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Tag Archives | Potatoes

Irish Potato Apple Mash

Mashed potatoes and apples with barely sweet background.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Get your glam on

Fancy restaurants are serving ‘dressy’ mashed potatoes. They’re getting their glam on. Muslin plain gussy’s up to chiffon silk potatoes with the addition of root vegetables. Rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, celery root and carrots are game changers; like rosy cheeks and a sleek black dress.

Here’s a switch, try fruit – apples. The first time I served this mash I got “mmmmmmm’s” partly because it’s a new, interesting version but mostly because it’s so delicious. Slightly sweet, the apples definitely change potato comfort into a glitzy night out on the town. The blush of potatoes and applesnutmeg isn’t really there but does something important without taking a bow. It doesn’t need a gob of cream, butter or cheese to be a show stopper. Makes me smile.
You might also enjoy White Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Carrot Sticks, Parmesan Zucchini Crisps, Thyme and Garlic Polenta and Risotto.

3 of 3 part series ”St. Pat’s Celebration Menu”. Part 1 Shamrock Corned Beef Brisket and Part 2 Cabbage and Carrots. More about St. Patrick’s Day.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Maple Oatmeal Scones
2011 AniversaRecipe – Southern Pecan Pie

Recipe: Irish Potato Apple Mash

Prep Time: 8 Minutes | Cook Time: 17 Minutes | Yield: 6 Servings | Level: Easy

butter, nutmeg, sugar

  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled, chopped
  • salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut in chunks
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    Special Equipment – large pot

    Irish Potato Apple Mash1 Place potatoes and apples in large pot and cover with water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, about 13-17 minutes.

    2 Drain. Add butter, sugar, nutmeg and mash. Adjust for salt.

    Cut the potatoes and apples in the same size chunks so they cook evenly.

    Serve this mash with Shamrock Corned Beef Brisket and Cabbage and Carrots.

    This is a delicious diversion from regular mashed potatoes. Serve with chicken or pork.

    Dish Designer

    • Exchange russet for white potatoes.

    Inspiration – Lucinda Scala Quinn
    Cook with Sauces
    Written by
    Photographs by Helen Horton
    Updated: March 15, 2013

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White Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy mashed potatoes with creamy cheese mixed into the mash.

The Sauce: Cream Cheese – Soften a brick of cream cheese and it becomes a creamy thick, rich mix-in for mash potatoes. The heat of the freshly cooked Russets turns it into a mesmerizing melted cheese sauce.


Dave’s mash

When I was in college, a friend from church decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner just before everyone left for the holiday. It was a pot luck affair. I don’t remember what dish I made but I remember what Dave brought. He made the most heavenly bowl of mashed potatoes. Unsuspecting dinner guests served up some and upon the first bite asked, “Dave, these potatoes are fabulous. What’s in them?” Dave’s secret was cream cheese. I became an instant convert.

Going forward they became my Thanksgiving potatoes and slowly crept into everyday mashed potatoes. Russet-PotatoesThey’re a bit deceiving because they’re so white they look about as plain as possible. They need absolutely no butter, cream or Half & Half, just a little skim milk to reach the perfect consistency.

2011 AniversaRecipe – Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Recipe: White Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Yield: 12 Servings | Level: Easy


  • 5 lbs Russet potatoes, about 11 medium
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 – 2/3 cup milk

1 Peel and cut the potatoes in small, even chunks or slices. Place in a large pot and cover with tepid water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until fork tender, 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the chunks.

2 Drain the water from the pot. Run through the potatoes with a potato masher breaking down the potatoes. Cut the cream cheese in a few clumps and add to the pot. Continue mashing and combine the cheese into the potatoes. Add milk as needed for the desired consistency. Adjust salt.

Cut the potatoes in even size chunks to ensure even cooking and reduce lumps.

Use tepid water because hot water will cause uneven cooking and cold water takes a longer time to come to a boil.

For homemade potatoes with some texture, don’t mash out all the lumps. For smooth creamy ones, mash until smooth then add the milk to desired consistency.

Idaho Russets cooked to fork tender mash up into fluffier potatoes than red potatoes. Russet rule of thumb – they work well for for fluffy, softer applications like baked and mashed potatoes. Reds rule of thumb – they hold their shape better so they work well for roasting and salads.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange milk for Half & Half or heavy cream.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: November 13, 2012

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“One, Two, Three Potato” Series

All about potatoes.

Potatoes everywhere

Potatoes were a ‘frequent flyer’ for dinner when I was growing up. We did some white rice and pasta but mostly mashed, baked or roasted potatoes. Years later our family lived in Japan for over five years. We didn’t eat potatoes very often because good ones weren’t available. The locals mostly eat sweet potatoes.

