It’s suddenly fall-like here in NY, with cooler weather and even a few leaves starting to turn. So, time to start thinking about comfort food. And what better comfort food than skin on garlic mashed potatoes.
I’m posting this partly in honor of my sister-in-law, who loves mashed potatoes. She practically thinks they are a food group. When she married my brother, I included a larger version of this recipe in a mini-cookbook we made for her. Now, many years later, I make them slightly differently: not just mashed potatoes, but skin on garlic mashed potatoes. It’s less work, less cleanup and more nutrition. Win win win!
The original recipe calls for milk, but I was feeling decadent, so I went with half and half here. Use milk if you prefer. Or, even a bit of cream.
Make sure to use thin skinned potatoes that are suitable for boiling and mashing. I like to use either white potatoes, (sometimes called Eastern potatoes), or Yukon gold. The skins on the white potatoes are thinner than Russets, which makes them better for a recipe that calls for leaving the skin on the potato. Yukon gold are naturally more creamy and buttery tasting. Also, I’ve never particularly liked Russets, they seem floury to me. They’re higher in starch, and don’t reheat well. They also don’t hold their shape (not an issue for mashing, but a problem for potato salad or soup).
Anyone else here a starch fiend (waits and looks for raised hands)? I just love potato salad, but I’m not that crazy about the usual heavy versions loaded with mayo. This Dijon mustard vinaigrette potato salad is different. It’s French, for one thing, which means there’s no mayo in it. Instead, it has olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard for a bit of bite.
It’s really easy to make, without a lot of fussing. You can eat it warm out of the pan, at room temperature, or chilled. Since there’s no mayonnaise, it also travels well if you’re going on a picnic or to a barbecue (make more!).
The best part? No peeling (oh, the scandal)! That makes the prep time faster. And, you get more vitamins too.
Oh, the humble potato. It’s not so humble after William Sonoma finishes with it. And their potato salads have artichokes, feta cheese, or red bell pepper. (There’s also recipes for fries, and roasted fingerling potatoes). One reviewer said she got it from the library – but her family wouldn’t let her return the book! So, rather than risk a giant fine, she bought a copy.
Potato salad with seafood, pesto, nicoise, and tarragon and lamb. Lots of delicious combinations you may have never thought of.
More Potato Salad Recipes Without Mayo
German potato salad – Bacon, vinegar, and onions give this potato salad a nice tang. Italian potato salad – Lots of garlic (don’t kiss anyone after you eat it), and a few simple ingredients. Best served at room temperature. Greek potato salad – Made with feta cheese, parsley, and onion (no mayonnaise in sight). Herb Potato Salad – Recipe from Ina Garten with tarragon and wine.
Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad Substitutions and Variations
add a hard boiled egg
mix up your potatoes (try it with some red potatoes)
There are probably hundreds or thousands of variations of this easy Mediterranean fish stew. In San Francisco, they add shellfish and clam juice or fish stock and call it cioppino. Sicilians make it with sea bass or orange roughy. The Greeks use dill and potatoes, while the Portuguese add sausage.
This particular version has tomatoes, potatoes, and some citrus zest. I adapted it from a New York Times recipe (which made a big pot of stew, enough for 6 people, and included the dreaded anchovies). I also threw in some mushrooms (mostly because I wanted to use them up). There’s no shellfish, and I made it with cod (which is more sustainable and budget-friendly than orange roughy or sea bass). I also swapped the chopped tomatoes they called for with tomato puree (that’s what I had, and it cooks faster).
There are two nice things about this recipe. The first is that it’s super-easy to make. Just make the stew, and then add the fish at the very end. Don’t overcook it!
The second is that you can make it in advance up to the point where you add the fish. When you’re ready to eat, reheat the stew and add the fish once it’s hot.
One of the joys of a Kitchenaid is how much easier it is to make bread, cookies, and cakes. This recipe for potato bread comes out moist, soft, and rises beautifully. If you like Martin’s potato bread, you’ll like this too.
I have adapted the recipe from All Recipes. First, I reduced the recipe to make one loaf instead of two. I have no room for two loaves. I also exchanged the shortening for butter.
Measure the flour over the surface you want to use to shape the bread. Any extra flour will pre-coat the counter.
The Kitchenaid makes the whole dough preparation process faster.You don’t have to mix the dough as long as the original recipe.And, there’s no need to keep scraping down the sides. You also don’t have to stand and knead the bread for 10 minutes. Just swap out the paddle for the dough hook and let the machine do all the work.
