Potatoes can sometimes be wrongly construed as simple, bland, or boring. But with Vitamin B6, potassium, Vitamin C, and manganese the humble potato is in actual fact a healthier choice then you might think.
If you have become disenchanted with what seems to be the limited ways to use potatoes, we’ve got 5 yummy and delicious potato ideas to help kick up your side dishes.
Bacon + Caramelized Onion
They say that everything is better with bacon, and that includes potatoes. Bacon (or it’s slightly elevated cousin, pancetta) adds a touch of smoky, salty goodness that is a perfect match for the humble, mild flavour of potatoes. So, why not add crispy bacon and caramelized onions to your mashed potatoes. Simply fry chopped bacon or pancetta until crispy and golden. In another pan, saute onions in a little olive oil or butter over low heat until golden and caramelized (about 20-30 minutes). Boil potatoes until tender, drain, add a knob of butter, cream, and a good pinch of sea salt. Then mash until you reach your desired consistency. Add your cooked bacon and onions in and stir to combine well.
Cheese, Cheese + More Cheese
Cheese can be added to your old favourites to give them a new lease on life. From mashed potatoes to scalloped potatoes, home fries and French fries (think poutine), a touch of cheese adds an ooey gooey goodness both kids and adults will love.
Many home cooks never consider adding fresh veggies to their potato dishes and there are many vegetables that go very nicely with potatoes. Roasted Brussels sprouts are lovely when added to mashed potatoes and the whole lot can be fried in a skillet for a modern twist on Bubble and Squeak. The golden, caramelized sprouts add bite while the taters will get crispy as you brown them in the butter. Stir them and toss them as they cook so that the nicely crisped browned areas are throughout the dish. Potatoes and other root vegetables such as parsnips, carrots and beets make for a colourful fall and winter side dish.
Adding a handful of fresh herbs to potatoes as they are roasted, pan fried or mashed adds a lovely, fresh flavour as well as a splash of colour. Good choices would include parsley, chives, thyme, and rosemary.
Got some time on your hands? Potato pancakes make a great side dish, although they can be a little labour intensive so set aside a couple of hours if you’ve got it. Recipes vary from basics that simply add a touch of flour, salt, and pepper to more complicated dishes that add eggs, herbs, and loads of grated or crumbled cheese.