Power of the potato

Feeling lucky? Celebrate St. Patty’s day with these potato recipes.

Feeling lucky: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with these potato-based recipes.

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

Two Irishmen were working in the Public Works Department.

One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind him and fill in the hole. After a while, one amazed onlooker said: “Why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?”

The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed, “Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we’re normally a three-person team. But today the lad who plants the potatoes called in sick.”

St. Patrick’s Day conjures up thoughts of leprechauns, 4-leaf clovers, green beer and potatoes.

Do not fear the potato! The average potato has only about 110 calories, is naturally salt- and fat-free, is low in sugar, is a good source of fiber and potassium, and gives you almost one-half of your daily vitamin C. It is also a great source of vitamin B-6, and contains photonutrients. The fear of eating potatoes is actually called Potnonomicaphobia. Perhaps Dan Quayle may be among the potnonomicaphobics after that infamous spelling bee, as the potatoe may have left a bad taste. Thank goodness he was a vice president and not a teacher.

BAKED #SMASHED POTATOES

1½ lbs. new, small potatoes

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

3–4 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Parsley, rosemary or chives for garnish

Cook potatoes in water for about 20 minutes until just fork tender. Drain.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cool potatoes a few minutes then arrange on a large sheet pan.

With a large fork or potato masher, gently but firmly, press down on each potato and then turn 90 degrees and press again (hashtag them!) to smash but not separate them.

Drizzle each potato with a little butter and then a little olive oil.

Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.

Bake for 25–30 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and crispy.

Sprinkle with herb garnish, if desired.

POTATO-CHEESE HAYSTACKS

2¼ lbs. potatoes, peeled and shredded

3/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup onions, chopped finely

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease (or spray with oil) mini muffin tins or regular muffin tins.

Squeeze water from the shredded potatoes (a clean dish towel works well), and place in a bowl.

Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion. Stir to mix.

Add the eggs and grated cheese and combine.

Drop by heaped tablespoons into mini trays. (If using larger tins, use 2 tablespoons and bake 10–15 minutes longer.)

Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden brown, and tops and edges are crispy.

POTATO BREAD

3/4 cup cooked, mashed potatoes (can use leftover mashed)

3/4 cup raw potatoes, grated

1 egg

1 egg white

1/3 cup oil

3/4 cup milk

2½ Tbsp. chives

3¼ cups flour

1½ Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease or spray with cooking oil an 8-inch cast iron pan or an 8-inch cake pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the mashed potatoes with the grated potatoes.

Stir in egg, egg white, oil, and milk. Combine well.

In another large bowl or on wax paper, stir together the chives, flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until a soft dough forms.

Flour a board or your counter top, and your hands.

Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead 6–7 times.

Place dough into center of the prepared pan, and with floured hand, pat gently into an 8-inch circle.

Use a sharp knife to cut a large “x” across the top of the dough.

Bake for 45–55 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to release the bread, which should be browned on top, and sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped.

Cool on wire rack.

Slainte!

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Don’t forget:

Send in your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 ShopRite gift card. Mail your recipe to Readers’ Recipes, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com. Please include name, address and telephone number.