Ode to a fall treat: the potato. « blogging for burgers

Ode to a fall treat: the potato.

I enjoy most carbs.  I think we are genetically hard-wired to.  I love pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa, you name it, I love it.  But today, I want to spend a little time appreciating the potato.

This tuber is of significant importance– the great potato famine, Van Gogh’s “the potato eaters”, the Humboldt County Fair Potato Decorating contest.  Its myriad uses and willingness to absorb fats make it a truly versatile vegetable.

Now that it’s fall, the potatoes are out en masse.  Fingerlings, sweet potatoes, purples, butterballs, and the rest of the lot.  On a recent trip to the farmer’s market, I picked up a nice little blend for some roasting.  With just a touch of sage, the old-man fingers of the earth became stars shining on a plate.  Think this is overdramatic?  Maybe.  But damn, they were good.  Just cut them in half, toss them in some olive oil with salt and pepper, and throw them a hot oven.  You’ll know when they’re done.



Don’t worry, those puppies didn’t stay alone on that plate for long.  They were accompanied by a tremendous burger.

I am also a fan of the “cook then fry” technique, which helps get that fried potato feeling without the guilt of eating a deep-fried item (or the expense and hassle of buying cooking oil by the quart).  What I like to do is boil up some fingerlings until they are about 82.4 percent cooked (isn’t that a great description?  I love it when chefs use terms like that, as though there is a gauge on food items).  Then let them cool off a little bit, cut them in half, and place them cut-side-down in a non-stick pan with a little oil.  Throw on whatever herbs you like, and cook until they are golden brown and crispy (5-7 mins).  In the below picture, I seared the potatoes in a mixture of olive oil and bacon fat.  I guess there is some guilt eating these guys, too.  But damnit, they taste good!

Potatoes 1

Potatoes 2

That’s it.  Now get out to the farmer’s market and buy some potatoes!

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