Fritatta

When you hear fritatta your mind might automatically head for breakfast-land.  But this also makes a dandy lunch or dinner, served with a side of fruit or salad.  This week it landed in brunch territory, alongside three cups of tea and a pile of Honeycrisp apple slices.

I often use leftover baked potatoes for this one, but if you don’t have any, a quick spin in the microwave will do just fine.

Hearty Red Potato Fritatta

Hearty Red Potato Fritatta

Hearty Red Potato Fritatta

2 red potatoes
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup red pepper
2-3 strips bacon
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
5 eggs
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

If you aren’t using leftover baked potatoes, poke all over with a fork and stick in the microwave.  About 4-5 minutes on high should have them fork tender.  Remove and dice.

In a small bowl, beat egg with a pinch of salt & pepper and set aside.

In a medium skillet (I like to use a 10″ skillet for these), cook bacon until crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain and dispose of all but a tablespoon or two of the bacon grease.  Add onion and pepper to the pan and sauté a couple of minutes until tender.  Add potatoes and a pinch of salt & pepper.  Stir to combine.  Add spinach and stir into the mixture.  Make sure veggie and potato mixture is evenly distributed in the pan.  Pour egg mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Turn heat down to medium low and cover.  Cook another 5-10 minutes until top is completely set.  Slice into wedges and enjoy!

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Smothered Breakfast Burrito

Last week I posted a recipe for an amazing pork green chili.  Now just in case you are thinking it’s summertime and too hot for chili, just let me remind you there are other things you can do with chili beyond eating it out of a bowl.  Welcome to Casa de April, where I make a breakfast burrito I would pay for in a restaurant.  Green chili is the key that takes it from ordinary to incredible.  So make the chili, which freezes beautifully by the way, freeze in small batches to bring out for breakfast!  And although I say breakfast, I would eat this for any meal of the day.

Smothered Breakfast Burrito.  More please.

Smothered Breakfast Burrito. More please.

Smothered Breakfast Burrito

For each burrito:
1 small/medium potato
2 eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup green chili (or more!)
Flour tortilla
Sliced avocado

Heat chili in a saucepan or microwave until hot.  Set aside and keep warm.  Poke potatoes and microwave for a few minutes until fork tender.  Dice or chop potatoes.  Beat eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Warm tortillas in the oven or microwave (if I’m doing a bunch I wrap them in foil and stick them in the oven while I’m making everything else; if it’s just one I nuke it).

Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add a drizzle of oil or butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan (or you can use cooking spray).  Add potato and cook for a couple of minutes, until starting to brown a bit.  Add eggs and scramble with the potatoes.  Sprinkle in the cheese, toss with the other ingredients and remove from heat.

Melty yummy goodness on the inside.

Melty yummy goodness on the inside.

Wrap in a tortilla and top with chili and avocado.

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Zingy Purple Potato Salad

One of the things I love best about farmer’s markets are finding things you don’t ever see in the grocery store.  This week I found bright purple potatoes!

Aren't they pretty?  I'm told they are called Purple Vikings

Aren’t they pretty? I’m told they are called Purple Vikings.

Now, I thought these were just too pretty to waste on something normal.  Some time ago I came across an idea for a lighter potato salad that used greek yogurt and lemon so I decided to incorporate those flavors with my lovely potatoes.  Roasting the potatoes added another dimension with a firmer texture and deeper flavor.  You can make this more or less lemony depending on how much zing you want.  As much as we love traditional potato salad, this fresh and summery take on an old favorite was a real winner at my house!

Zingy Purple Potato Salad.  Perfect for summer!

Zingy Purple Potato Salad. Perfect for summer!

Zingy Purple Potato Salad
(adapted from bevcooks.com)

2 pounds purple potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
1 tbsp. olive oil for roasting
Salt & pepper
2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. greek yogurt
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. fresh mint, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400˚.  Toss potatoes with 1 tbsp. olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring halfway through.

Zingy Dressing

Normally I would just eat them like this.

In a large bowl whisk together 2 tbsp. olive oil, greek yogurt, lemon juice, zest, and dill.

Zingy dressing!

Zingy dressing!

Add potatoes and celery to bowl.  Toss to combine with dressing.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Sprinkle fresh mint over the top.

Mmmmm!  You need some of this.

Mmmmm! You need some of this.

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Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Vinegar has long been used in many home remedies, for everything from easing arthritis pain to curing hiccups.  This winter I used some to make homemade cough syrup.  But what I really like to do is cook with it.  Vinegar adds a ton of flavor to dishes without adding calories and there are so many varieties it makes it fun to experiment.

I wanted to add a little twist to my basic roasted red potatoes.  I won’t claim any great health benefits, but as far as I’m concerned, this zippy little side dish was just what the doctor ordered.

Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

1-2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
Salt & pepper
2-3 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400˚  Toss potato wedges with vinegar and oil.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Drizzle, toss, sprinkle.  Pop in the oven!

Drizzle, toss, sprinkle. Pop in the oven!

Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring once after about 15 minutes.  Cook until potatoes are tender and a bit browned.  If you want more of a vinegar taste, sprinkle a bit more on top when they are done.

When they look like this, you are ready to eat!

When they look like this, you are ready to eat!

Looking for other easy potato sides?  Try Downright fancy baked potatoes, or homemade garlic fries!

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Dinner on a Cookie Sheet

After a day of doing chores and running errands I did not want to do dishes.  And I didn’t want take out.  I had good food to cook but I was interested in minimal effort.  And so I went to my cookie sheet solution.  I do this from time to time when I have nice ingredients but nothing fancy in mind.  Everything on one cookie sheet, lined with foil.  Zero dishes.  Maximum taste.  Good, simple food.