Check to see if the dough is kneaded enough by poking it with your finger. If it is, it will bounce back when you poke it.
The rising times are approximate since the speed will depend on conditions in your home that particular day. Sometimes it takes a bit longer.
A delicious, moist loaf of potato bread that's great for sandwiches, sopping up gravy, or eating with a hearty winter stew.
1 small potato, diced
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 1/4 C all purpose flour
4 1/2 tsp sugar
1 T butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
Add the diced potato and the water to a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil and cook until the potato is fork tender and can be mashed easily. This should take about 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
Once the potato/water mixture is cool, drain 1/4 C of the liquid into a liquid measuring cup. Mash the potatoes in the rest of the mixture.
This should equal about one cup. If you don’t have enough, add some warm water.
Add the reserved water to the mixing bowl of your Kitchenaid. Sprinkle the yeast over it and add a pinch of sugar.
Now add the mashed potato mixture, 1C of the flour, butter, sugar, and salt.
Beat with the paddle attachment about thirty seconds on low to combine it all together. Stir in remaining flour. Beat on speed 3 for 3-5 minutes.
Turn dough out onto floured board or countertop. The dough should be stiff and seem a bit hard.
Remove the paddle attachment from your mixer and replace it with the dough hook.
Knead the dough on speed 3 for 3-5 minutes. The dough should now be smooth and stretch easily.
Get a large bowl, and grease it with about one teaspoon of neutral oil (like canola). Plop the dough into the bowl and turn it over so it gets coated with the oil.
Cover the bowl with a towel or slide it into a plastic bag in a warm spot. If your place is chilly, heat your oven to 200 degrees for 10 minutes, turn it off, and then put the bowl with the dough in the oven.
Let it rise for about one hour.
Punch down the dough (this is a chance to get out your frustrations!) and turn it out onto your floured countertop.
Cover it again, and let it rise for 10 minutes.
Shape the lump of dough into a loaf by rolling it out with a rolling pin into a rectangle. Then roll up the rectangle (starting at the short side), like you were rolling up a poster. Pinch the ends together.
Grease an 8x4x2 inch loaf pan and place the dough in the pan.
Cover it again and let rise about 1 hour. The dough should have risen about 2 inches over the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you want a slightly crustier loaf, sprinkle it with water before putting it in the oven. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, cover it with foil, and bake another 15 minutes.
Remove from the pan with a stiff spatula, get the butter or jam from the fridge and slather it over a fresh slice. Then eat it!
Don't be intimated by the prep time; most of that is waiting for the bread to rise.
Poke the dough again to see if it rose enough. If it did, it will stay indented when you push down on it.
I admit it, I’m hard on my pans. Not this one. I’ve had it for years and it looks brand-spanking-new. The food doesn’t stick, no matter what I make in it: bread, meatloaf, apple bread (full size recipe), you name it. Whatever I do, it cleans up easily. Yay! Because I love cooking, but not cleaning.
I confess I got tired of buying those silly little packets of yeast. They were a dollar each, took longer to proof, and I kept running out. Plus, some of them had cornstarch in them. I wanted yeast, not cornstarch. This is much better. It’s much cheaper per use, you have enough to bake dozens of loaves of bread, and there’s nothing in there except yeast. The instant yeast works faster than the standard variety too. Store it in the freezer so it lasts longer.
The first time I made this frittata recipe it was for a crowd (rather than one serving) on a boat, which was rocking. It took quite some time to make and they devoured it in minutes! I’ve scaled it back considerably, made it a bit faster, and of course, it’s now a frittata recipe for one person instead of six.
Even scaled back, it does take a bit of time to put together (unless you cheat, and use some frozen, pre-cut veggies, which is what I did here). However, this makes it a great option for a weekend brunch. I’m calling it lunch, but you could make it for dinner too.
The other great thing about frittatas is that they’re flexible. The original recipe (from one of the 60 Minute Gourmet cookbooks) called for ham, zucchini, leeks, peppers, and mushrooms. A great combination, but I didn’t have all those ingredients when I made the version I’ve posted here. So, I used broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and onions instead.
If you’re not sure what a frittata is, think of an omelette crossed with a tortilla. The full list of ingredients changes, but it’s essentially eggs, sliced potatoes, and veggies.
A frittata recipe for one person; great for Sunday or weekend brunch.