Our family discovered roasted purple sweet potatoes. A special fire roasting oven loaded in the bed of a mini pickup truck circulated through our neighborhood around suppertime. A twangy Japanese melody broadcasts like an ice cream truck cruising through the neighborhood. Mama-sans emerge through their doors with a furoshiki to protect their fingers from the hot potatoes. Curious, I followed suit with my pot holder in hand and purchased a purple fire-roasted sweet potato. I sliced it into bites to share with the kids. Next time they heard the twangy tune the kids urged, “Mom, get your pot holder. We want more potatoes.” Who could resist?

Idaho-Russet-PotatoesFor my November series I’m featuring three potato dishes, one with white, one with sweet, and one with red potatoes. They’re simple, easy and delicious. They’ll work well for a Thanksgiving dinner or any week night supper. It starts out with my White Cheesy Mashed Potatoes I’ve been making since college. Next I’ll bring you a sweet potato / apple dish with pecans. I finish with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes where you let the oven do all the work. You may want to serve more than one of these potatoes dishes at your holiday feast.


White-Cheesy-Mashed-PotatoesTuesday, November 13, 2012 – White Cheesy Mashed Potatoes – Russet Idaho potatoes cooked to fork tender and whipped with cream cheese.




Sweet-Potatoes-Apples-Pecan-Honey-SauceWednesday, November 14, 2012 – Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Pecans – Double baked sweet potatoes with crisp apples in a crunchy pecan honey sauce.




Roasted-Roasmary-PotatoesThursday, November 15, 2012 – Rosemary Roasted Potatoes – A ‘no peel’ red potato dish roasted with rosemary where the oven does all the work. Tips on how to bake crispy fries in the oven.



Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: November 5, 2012

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Scrambled eggs, diced potatoes and everything else in the fridge.

Dad’s breakfast feast

That’s pronounced ‘slal-a-ma-goo’. It is a fusion of Dad meets leftovers for breakfast. Dad didn’t do much cooking while I was growing up; not even too interested in the traditional man stuff like grilling and such. Occasionally he would get inspired by the Thursday and Friday night leftovers in the fridge and start clanking around in the kitchen on Saturday morning. He would pull out a leftover baked potato or two and one serving of corn that wouldn’t otherwise see another light of day. A little grated cheddar and a few eggs whipped into a scramble to hold it all together and, there you have it, Slalamagoo. No two versions were the same. He would draw the children, there are seven of us, into the process like a pied piper spinning a tale of exotic fare. Before we’d know it, we couldn’t wait to taste his concoction.

Eggs-and-Potato-Skillet-Hash-SlalamagooDad passed away a couple of weeks ago and I was sorry that I didn’t get this recipe posted a month or two ago. It has been on my radar for several months especially as I have seen dad’s health decline. I know you’re out there dad and hope you can bend earthward to see my tribute to your culinary efforts. Remember those Saturday morning cooking events? I love you so much and really miss your presence. So here’s to you and those sizzling skillet supper ingredients made over for breakfast.  Do you have a leftover memory? Please share.

Recipe: Slalamagoo

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 12 Minutes | Yield: 6 servings | Level: Easy


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-2 leftover baked potatoes, cubed;
  • leftover vegetables; corn, green beans, peppers, peas, etc
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh or pickled jalapeno
  • A few eggs, beaten
  • 1/4  cup grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • diced tomatoes, optional

1 Heat a non-stick fry pan on high and add the oil.

2 Scoop the potatoes into the pan and brown. Don’t stir right at first, just let them brown and then gently turn to brown other surfaces, about 5-7 minutes.

3 Add the vegetables, jalapeno and cook until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.

4 Pour in the eggs then sprinkle in the cheese.

5 Salt and pepper to taste. Let cook and gently turn until eggs are just cooked.

6 Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes combining just so the residual heat warms them through. Serve and enjoy.

The amount of eggs depends on how many servings are needed and how many other leftovers are available. Add enough eggs to just kind of hold it all together or make it the primary ingredient so it serves a crowd of kids.

Dish Designer

  • No leftover baked potatoes? Quick bake one or two in the microwave.
  • Exchange jalapeno for a few dashes of Tabasco.
  • Exchange cheddar for Monterrey Jack or colby.
  • Add some onions like chopped scallions or diced yellow or red onions, whatever you have in your crisper or pantry.

Inspiration – George A. Horton, Jr.
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 30, 2012

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Oven Baked Fries with Fry Sauce

Crispy oven baked fries with fry sauce for dipping

Ten cent pack of fries

Ever since I was a kid and my family would splurge on a McDonald’s hamburger and a 10 cent ‘shared between two siblings’ pack of fries, I have been a fan.  I like the thin and crispy or the thick and tender steak fries.  But alas, I don’t eat them too often because of the fat and calories.  That is until I started making oven baked fries.  Now we’re talkin’.

