Friday, January 29, 2010

Giant Baked Potato

So I finally baked off the giant potato I had, and you know? It's not as big as I thought for some reason. It was still really yummy and fulfilling though. On a day when I'm busy with lots of chores around the house, and it's cold outside, I love to just turn on the oven and bake something. In my case, potatoes are the easiest thing to bake, since they require next to no preparation at all. Surprisingly, I originally thought that it would take longer to completely cook this bad boy, it actually only took 1 hour and 10 minutes! It was great, because I was getting really hungry smelling the aroma from the kitchen!

Read on to find out how I baked my potato and how to fluff it up real good!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Best Potato Cookbook Ever! (I think)

I found this most excellent cookbook about potatoes at my local library months ago. It not only has hundreds of potato recipes, it also has a history section, section on the many varieties (100s!), a couple pages devoted to potato-cooking tools, and basic cooking techniques! So of course, after I returned it, I went ahead and bought one for myself on Amazon. I must say this is one of my favorite cookbooks ever! Every page has glossy color pictures, and the recipes are easy to follow. For those of you who love potatoes like I do, I highly suggest finding this book. It's called Potato, by Alex Barker with recipes by Sally Mansfield.

Read on for some pictures of the book! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weird Japanese Potato Chips Commercial

I just found this very strange commercial about this Asian-brand potato chips, Calbee. It's kind of funny and disturbing, but interestingly enough, this is one of my favorite brand of chips! You can find it at almost any Asian supermarkets and it taste nothing like American potato chips. I can't really describe what's different, maybe a tad sweeter? Anyway, you must try it to understand. :) Enjoy the clip!

Here's the close-up packaging of the chips: (I actually have a bag on hand!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dairy-Free Potato Puree Soup

Many, many years ago, I worked at an upscale cafe that served amazing sandwiches, salads, and soups. One of my favorite thing there was their potato puree soup. Since they put their soups on rotation through the week, I usually get to have it at least once a week. In fact, I was so crazy about this soup that, if they were serving it on my day off, I asked all the cooks in the kitchen to call me at home, and I would loppity-lop down to the cafe and take home a little container of the potato soup.

Since then, I have often tried to re-create it at home, sometimes with success, sometimes...well, it becomes something entirely different. Anyway, I made this version of this potato puree soup today, and would like to share with you. It was extremely yummy, and my boyfriend and I devoured the entire pot in no time!

Read on if you love potato soups as much as me, and would like to know how to make it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Black Day...

I was going to take today to finish my blog about the potato soup that I love, but unfortunately, two important figures died these couple of days that I care about... First, the mystery writer, Robert B. Parker, who had written over 50 books, and was known for the "Spenser" series.  Secondly, Casper the cat who enjoyed riding the bus everyday was killed by a hit-and-run on his way to catch his bus. Although I have never met the cat, but I love cats (I have the most precious one!) and I curse the person who hit him and didn't even stop!

Anyway, I'll be mourning today...

Read more about the news of his death Robert B. Parker. Here's more about Casper.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Finally! A Mini Vacation...

My goodness! I didn't realize it has been a week since I posted last! My job at the restaurant has been unbelievably busy, and leaves me completely exhausted everyday! So I decided to take a couple of days off, recharge my batteries, and catch up on my projects! So far, I only took a nap.

Anyway, here's a little preview of what's to come...

Recipe for a non-dairy Potato Puree Soup...

...and let's see how long does it take to bake this bad boy?

Alright...I think I'm ready for another nap...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Potato Tacos!

When I lived and worked in Los Angeles a little more than a decade ago, my co-workers and I used to go to this Mexican restaurant called Senor Fish for lunch. They had really good fish tacos and a rather large and inexpensive menu. One of my favorite things they served were potato tacos. I had never had one before, and after trying it for the first time, I was addicted! The taco shell was crispy, while the mash potato was hot and creamy. What more can you ask for?

So when I was looking around my kitchen tonight, I found some white corn tortillas and potatoes (of course!), and decided to make some potato tacos for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised at the results! It may not be the potato tacos at Senor Fish, but it was pretty delicious. Even my boyfriend who swore up and down that he won't like potatoes in tacos or pizza (that's another story), he declared it was a success!

Anyway, I'm just happy we have left-over mashed potato now. Read on to see how I made them...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Junk Food Fridays - Fast Food Mashed Potatoes

As much as I love homemade food and amazing restaurant dishes, one of my (many) secret pleasures are processed potato products, namely from popular fast food chains. I don't usually frequent these establishments, especially now that I'm older and trying to eat healthier, but sometimes, the deep-fried aroma that wafts out from these buildings is just so hard to resist!

