So it's that wonderful time of year again. The flowers are out, farmers markets are starting to come to life, and every night you can open a window and smell the lovely aroma of somebody cooking on the grill. I love cooking on the grill. Cooking gluten free foods is easy and simple on the grill. But every grill dish needs a side. My go-to food happens to be:
Potatoes are an amazing food that are insanely versatile. There are many different kinds of potatoes, and all of them are just so wonderful. Alton Brown has had a number of episodes on his show Good Eats dedicated to the spuds. Here are my 5 favorite ways to prepare potatoes:
5. Home Fries:
At breakfast time, nothing is better in my mind than some fried eggs, and a nice pile of home fries. They are super easy to make, and are, in my mind, one of the best comfort foods out there. All you have to do is pick your favorite potato (I often use Idaho Baking Potatoes) and dice them up to bite sized pieces. Sprinkle your potatoes with salt, pepper, and whatever spices you desire, and toss into a well oiled pan. Cook the potatoes until golden brown on the outsides and enjoy your tasty dish!
4. French Fries:
I know, they are similar to home fries, but I feel that they deserve their own category. Especially since I usually end up using different kinds of potatoes for french fries then I would for my home fries. And just like the home fries, they are super easy! Again, pick your favorite potato (for french fries, I like to use sweet potatoes) and slice them into wedges. I like to make mine on the thinner side as I like them more crispy than squishy. Season your wedges with salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you desire. Toss the potatoes in some olive oil, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put in an oven that has been heated to 350, and cook until golden. I like to check on them every 10 minutes and sometime give them a little shake to avoid them sticking to the pan.
3. Mashed Potatoes:
Who doesn't love a good pile of mashed potatoes on their plate? Mashed potatoes always remind me of dinner with my grandparents. My Gram always makes the creamiest, butteriest potatoes in the world. I swear I gain 10 pounds from the potatoes alone when I eat dinner with her. The wonderful thing about mashed potatoes is that you can flavor is with many different things depending on what you are eating. Start by peeling potatoes, if you care to (some people enjoy leaving their skins on potatoes, just make sure you clean them off first!). Slice potatoes into large chunks, and boil them in a pot. When you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, strain the chunks and add them to a large bowl. Then, using your favorite mashing tool, mash your potatoes to desired consistency. at this stage you will need to add some sort of milk, butter, or cream to make it a creamy consistency. At this point you can add many different things, such as cheese, sour cream, chives, or bacon.
2. Baked Potatoes:
This is probably the quickest way to make a potato, especially if you use a microwave. Simply wash off your potato of choice, pierce with a fork in several areas, and pop into the microwave for about 4 minutes. Some microwaves come with a setting where you can pick your potato and how many you are microwaving. Theses are awesome. When your potato can be easily pierced with a fork, it is ready to eat. Split the potato open and top with your favorite toppings!
1. Potato Salad:
My absolutely favorite way to eat potatoes are in potato salad. On a hot night where I really don't feel like cooking a bowl of cold potato salad is the best thing. Start by picking your favorite potato, and dice them to bite sized pieces. Boil them in a pot until they are tender. drain them and run them under cold water to stop them from over cooking and to cool them down. In a large bowl mix mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, pickles and dill into a dressing to taste. I like to use dill pickles as they compliment the taste of the dill and vinegar. Toss half the potatoes with the mixture, and after that is well mixed, add the second half of the potatoes and mix. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.