When I grocery shop I usually buy what looks good and rarely buy for more than three days. I have just never bought for my freezer, as once it lands in there, I may as well have thrown it out as it is totally forgotten. Freezing is a way that many people manage their cooking, but I like to shop for fresh and I don’t mind going to different stores for their specialties.
But I digress…
This was about having the main, but having to imagine a really tasty side dish. Grilling the main course, whether chicken, fish, lamb, beef is the easiest of all main course preparations so it should leave a little extra time to make a little extra special side dish. There are many options, but this time I will focus on potatoes. Who does not like potatoes? I have 72 potato recipes on my website, but I chose these three for this post.
Fancy Fondant Potatoes
These potatoes are only fancy because it takes about 5 more minutes to prepare than your average potato for boiling. These fancy potatoes are peeled, and in classic French fashion, they are trimmed and sliced so that they will be uniform in size. This is like pouring sauces into a fine sieve to make the sauce velvety smooth. It’s all about eye appeal and taste.
So, peel the potatoes, cut the ends off to level the potato, then trim the sides so they will form a round/oval cylinder. Then slice each potato into 1 1/2″ or 2″ slices, or, if you have a good cookie cutter, press out perfectly formed rounds or ovals.
If you don’t have a cookie cutter, do your best to shape the potato before slicing, so that it is uniform in size.
You may waste a little as you are shaping the potato, but you would if you used a cookie cutter as well. I just diced the leftovers and put them in the freezer. Now I just have to remember that I have them when I plan to make hash browns. The instructions for cooking are in the recipe for Fancy Fondant Potatoes, so follow the link for more.
Blinis or Potato Pancakes
I keep forgetting how easy it is, and how delicious they are. I have made these crispy yummy potatoes to accompany both Braised Lamb Shanks and Beef Bourguignon. They seem to go well with main dishes that have sauces, I guess it’s the crunch factor all the chefs say is an essential component of a well composed plate.
But I have also made tiny ones, or blinis, to serve as the vessel for creme fraiche and caviar. An indulgence for sure, and a treat for a get together with friends. It used to be that you thought of these dishes for special and even formal occasions, but given that we now live in a very casual world, why not make some caviar blinis for the next time? I think I will.
New Potatoes, Tossed in Butter and Parsley
These potatoes are all about spring. We get fooled as both new potatoes and fingerling potatoes are available year around, but back in the day when I was a child, these little potatoes tossed in butter and pan fried were spring! Add a ton of parsley, a good amount of kosher salt and serve!
These new potatoes are best pan fried until they get toasty and golden on both sides. They don’t take longer than about 15 minutes on your stove top on medium high heat, just shake the pan periodically while you are preparing your main course.
But, these are only 3 of the 72 that I have posted. There are many, many more. Potatoes are wonderful. Enjoy!