Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Iron Chef: Potatoes

Last fall, hot on the heels of a trip to the Long Grove Apple Fest, I wrote up an "Iron Chef: Apples" post that featured recipes from beverage to main dish to dessert that featured one ingredient. I'm back with a write up focused on that delicious "apple of the earth": the Potato!

We just picked up 2 big bags of russet potatoes during a 2 for 1 sale at the grocery store so our imaginations - and recipe searching - have been working overtime. What a staple to have on hand though! So far we've made home fries, twice baked potatoes, potato cornflake casserole and - my favorite - Baked Potato Bar Night!
Baking a potato can take up to an hour in the oven. I always microwave mine. Here's a handy set of instructions:

Wash potato and puncture with a fork. While potato is still wet, wrap in paper towel to keep the moisture in. Cook on high for 4-5 minutes for the first potato, plus 2-3 minutes for each additional potato. If they are large or small, adjust time accordingly.

And so, without further ado (and a lot of help from allrecipes.com for recipe and photo sources!), in all of their mashed, baked and fried goodness. . . Iron Chef: Potatoes!

"Good Morning!"
"Indeed, she's starting the day off right!"
Potato Pancakes
4 servings
5 potatoes, peeled and shredded

2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, stir together potatoes, eggs, onion, flour, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Drop large spoonfuls of the potato batter into the skillet and flatten cakes slightly with a spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

"Cheese, onion, sour cream, bacon. What can't you put in a baked potato?"

"That seems like a loaded question."

Twice Baked Potatoes
8 servings

4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour OR in the microwave (see above directions). Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon. Bake for another 15 minutes.

"Mmm. . .a hearty soup just in time for the cold weather!"

"But it's almost April."
"Yeah, but I live in Chicago. We can always count on cold weather being just around the corner."

Herbed Potato Soup
5 servings
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk

Place potatoes and water in a large saucepan; cook over medium heat until tender. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, saute onion butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme, rosemary, and pepper. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add potatoes with cooking liquid; heat through.

"The eggs are telling me it's breakfast, but the chicken is telling me it's dinnertime!"
"So you are saying your food is talking to you? You should really get that checked out. . ."

Chicken and Potato Frittata
8 servings
4 cups diced peeled potatoes

1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 onions, diced
1 cup self-rising flour
2 cups milk
6 eggs
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked, diced boneless chicken breast half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender but firm; drain. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, and saute garlic and onions until tender. In a small bowl, mix the flour, milk, and eggs. In a medium bowl, mix potatoes, garlic and onions, flour mixture, broccoli, mushrooms, Cheddar cheese, and chicken. Transfer to a medium baking dish. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until eggs are no longer runny and top is lightly browned."

"Now this is interesting! Mashed Potatoes in your Dessert!"
"Great reviews, but I can't help thinking this was one of those 'accidental' inventions!"

Idaho Potato Cake
12 servings
1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped nuts

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in potatoes and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda; add alternately with milk, blending well after each addition. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool on a wire rack.

I'm thinking of making Iron Chef a monthly feature - I should note that I have not actually tried all of these recipes, but I do make sure to find highly rated recipes that should ensure their yumminess to some extent!


  1. That cake sounds really intriguing! Is this one of the recipes you haven't tried? I'd love to know how it turned out.

  2. I haven't tried the cake yet, but it got some great reviews on allrecipes!