You could really use whatever ingredients you want for this.  Have fish instead?  No problem.  Different veggies? No problem!  Just spread them out like so and it will be just perfect. Adjust quantities to match the number of people you’re feeding.

Want another dinner on a cookie sheet?  Here’s a different option.

Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Dinner on a Cookie Sheet – Honey Mustard Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Chicken breasts
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. coarse dijon mustard
Small red potatoes
Green beans
Mushrooms
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

In a small saucepan, boil whole potatoes until fork tender.  Preheat oven to 400˚.  Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Spray with cooking spray.  Mix honey and mustard and smear all over chicken.  Place on the cookie sheet.  Place potatoes on cookie sheet and use the flat surface of a spatula or the flat of a knife to smash.  Spread out the green beans.  Scatter a few mushrooms about.  Sprinkle everything with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

One cookie sheet, everything you need for dinner.

One cookie sheet, everything you need for dinner. Wad up the foil and call the dishes done.

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Creamy Baked Potato Soup

I rarely eat leftovers in the same form as they were first presented as dinner.  I don’t know if this is some sort of culinary ADD or what, but I just get bored eating the same thing over and over again.  Does anybody else experience this?

Leftover baked potatoes were staring at me and I had eaten baked potatoes the night before, so I decided to do something different with them.  Following the path of many a leftover in my house, they became soup.  But not just any soup.  Wonderful, creamy, delightful baked potato soup.  It will take the chill off, it will cure what ails you, it will just make your tummy happy.  And best of all, since the potatoes are already cooked, it’s a snap to throw together.

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced or chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2-3 giant baked potatoes (3-4 cups cubed potato)
4 cups milk (I used 1% but any kind will do)
2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1 tsp. dill
Salt & pepper (start with 1 tsp. of each and add more if needed)
For garnish – crispy bacon, grated cheese and/or minced parsley

In a soup pot, sauté onion, carrots, and red pepper in a little oil or butter until tender.  Add potatoes and milk.  Heat until it just barely starts to boil, then immediately turn down to a simmer.  Add cream cheese, butter, dill and salt & pepper. Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to make sure veggies are all cooked through and to let flavors blend.  Using a stick blender or potato masher, mash up or puree the soup, leaving some chunks (you can skip this if you want a chunkier soup).  I leave mine a little chunky but mashing some of it gives a nice texture and thickness that I personally like.  Do a little at a time and stop when it looks good to you.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Top with your favorite garnish and eat.

 

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A Studly Spud

Normally I keep potatoes firmly in side dish territory.  They are one of my favorite foods but rarely do the get the whole spotlight at any meal.  However, last night I found myself with several large leftover baked potatoes and a tired, lazy attitude.  I peeked in my fridge and they looked just like dinner to me.  Turns out if you pile some good stuff on top, you really don’t need anything else!

A studly spud.  All dressed up and ready to eat!

A studly spud. All dressed up and ready to eat!

Studly Spuds
For each potato:

Large russet potato
2 strips bacon
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1-2 tsp. butter
Salt & pepper
Greek yogurt for topping

Poke each potato several times with a knife or fork and bake at 375˚ for an hour or so until tender.  Turn off oven and leave them sitting in there so they stay hot while you cook the topping.  In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.  Discard grease.  Add onion to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and butter and cook and stir 1-2 minutes more.  Crumble bacon back into the mixture. Add a pinch of salt & pepper and stir to combine.

Slice the top of the baked potato down the center.  Fluff insides with a fork.  Pour bacon/tomato mixture over the top.  Add a dollop of plain greek yogurt or sour cream to the top if desired.

Baked potatoes to die for.  A little greek yogurt on top finished it off perfectly!

Baked potatoes to die for. A little greek yogurt on top finished it off perfectly!

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Downright Fancy Baked Potatoes

Need a fancy side dish that 99% of people will absolutely love?  Look no further. I’ve made these a few times and they are always a huge hit.  Not only do we love them, but when we have dinner guests they add a little fancy touch to dinner that an ordinary baked potato just wouldn’t have.  They are easy to make but get an A+ for presentation. If these were a house, you could charge extra just for the curb appeal.

You can use any potatoes for this.  I used Yukon Gold potatoes basically because I was too lazy to peel and not a huge fan of russet potato skins.  But feel free to use whichever spud floats your boat.

Downright Fancy Baked Potatoes

Downright Fancy Baked Potatoes

 

Downright Fancy Baked Potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes (or whatever kind you like)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. butter
A pinch of salt, pepper, & dry Italian seasoning (or use whichever seasonings you like best)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400˚.  Slice off a thin piece on one side so the potato will sit still and not roll around while you are trying to slice it.  Make thin slices all the way across the potato, but not going all the way to the bottom.  You want the potato to stay together so stop short about 1/4 inch from the bottom (don’t beat yourself up if you slice one in half, it will still taste fine).  Slice garlic very thinly and slip between potato slices here and there.  Slice butter thinly and insert here and there into potato slices as well.  Sprinkle potatoes with seasonings.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Place on a baking pan and bake for about 1 hour until fork tender.

Why not make a couple extra?  They are terrific the next day.

Why not make a couple extra? They are terrific the next day.

I always try to make a couple extra because the next morning I like to do this:

Pull apart, toss in a pan, add a couple of beaten eggs, scramble.  Top off with hot sauce.  Breakfast of champions.

Pull apart, toss in a pan, add a couple of beaten eggs, scramble. Top off with hot sauce. Breakfast of champions.

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