Hey there, potato pals! Can you believe it? Saturday, August 19, 2023, is officially National Potato Day. Yup, you read that right – we’re celebrating spuds in all their glory! Let’s dig into some potato goodness and maybe pick up a trick or two on whipping up 5 mind-blowing potato dishes. I mean, any excuse to chow down, am I right?
Now, let’s give a nod to the potato – the world’s ultimate food chameleon. Seriously, this humble tuber can transform into anything from fries to mashed masterpieces and everything in between.
You’ve got options, my friends. Fry ’em, bake ’em, boil ’em, steam ’em, roast ’em, nuke ’em – you name it! And that’s not all. Potatoes are the ultimate team players, showing up in soups, salads, main courses, breads, sides, and believe it or not, even desserts. Talk about being versatile!
Travel the culinary globe, and you’ll find the potato starring in dishes from African to American, British to Russian, Indian to Spanish, and beyond. It’s like this little spud speaks every language of flavor.
Now, brace yourselves – there are over 5000 potato varieties out there! Yep, you read that right. Russet, Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold, Kennebec, Purple Majesty, Fingerling, Sweet, King Edward – the list goes on. And each one brings its own unique vibe to the table.
Here’s the scoop on spud personalities: We’ve got the starchy stars like Russet and Goldrush – perfect for baking, whipping up fries, and crafting fluffy mashed wonders. Then there’s the Pontiac and Russian Banana crew, rockin’ the waxy texture that holds its shape. Boiling, potato salads, stews, curries – they’ve got it covered.
Lets Cook Potatos
Thanks to the talented chefs at Capsicum Culinary Studio, South Africa’s biggest culinary school with six campuses across the country who shared their favorite potato recipes with us.
Spanish Frittata with a Herby Yoghurt and Greens
- 2 cups coarsely chopped cooked potatoes
- 1 cup plain full-fat yoghurt
- ¼ cup finely chopped herbs, such as dill, mint, basil, parsley, and chives
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 cups coarsely chopped greens, such as chard, kale or spinach
Preheat oven to 180°C. Mix yoghurt, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Lightly whisk eggs and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add ½ cup of the yoghurt sauce and stir lightly (but don’t completely incorporate yogurt sauce). Heat oil in an oven-safe nonstick pan over medium heat, then add the shallots and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have softened and the potatoes are golden, about 3 minutes. Add greens and cook, stirring occasionally until wilted. Add egg mixture and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sides are just beginning to set, 5–7 minutes. Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set. Immediately slide onto a cutting board to cool then cut into wedges and serve with remaining yoghurt sauce.
- 4 potatoes (Russet are a good choice)
- ½ medium onion
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup chopped chives
- ⅓ cup chopped dill
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- Oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and onion. With a box grater, finely grate the potatoes first before coarsely grating the onion. Wrap both together in a clean cloth and squeeze out excess liquid then place in a bowl. Add the eggs, herbs, flour, salt and pepper and mix well.
Heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a spoonful of the potato mixture, spreading it slightly and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the pancakes are crispy and golden brown. Serve warm with a fried egg on top and crispy bacon on the side for the ultimate brunch!
Baked Eggs with Potatoes
- 2 large pre-boiled potatoes, cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 eggs
- 120g goat’s cheese, crumbled
- 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
- Sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and fry the onions, garlic and cumin over a low heat until the onions are soft. Add the pre-boiled potatoes and turn the heat up, mixing to incorporate Add the tomatoes, season well and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (add a splash of water if the mixture is drying up and sticking).
Using a wooden spoon make 4 shallow wells in the mix and break the eggs into them. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the white of the eggs are cooked and the yolk still looks a little runny (for about 5-10 minutes). Sprinkle with the goat’s cheese, coriander and chilli flakes (if using) and serve with slices of toasted, buttered ciabatta.
Cheesy Potato Croquettes
- 800g potatoes, peeled and boiled
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 30g salted butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- 250g cheddar cheese
- 30g parmesan cheese
- 80g all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- 300g all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 500g bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil
Peel and boil potatoes till soft and set aside to cool. Sauté onions and season with salt and pepper. Add milk, cheese, onion and flour to the mashed potatoes and combine well. Chill for 30 minutes and then shape into 5cm round balls. Roll in flour, dip in the beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Once complete, place them in the fridge for at least two hours. Remove from fridge and deep-fry each croquette until brown on all sides. Serve with aioli or a spicy made with mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.
Mashed Potato Truffles
- Leftover mash potato
- Chocolate chips
- Vanilla essence
- Cocoa powder
- Desiccated coconut
- Nuts, finely chopped
Place the chocolate chips in a small microwaveable bowl and melt in the microwave at 50% power. When they have melted entirely, stir in the mashed potatoes. Add the vanilla essence and stir well. Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once firm, take tablespoon-sized scoops and roll them into balls with your hands. Roll in the nuts, cocoa powder and desiccated coconut, then place on a baking sheet and refrigerate. They will keep in the fridge for a week.
Celebrate the Potato on 19 August!
So, let’s raise a fork to the potato! It totally deserves its day in the spotlight. This year, mark your calendars for Saturday, August 19. Gather your potato-loving squad for a brunch, lunch, or dinner that’s all about celebrating the mightiest of tubers. Cook up a storm and show those spuds some love. Happy National Potato Day, y’all!