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Potluck with a theme -- Potaoes


jsmeeker
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Some of my friends are getting together for a little gathering Saturday. When we do this, we frequently like to do a potluck thing for food. This time, the host has decided we should have a theme ingredient. The theme is potatoes.

Help me pick a potato dish. I have to prepare it in advance, then transport it in my car. Maybe like 20-30 miles, I think. It should be something that can easily be served buffet style and doesn't really require complicated assembly, plating or cooking at the party site. (I could most likely heat something like a soup)

One thought I had was vichyssoise. It's commonly served cold so that eliminates the need to heat it. But if people wanted it hot, I should be able to do that pretty easily. bringing some chopped chives for garnish would be easy to do as well. I have a recipe for a rustic potato and leek soup that I like, and it making a vichyssoise from it ought to be easy, right? (puree it, then finish it with cream?? )

nobody has potato salad yet, but that seems kind of lame. Unless maybe I can come up with something "fancy" or something that isn't traditional American picnic potato salad.

anyway.. fire away with ideas and suggestions.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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One of my favorite potato salad preparations is with haricots verts and a mustardy vinaigrette. Not at all boring - but I like your vichyssoise idea better. Maybe you could even garnish with chive oil? That way you don't need to worry about the chives looking sad after being pre-chopped...

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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A less obvious contribution would be a dessert based on potatoes - I am pretty sure I have a chocolate potato cake recipe somewhere, and I am almost as certain I have a coconut-ice recipe somewhere. Do you need something like that?

Benjamin Franklin - during his career as an American diplomat in Paris - attended an all-potato dinner orchestrated by Auguste Parmentier, who at that time was trying to promote the potato as a good food, especially for the poor. I did something like that once myself, for the birthday of a good friend who "hadn't met a potato he didn't like". It was great fun.

You will let us know the final outcome, wont you?

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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I've been wanting to make Jansson's Temptation after learning about it in this thread.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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A less obvious contribution would be a dessert based on potatoes - I am pretty sure I have a chocolate potato cake recipe somewhere, and I am almost as certain I have a coconut-ice recipe somewhere.  Do you need something like that?

Benjamin Franklin - during his career as an American diplomat in Paris - attended an all-potato dinner orchestrated by Auguste Parmentier, who at that time was trying to promote the potato as a good food, especially for the poor. I did something like that once myself, for the birthday of a good friend who "hadn't met a potato he didn't like". It was great fun. 

You will let us know the final outcome, wont you?

I'm well known for making desserts for this group. I even joked to someone that he should make potatoe ice cream since he likes to make ice cream and it seems to be a common theme on "Iron Chef". (make ice cream out of the secret ingredient)

and yes, I will report back with what I decided on.

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Mmmmm, I love potatoes.

One of my favorites is gratin dauphinois. Combine milk and cream and a clove of garlic and nutmeg and simmer briefly.

In a large casserole dish, layer thinly sliced potatoes with a combination of gruyere, emmenthal, salt and pepper.

Pour cream mizture over top.

Top with freshly grated parmesan, and bake covered until potatoes are soft. You can transport in this state then brown the top under the broiler at your destination.

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A less obvious contribution would be a dessert based on potatoes - I am pretty sure I have a chocolate potato cake recipe somewhere, and I am almost as certain I have a coconut-ice recipe somewhere.  Do you need something like that?

I'm well known for making desserts for this group. I even joked to someone that he should make potatoe ice cream since he likes to make ice cream and it seems to be a common theme on "Iron Chef". (make ice cream out of the secret ingredient)

I love Janet's idea. This would be distinctive.

The second Moosewood cookbook has a recipe for a really good Russian chcocolate cake made with mashed potatoes. Very moist and not at all heavy. I no longer have my copy, but perhaps there is someone out there with the book or a different recipe.

One of the best things I made recently with potatoes was in Suzanne Goin's cookbook, Sunday Dinners at Lucques, however, fresh heirloom tomatoes made the dish. Try to make this an event earlier in the year next year: carmelized onions, herbs, slivers of amazing yellow potatoes and four different types of tomatoes are built up with layers dotted with butter, sprinkled with flour and baked, sealed tight for TWO HOURS to absorb a pool of cream.