Potatoes are inexpensive and they keep well in a cool dark place so you can always have them on hand.  These fries are easy to make, cheap, and crispy.  You can make your favorite size, thin or thick. Potatoes-Cut-With-Apple-CorerIf you like them cut like steak fries like my niece Lindsay, try using an apple slicer/corer to make short order of the slicing job.  Season them sorta plain or jazz them up with some fresh herbs and spices, whatever you have on hand and what would compliment your dinner.

Fry sauce is my favorite with fries and I have jacked up the flavor with some hot sauce but you can dip them in plain old ketchup or any other dipping sauce you love.

My recent discovery, thanks to mom, is the new Reynold’s non-stick foil.  It is genius!!  I love to cover my baking sheet with foil so I can throw it out and save time cleaning.  But fries, and some other foods like oven baked chicken, stick to the foil.  In fact, these foods will stick to the pan if you don’t use foil. So if you spend a little extra on a roll of non-stick foil and use it when you need to prevent sticking, you will be in French fry heaven.

Recipe: Oven Baked Fries with Fry Sauce

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Level: Easy


  • 4 medium Idaho russets
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced rosemary

Fry Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp chipotle Tabasco

1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2 Cut the unpeeled potatoes into fries, thick for steak fries, thinner for regular.Oven-Baked-Fries- Fry-Sauce

3 On a large baking sheet lined with non-stick foil, pile the fries in the middle.  Shake over a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Add the rosemary and drizzle the olive oil over all. Toss to coat all fries then spread out on a single layer to brown  evenly.

4 Bake in a hot oven until tender, about 425 degrees for 20-35 minutes depending on how thick you cut them.  Half way through, stir and turn them over to brown on more sides.

5 In the meantime, mix the sauce ingredients and let the flavors marry while the fries bake.

6 Serve with oven fries with fry sauce.

As soon as the potatoes are seasoned and stirred, place in the oven.  This prevents them the salt from drawing out too much water before they begin to cook and crisp.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange rosemary for thyme or omit for plain fries.
  • Add a dash of cayenne pepper for some spicy heat or smoked paprika for a colorful smoke flavor.
  • Vary the size of the fries, matchstick are small and crispy, steak fries are large and meaty, and medium are right in the middle.
  • Add cayenne to the fry sauce for more heat.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 28, 2012

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Chorizo Crowned Bakers

Spicy sausage with vegetables served over a Idaho baked potatoes

‘Coins in the couch’ creation

Sometimes you just want to find something delicious to eat after church without planning and executing a big pot-roasted dinner.  Here is one of those ‘coins in the couch’ creations where you craft a meal out of items you foraged from your fridge and pantry.  Combining Ciara’s Mexican chorizo and vegetables with my Idaho bakers and some sour cream and cheese, voila!
The juicy, zesty sausage sacue blends with the potato as a colorful palette against the steaming hot meat mixture cooled by the cheese and cream. Creates a ramped up Idaho baker in a cool and spicy sacue combo.

Recipe: Chorizo Crowned Bakers

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 60 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Level: Easy


  • Chorizo-Idaho-Bakers-Sauce4 large Idaho Baking Potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1/2 large or 1 small green pepper
  • 1 lb of Mexican Chorizo
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • sour cream

1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2 Wash the potatoes and give each a poke with a knife to release steam.  Place them in the oven and bake at 425 degrees until when squeezed with an oven mitt, they easily give way and the peel is crusty, about 1 hour.

3 In the meantime, heat a wok or large fry pan on high heat and add the oil.  Add the onions and green peppers.  Stir fry until they are crisp tender.

4 Squeeze the chorizo out of the skins right into the wok.  Stir around with the vegetables breaking it up while mixing.

When the sausage is cooked, add the tomatoes and continue to cook just until heated through.  Adjust for salt and pepper.

6 Spoon the hot and spicy chorizo sauce mixture over a split baker and top with cheese and a dab of sour cream.

Idaho Bakers are potatoes grown in the fertile soil of Idaho.  ‘Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil give Idaho Potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance.’  When hot out of the oven, split open and gently squeeze for a tasty, fluffy, steaming delicious baked potato.  More at

Dish Designer

  • Exchange chorizo for Italian or Spanish sausage.
  • Exchange chorizo for ground beef but add a little crushed red pepper.
  • To shorten the potato baking time, cook them for 5-8 minutes in the microwave then transfer to a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes to finish baking and add texture to the peel.
  • Exchange fresh tomatoes for 1 cup of canned diced tomatoes.
  • Exchange green for red, orange or yellow peppers.
  • Exchange baked potatoes for rice, pasta or noodles.

Inspiration – Ciara Dresser
Cooking with Sauces
Written: by
Photographs: by Helen Horton
Updated: April 23, 2012

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