2 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 cup)
1/4 C sliced mushrooms
1 C frozen broccoli/cauliflower mixture
1/4 cup onions, sliced thinly
4 T canola or other neutral oil
1 T butter
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp red wine vinegar.
Slice the potatoes thinly, but don't peel them. Place the sliced potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
Boil the water and cook the potatoes until you can easily stick a fork in them. This should take about 15 minutes.
Drain them into a colander, and then set them aside while you prepare the rest of the frittata.
Heat half the canola oil in an omelette pan, or a non-stick ceramic pan.
Put the potatoes in the pan and cook. turning them occasionally, until they are golden brown. Take them out of the pan and put on a plate until you need them again.
Now, add the mushrooms and onions. Cook about 5 minutes are so.
Then add the butter and stir until it melts.
Put the potaotes back in the pan, and add the frozen veggies (this is the cheating part).
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat them thoroughly.
Then pour the eggs over the vegetable potato mixture in the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook on high heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Gently lift the sides of the frittata and cover the pan. Cook about 2 minutes (watch this carefully so it doesn't burn).
Splash the vinegar over the top of the frittata.
Get a large plate and invert it over the pan. While holding the plate tightly over the pan, turn the pan upside down. The frittata should slide right out. You have to do this quickly. It seems a bit scary at first, but it's really not difficult. And, even if it breaks apart, it will still taste good!
The original recipe said to par-boil the potatoes whole. However, they fell apart and were hard to handle (too hot). Slicing them first makes it easier, and they cook faster.
Use an omelette pan or a ceramic pan for this. The frittata will slide out much more easily.
Substitutions and Variations for Your Frittata for One
Much as I don’t like standard non-stick pans, a ceramic pan makes frittatas, omelettes, and other sticky foods much easier to prepare and serve. The eggs don’t stick, and the frittata comes out easily when you invert the plate over the pan to serve the frittata. And, I just love the cheery red color too.
Or, if you prefer, go for the conventional Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron pan. These pans will last forever if treated properly and food won’t stick. The drawback is that they’re heavy and you have to season them (with oil) after each use. They are made right in the US, by a company which also takes care to respect the environment.
I’ve mind melded two lentil soup recipes for this and added a few variations to make lentil bean sausage soup. I was going to make bean and sausage soup but looked in the cupboard and found I was woefully short on beans. There just weren’t enough to make anything with. But, I did have more lentils. And, a friend was talking about the bean, sausage, and potato soup she was making.
That gave me an idea. Bean, lentil, potato, and sausage, plus a bit of manchego rind for some savor (I’ve always wanted to try that, and I had a big bag of rinds in the fridge).
Manchego, parmesan, and romano cheese rinds are great, by the way, for soup or for grating cheese when there’s plenty left on the rind, but not enough to serve.
The nice thing about lentils is that unlike beans, you don’t have to soak them first to use them.
If you only have lentils, skip the beans entirely. If you only have beans, use my quick soak method to speed up the process.
Tea strainers are great for tea, but they also have a second use for making soup and other recipes. Many recipes call for cheesecloth (which I’ve never seen in a store, and seems wasteful anyway). Instead, I use the tea ball for bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and herb mixtures that have to be added (and then removed) from soup or other recipes. Because, who wants to bite down into a peppercorn?!
The New York Times Cook Book This cookbook was the source for part of the recipe. I have had my copy so long it’s falling apart. The soup section includes lentil, split pea, and the savory tomato soup which is the basis for my dad’s secret soup recipe.
The Silver Palate Cookbook I’m on my second copy of this, and it’s time for a third! The other half of the soup recipe comes from the bean and sausage soup in this cookbook. The peasant vegetable is also wonderful, as is the six onion soup. Actually, I’ve never had a bad recipe from this one. Plus there are suggestions and variations for many of the recipes, which I like.
Roasted paprika potatoes are one of my favorite comfort foods. My grandma used to make them (on semi-special occasions). There’s a big family “argument” about whether she used olive oil or something else. However, I say olive oil, and it’s my blog so olive oil wins!
The potatoes end up slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It’s like making extra-flavorful French fries, with a lot less mess and bother. Plus, you only have to use a little bit of oil, instead of filling a whole fryer with it.
These potatoes make a great side dish with a simple roast chicken or a lamb chop.
They’re not hard to make, but they do take a bit of time. If you don’t have an hour to bake them, try cooking them at a slightly higher temperature (425) for 35 minutes.
The important thing (which I noted in the recipe) is not to put anything else in the oven. They don’t like to share space.