Saturday, April 30, 2016

Potato challenge - Kroketten (croquettes)

On November 16th 2015 I made Croquettes.

I don't think I have ever had croquettes in the US.

In the area of Germany where I come from, croquettes are a (sit-down) restaurant side dish that has equal status to french fries.  As the images below show, Germans eat croquettes with a gravy sauce.  (Note that we do the same thing with french fries.  Also note that the German gravy is not as thick as the gravy I am used to in the American south.)

Picture from

The Potato Challenge - Overview

Since it's going to take a little while to turn the previous potato dishes I made as part of the potato challenge into blog posts, I'll put an overview here until I get around to writing them.

Once they're written, this can serve as a table of contents of sorts.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Potato Challenge: Moroccan Potato Cakes (Maakouda Batata)

Yesterday was another Monday - and another potato dish is in the books.

I was living dangerously this week.  I actually didn't do a trial run for the potato dish on the weekend - and that almost spelled disaster because of one little error I made in the calculation of my ingredients...

As usually, I looked at several recipes, but essentially, I ended up following this Moroccan potato cake recipe.   The dish seemed pretty simple: Cook and mash potatoes, mix them with sauteed onions and garlic, add spices and egg, then shape the mass into patties and fry those in hot oil. I had already pondered making the potato mass in advance on Sunday when I can across this recipe that suggested that the potatoes should be boiled a day in advance so that they could firm up in the fridge over night, Shredding the the next day was supposed to give the mash a bit more consistency.

That sounded like a plan.  I cooked the potatoes in my trusted steamer on Sunday night.  Before I stuck them in the fridge I weighed how much I had there so I would know how much spice to add to the final mass.  The primary recipe I was going to use called for 2 lb of potatoes.  That's about 1 kg, give or take.  The potatoes from my steamer weighed about 1500 g.  (The only scale I own that can weigh items that are larger than 2 lb is a German scale.  Because of that it only weighs in grams). I was not sure that this would be enough potatoes for the group, so I set up another steamer basket full of potatoes and called it a night.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lost love

Do we all have memories of "the one who got away"?  I certainly do.

The video of Ulay meeting Mariana Abramović at her MOMA exhibit "The artist is present" makes me think of that person.

Potato Challenge: Spanish Potatoes (Patatas Bravas)

Our local Kroger is having a "Taste of Spain" promotion this week. What better week than to select "Spanish Foods" for Monday night dinner?

Before the start of this week I only knew of 2 Spanish foods: Paella (I LOVE, LOVE LOVE paella - Thank you for making it, Leanna.) and tapas.  I knew about paella from having eaten it in Spain and about tapas from David Sedaris' essay "6 to 8 black men" where he asserts that "[Santa] certainly doesn't eat tapas".  By the way, the essay is definitely worth a read - or even better - a listen.  I enjoy David Sedaris' works most when they're read by the master himself, but I digress.

After discovering that there are quite a few Spanish potato recipes, I selected patatas bravas for this week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Potato Challenge: Cottage Pie (That's Shepherds Pie without the lamb.)

The theme for Monday night's dinner on 4/11/16 was "British Food".  I had suggested the theme, because one of our friends would be in Great Britain at the time (therefore eating lots of British food there) and because I had come across a recipe for Shepherds pie as I was looking for potato recipes that I had not made before.

I was sure that "British Food" would be turned down as a theme by the group.  After all, who thinks of British Food as something you'd seek out to eat?  Apart from their breakfast - and those little pigs in a blanket sausages, what is there that anyone would want to eat?

I remember being in Britain for about 2 weeks as an exchange student when I was around 13 year old, and between the porridge, the cucumber sandwiches, the beans in tomato sauce and the potato chips with vinegar, I almost starved to death.... I did however find an Asterix book in English in a shop by Windsor castle, so that was a bonus....but I digress.

Turns out the group embraced the idea of British foods, especially since several people grew up with British food. Who knew... turns out every food is someone's comfort food.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Potato challenge - Cheesy hashbrowns

This hashbrown casserole that I brought to dinner on 8/31/15 was one of the dishes that started this whole potato adventure, so technically it's not really part of the potato challenge because the challenge didn't exist yet, but I have decided to overlook that little detail in favor of this perennial favorite.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Potato Challenge: Chorizo Potato Tacos

I have to admit that, when I was told last Monday that the theme for this week's Monday night dinner was going to be "tacos", I was a little concerned.  I had never heard of a taco filled with potato.  I mean, a starch inside of a starch - there was no way.

Imagine my surprise when I found several recipes for Chorizo Potato Tacos on the all-knowing Internet.  That's what I would be bringing.