Exactly what happened the other day when I was on the way home from a little thrift shopping! As I walked past Church's Chicken, the delicious smell came rolling out at me, and I had to stop. I bought a 3-piece dark meat combo meal with mash potatoes and gravy, and I must admit, I'm a sucker for fast food mash potatoes. Something about the mushy, smooth, and slightly elastic consistency that makes me crave more after a have a bite. Not to mention the gravy! Hmmm...I'm getting hungry for more of that mash just thinking about it...

Read on if you want to find out the nutritional value of this meal...(which only took me 10 minutes to eat!)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Potato Casserole

I've been on a panko kick lately, and anything I can think of to put panko on, I do. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that is made without the crust, thus it's airier and creates a crunchier coating. I have been using it for all my homemade mac and cheese, fried foods,...basically anything you would put breadcrumbs on. Anyway, I used some for my potato casserole the other night, and Yum! The crust was golden, crunchy, and delicious! In fact, I was supposed to share it with my boyfriend, but I ate most of it...oops!

If you enjoy the photo of the dish before I devoured it, please read on for the recipe:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gregoire's Potato Puffs!

There is a French takeout place, Gregoire, in Berkeley I've been in love with for years, and a few years ago, they opened one in Oakland near where I live. They have an amazing menu that changes from lunch to dinner, and month to month. Everything is delicious, but one of my favorite things are their potato puffs! They are so simple but delicious! I don't get it very often, but when I do, I'm in heavens! I got some today for an early evening snack, so it's time to chow down...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Berkeley Bowl Potato Section! Wow!

I finally have a day off today! So, for a fun little outing, my boyfriend and I decided to stop by the new Berkeley Bowl to do a little food shopping. It has been awhile since we've been to either of the Bowls, because of their locations and our lack of a car, we thought it would be a nice stop in our otherwise errand-laden afternoon. It was definitely well worth it! I went straight to the potato section in the produce department, and my goodness! I have never seen so many varieties of potatoes under one roof! There are so many different colors and sizes, my head was reeling just thinking about what I can make with them!

In the end, we just picked up a few food items and had a nice snack at the Berkeley Bowl cafe. Next time I get inspired, I'll know exactly where to go for some exotic potatoes!

Read on for more pictures!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lazy Sunday...

I wish it was true, I would love to lounge around the house and relax after these couple of crazy holiday weeks. Unfortunately, I have to go to work pretty soon and do it all over again. Since I just finished washing a tall mountain of dishes, I'm not terribly inspired to cook anything. Instead, I just settled for surfing the web, looking at food photos and getting hungry. Lucky for me, (and you, I hope.), I found this video that shows you how to speed-peel a boiled potato! I have never seen it done this way before! I must admit that it's pretty impressive and I want to share it with you! :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ham and Eggs Hash

It's been awhile since I've had eggs and potatoes for breakfast (weird!), so I decided to make some this morning. Since I just woke up, I'm pretty lazy about lingering in the kitchen for too long to cook, so my version of this ham and eggs hash pretty much cook itself, well, kind of. Anyway, here it is:

1 medium-size potato, diced 1/4"
1/4 cup of diced ham
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Eggs
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to garnish

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a pan, add diced potatoes in one even layer, season with salt, then cover with lid.

2. Every 5 minutes or so, shake the pan and flip the potatoes, make sure all sides are cooked evenly.

3. After 10-12 minutes, add the diced ham, mix well with potatoes, and continue to cook with the lid on.

4. After a couple of minutes, make a well in the ham and potato mixture, and crack the eggs into the well, then replace the lid.

5. At this point, it depends on how you would like to have your eggs, just keep an eye on it until it's cooked to your liking.

6. Lastly, garnish with a little parsley, season with salt and pepper, and voila! Easy and delicious breakfast!

I Love Potatoes!

I have no idea when it has started, but I have this crazy passion for potatoes and all potato products. I do not claim to be an expert, but I get very happy when I find a recipe or find a restaurant with an amazing potato dish! So I would like this blog to be a chronicle of all things potatoes, recipes, facts, fun stuff...etc.

I am not discriminate of where the potato product comes from, whether they're fries from McDonald's or gourmet steak fries from a fine dining restaurant, all spuds are created equal! I only judge them on how they taste.

I don't care anything about diet, I think life's too short to not eat food you want to eat!

Please feel free to comment or supply recipes of new ways to cook potatoes! Let me know!!

I think I'm gonna make some garlic mash now...