Sticky Red Potatoes

As previously mentioned I have one child who absolutely refuses to eat all white potatoes – including french fries! I have no idea where she get this from as potatoes were a pretty big staple for me growing up. These Sticky Red Potatoes from Starters & Sides Made Easy reminded me of a more sophisticated version of the erstwhile childhood favorite – fries and ketchup.

Ingredients: Yukon Gold potatoes, chili powder, ketchup, salt, oil, vinegar, garlic cloves,

red potatoes raw with sauce

honey

Substitutions: None

The Process: First the oven is preheated to 400 F. The instructions call for you to grease the pan, but I often use silicone baking mats instead. The potatoes are tossed in chili powder, ketchup, salt and oil and spread into a single layer on the baking sheet. They then bake for 45-55 minutes. While the potatoes were baking I prepared the sauce, which is a mixture of oil, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, honey and chili powder mixed in a saucepan over a medium flame. When the potatoes were ready I tossed them in the sauce and baked them for an additional ten minutes.

The Results: These tasted OK but were nothing super special. My child who refuses potatoes, still refused these. One interesting note is that the potatoes in the cookbook photo are in fact fried. A small blurb at the bottom of the recipe tells you that if you want to fry your potatoes you can, just replace the oil in the sauce with cornstarch. I was therefore not shocked to find my potatoes a bit crumblier than the ones in the photo. Many of them broke when being tossed with the sauce. They still looked nice, but not nearly as professional as the potatoes in the photo, that held together well because they had been fried. I thought it a strange choice to show a photo of food prepared using alternate instructions than those in the recipe.

red poatoes raw sauce2

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Whiskey Sweet Potatoes

I have one child that likes white potatoes and one child that likes sweet potatoes.

However EVERYONE likes candied sweet potatoes. There are many variations on this theme including several that use different types of alcohol. This recipe for Whiskey Sweet Potatoes from Starters & Sides Made Easy looked like a fun variation on the theme and not too difficult in terms of prep and clean up.

Ingredients: sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, brown sugar, whiskey, honey, oil

Substitutions: None

The process: First the sweet potatoes are baked at 425 F for 20 minutes. Then I removed them from the oven and sliced them in half. The brown sugar, whiskey, honey and oil are all melted into a pot.  It takes only 2 minutes for the sugar to dissolve so don’t start too early – you’ll just burn off all the liquid waiting. I then used a silicone pastry brush to brush the mixture over the cut sweet potatoes and seasoned them with s alt and pepper. The sweet potatoes are then returned for an additional 20 minutes of oven time.

The Results: Delicious, if a bit messy for kids to eat. This was fast and tasty. The only hitch is that you must put the saucepan in water immediately after using the sauce otherwise the leftovers will form a sticky coat on the pan and become impossible to clean.

Carrot Souffle

Boiling Carrots

This recipe is not unique to The Bais Yaakov Cookbook. I have seen similar carrot kugels and carrot souffles’ in almost every Kosher cookbook, with small variations. For instance I have crushed everything from Chex to Cheerios while making the crispy topping. Most of these recipes, however, use baby food carrots. This recipe asks the industrious cook to boil and mash their own carrots. Is it worth the effort?

 

Ingredients: carrots, eggs, oil, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, cornflake crumbs, brown sugar, margarine, chopped nuts, cinnamon

Carrot Mash    

Substitutions: I use Earth Balance instead of margarine. For chopped nuts I used almonds because that is the only nut nobody in my home is allergic to. I suspect pecans and walnuts may have worked better.

The Process: You start by boiling the carrots so that they can be easily mashed. I found I needed longer than the suggested 15 minutes. I had to boil the carrots for a full 30 minutes before I could easily mash them. While I used a fork you might get a smoother mash with a food processor (this is not suggested in the recipe).

I then preheated the oven and started adding ingredients to the carrot mash. All of this was poured into an oven to table baking dish. The recipe allows for either one large dish or a few small ramekins. While the ramekins might be prettier the one large dish was easier to handle and serve.

I mixed the cornflakes, sugar, Earth Balance and nuts to make a topping. This crumble was spread over the top and the entire thing was baked for 40 minutes.

The Results: It tasted like most other carrot kugels I have tried, except slightly sweeter and slightly more gritty since I hand mashed the carrots. My kids seemed to love it, with one notable exception – they asked me to remove the sugary cereal topping! Is it worth the extra time to mash the carrots? Probably not. It turned a 15 minute process into a 45 minute affair.

                                Carrot Souffle

Sweet Potato Fries

Ever wish you could have more nutrition in the fries you feed your kids? I do. Which is why I love sweet potato fries, especially when they are baked like the ones in this recipe from Fresh & Easy.

Raw Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

sweet potatoes, oil, sugar, salt, parsley flakes

The Process:

Preheat oven to 450 F. Then I cut the sweet potato fries into strips (if you would like to avoid orange hands, wear gloves). Spread potatoes on a silicone mat, coat with oil and spread into a single layer.  Bake for half an hour until lightly browned and toss potatoes in spice mixture.

The Results:

These are delicious! Did not last over an hour. My kids swoop in and grab them straight from the oven every time I have made these fries. Quick, easy and highly recommended. however you cannot skip the baking mats – without them the fries will stick to the baking sheet and become mushy. Added bonus: these are kosher for passover!

Spicy Sweet Potatoes

 

Rosti

When I saw this recipe for Rosti, Swiss Hash Browns, in the Saveur 150 Classics magzine all I could think was “This is a giant Latke”. Now while many people love latkes, I’m actually not their biggest fan. I need to eat them straight off the frying pan with sour cream. Therefore I was a little doubtful I would enjoy this potato only recipe. Still I was willing to give it a try.

Ingredients:

russet potatoes

lard or unsalted butter (Substitution Note: I used Earth Balance to make this non-dairy and kosher)

canola oil

salt

This recipe is actually available online on Saveur’s website.

The Process:

I elected to hand grate the potatoes, and found it not unlike making potato kugel. The instructions are simple and easy so once everything was boiled and grating it went into the skillet with Earth Balance.

I stirred frequently in the beginning to throughly coat the potatoes. Do not skimp on skillet space! Use at least the recommended 8″ skillet. This gives you enough space to mix the potatoes and the butter/lard quickly and easily. After that, I used a hard earthenware plate to weigh down the mix and voila! Rosti.

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To flip the Rosti onto the plate I enlisted my husbands help and we both

donned oven mitts to avoid burning. It actually slid right off thanks to the well greased potatoes. It looked really pretty.

The Taste:

It looks like Saveur promised and did indeed taste like a less-crisp latke, but slightly more Earthy/wholesome. The real kicker? My baby who was just starting finger foods at the time loved it! I still needed the sour cream and applesauce. 

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