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Video: Beyond french fries: Cooking potatoes four ways

TODAY recipes
updated 1/29/2013 5:48:58 PM ET 2013-01-29T22:48:58

Recipe: Fried tater tots

  • 2 pounds all-purpose or waxy potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Canola oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and toss in potatoes. Cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain potatoes, grate them, and squeeze out excess liquid.

In a bowl, mix grated potato, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 teaspoon each salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Heat a skillet over medium-high and add canola oil to a depth of ½ inch. Form thumb-size balls of potato mixture, and when oil is hot, fry tots until golden, 15 seconds per side.

Drain tots on paper towels, let cool, then put them on a baking sheet in the oven until crisp, about 30 minutes, turning once.

Serving Size

Makes 40 tots. Time: About 40 minutes.

Recipe: Baked Pommes Annette

  • 2 pounds all-purpose potatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil, plus more as needed

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and thinly slice potatoes with food processor, mandolin or carefully with a knife. Toss them with 3 tablespoons melted butter or oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and neatly layer in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet.

Bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the skillet from the oven, slide the cake out onto a plate, cover with another plate, invert it and slide it back into the skillet, with a little more butter or oil if necessary. Continue cooking until potatoes are done and top is browned, 20-25 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Time: About 40 minutes.

Recipe: Braised potatoes with wine

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 pounds all-purpose or waxy potatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Put the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the pancetta, crisp, and remove with a slotted spoon. Add garlic and onion to pan and sauté, 1 minute.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks, in half if they're midsized, and leave them whole if they're small.

Add the potatoes to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until coated in oil and beginning to turn golden.

Add the wine and stock so that the potatoes are barely covered. Bring to a boil, stirring once in a while to make sure the potatoes aren't sticking, then turn the heat to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes get tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add more liquid if they start to stick. The potatoes are done when a skewer or sharp knife inserted into one meets almost no resistance. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with pancetta and parsley, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings. Time: About 40 minutes.

Recipe: Mashed potatoes

  • 2 pounds starchy or all-purpose potatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • Sprig of rosemary or thyme, stripped and chopped
  • 1 pound chopped dandelion, spinach or other bitter greens

Peel the potatoes before cooking if you like. If you're in a hurry, cut the larger ones into halves or quarters. Cut or whole, the idea is to have all the pieces about the same size. Put them in a large, deep pot and cover with cold water. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Keep the water rolling until the potatoes are done, anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces and how tender you want them. The potatoes are done when a skewer or sharp knife inserted into one meets almost no resistance. Drain the potatoes well and let them dry out a bit.

While potatoes drain, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet. When melted, add breadcrumbs, coat, and when toasted, remove from pan.  Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the skillet along with garlic and rosemary or thyme. Add greens. When the garlic is colored (not brown) and greens are wilted, add drained potatoes to the olive oil and mash with a fork or potato masher, adding a bit more oil if you like.

Top mashed potatoes with breadcrumbs and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings. Time: About 40 minutes.

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