If you have access to Spanish ingredients, the second time I made this with pimenton (smoked, bittersweet) and non-Idaho market potatoes, I loved it. You have to really let the sauce reduce and thicken. It would also be different and I suspect it reheats rather well given the fact that it takes time to transform the spiced water into sauce.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I love Roesti (should be ulmauted "o" sans/ohne "e" but I am lazy) - the 'Swiss National Dish' but sadly I've never found a recipe that equals the Hero brand I buy ready to cook. I've never served them to anyone who didn't fall in love with them so perhaps one of our Swiss society members could help. They could be done ahead and crisped-up at service, I think.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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One of my favorite potato salad preparations is with haricots verts and a mustardy vinaigrette.

That's similar to the first suggestion I thought of: a French-style potato salad. Or even a full-on salad nicoise (forgive me, I'm too lazy to dig up the right diacritical on the "c").

Another possible direction is a potato curry dish. There are several variants from different regions of India; I think Madhur Jaffrey's "World of the East Vegetarian Cooking" has at least a couple.cast-iron

Or you could just show up with a big skillet and a bunch of pre-grated potatoes (plus other required ingredients), and set yourself up as a latke-frying station at the buffet. :laugh:

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Does it have to be an all potato dish? If not, something like a shepherd's or cottage pie would work. Could be made ahead and reheated. Or a potato puff or potatoes madelines. Both can be made ahead and baked off on site.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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potato bread

potato soup

twice-baked potatoes stuffed with all sorts of good stuff

potato gratin

potato crusted something (fish)

potato croquettes

potato knishes

potato perogies (always, unbelievably popular)

Shepherd's Pie

homemade potato chips

potato borekas

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One of my favorite soups is Caldo Verde--potatoes, kale and chorizo. It's a chunky soup/stew and has a flavor that is more than the separate parts.

Little potato pancakes topped with sour cream,applesauce or both would be a nice fingerfood type of dish. I'm not sure how well they would reheat though.

Potato Strudel which also has some cracklings and sour cream in the filling is excellent. One might be able to make these as small individual servings and reheat. I've seen some strudel recipes which say that the unbaked strudel can be frozen and cooked from there but haven't tried it yet.

Another idea would be empanads filled with meat and potatoes. click

It would be great if someone has a racettle set up as each person could make their own. It's not traditional but another alternative could be a cheese fondue with small boiled creamer potatoes (cooked just until done so they don't fall apart) when skewered. Serve wtth some good German/Swiss pickles and some cured meats.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I love the idea of these - same principle as Scotch Eggs. Haven't made them yet, but they are on my to-do list for the next casual lunch.

Surprise Potatoes.

Wash some large potatoes, but do not peel them; cut a small piece off the top and scoop out the centre; fill with sausage meat; replace the lid and bake in rather a hot oven from one to one and a half hours; a slice should also be cut from the bottom part of the potatoes, that they may stand flat on the dish.

[From: “The Day by Day Cookery Book”; Mrs A.N. Whybrow; 1900]

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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Does it have to be an all potato dish?  If not, something like a shepherd's or cottage pie would work.  Could be made ahead and reheated.  Or a potato puff or potatoes madelines.  Both can be made ahead and baked off on site.

it doesn't have to be all potato. Someone is actually going to do sheppard's pie.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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One of my favorite potato salad preparations is with haricots verts and a mustardy vinaigrette.  Not at all boring - but I like your vichyssoise idea better.  Maybe you could even garnish with chive oil?  That way you don't need to worry about the chives looking sad after being pre-chopped...

Like Megan and MizDucky this is one of my favorites also. I'm not sure where they gets theirs, but if you want a recipe there is a good one on epicurious from Gourmet...Potatoes and Haricots Verts with Vinaigrette. I like the addition of the champagne vinegar in this one. Overall, this combination is a pretty easy salad to wing.

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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There are a lot of good ideas here. I'm really intrigued by the idea of the mashed potato chocolate cake. I could do that, plus maybe a savory dish. Like the vichyssoise I was originally thinking about. Or maybe some sort of potato salad like the French one.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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