Monday, November 16, 2009

POTATOES, POTATOES & MORE POTATOES (another Recession meal)




POTATOES, POTATOES & MORE POTATOES

(another Recession meal)

Alert the media. I had a vegetarian dinner!

You may recall that on our hunt for bangers and mash, Richard brought home a 10 pound bag of potatoes for 99 cents. Since then we’ve had the mash, made baked potatoes and homemade French fries and still our larder is laden with spuds.

What to do? What to do? Potato soup? I’m not in the mood. Potato gnocchi? Another night. Scalloped potatoes? Nah. What to do?

Did I mention that before we went out to dinner with friends the other night, they came over for cocktails and appetizers? Well, they did. We made bourbons and vodkas and put out an array of gourmet pates and cheeses (yes, and truffle oil), and now we have leftovers of St. Andre (a triple cream brie), Castello blue and a sharp cheddar.

As some of you probably know, I love cheese almost as much as I do meat, so my solution to the “what to do” question was to marry the starch and protein and bake up some ‘gourmet’ potatoes au gratin. The money’s already been spent on the cheese, the potatoes cost pennies – sauté an inexpensive package of mushrooms – layer it all in a pyrex dish with cream or milk (or in our case, leftover buttermilk from Richard’s biscuit baking a while back) and you have a hearty, tres cheap (well, one of the cheeses is French), if not slimming meal. Make a side of salad or steamed vegetables (last night it was zucchini) and what else do you need?




Oh, yeh – a glass of $3.99 (a bottle) Blue Fin chilled chardonnay.

Dig in. The dish is cheap, cheap, cheap and very, very sinful. Comfort food for recession worries.



(Tip:  If you’ve never made potatoes au gratin check out Mark Bittman’s “How To Cook Everything” cookbook for the basic recipe.)



Most of the cheese is now gone, but we still have a ton of potatoes...



Maybe it’s time for that potato soup.



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

A potato (had to think about how to spell potato, paging Dan Quayle) made any other way would not taste the same.
This one looks like a keeper

Jill said...

Upon looking at the first picture of the potatoes, I thought I accidentally stumbled upon a porn site

Susan said...

My kind of meal.

Richard said...

someone called another friend's blog food porn... so maybe there's something to that. :)
Ah-nold just checked in...
The Tater-Ator!

Alexandra said...

yum! we made cheesy hashbrowns, herbed pork tenderloin with honey crisp apple sauce and roasted carrots the other night. cooked the hashbrowns until they were just brown and crispy, then added in a solid portion of aged white cheddar and let it cook until crisp. it was delectable. a suggestion for your leftover loot of pots :)

ilona saari said...

OK, Alex - I'm now craving pork and hash browns -- ;o)

Chimi said...

"Nah" to Scalloped Potatoes? You take that back, Ilona! Just Kidding! I love Scalloped Potatoes.

Ohhh! Gourmet Potatoes Au Gratin? Well, why didn't you say so? Fine. I'm game. I must admit at this second, I'm not even sure what the difference is between Scalloped Potatoes and Potatoes Au Gratin. I just know I've had them both. And they're both great.

The Pic looks great. But, if you REALLY want to make it profusely sinful, toss some bacon on it. YES!

ilona saari said...

Bacon is a definite ingredient for some au gratin potatoes -- we just didn't have any in the house - and it was a dish we made from stuff we already had (leftover cheap) -- Scalloped potatoes don't have cheese -- au gratin potatoes does. ;o)

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