My mom and I once had that conversation about being stranded on a deserted island. Since we’re foodies, we tossed, “who’d you take with you?” and asked instead, ‘What one food would you take?” Mom’s was potatoes. I grimaced.
“Really?” I asked. “Potatoes!?”
It was then my mother showed how wise she was, stating, “You can do a lot with potatoes!”
300 Best Potato Recipes Review
Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh, author of 300 Best Potato Recipes: A Complete Cook’s Guide understands the potato. Unlike many cookbooks, 300 Best Potato Recipes offers two chapters of fascinating information about the potato.
The Spud From All Angels
Starting with The Spud From All Angels, we engage in trivia, history, background and nutrition. It covers past terms of endearment: “royal orange” and “edible stone.” Discloses it was ultimately the Spanish who gave it the name we refer to today.
It’s classified as a family member of the deadly nightshade (just in case the “deadly” didn’t clue you in, it’s poisonous). The Germans thought it caused leprosy, and the German philosopher, Nietzsche, thought a diet rich in potatoes was to blame for alcohol abuse.
The Irish were the ones to coin the term “spuds,” which referred to the type of spade they used in cultivation. There’s even the great outlaw, Dilinger mentioned…remember when he carved a potato to look like a gun and escaped prison?
A World of Potatoes,
While Chapter One is great reading, the next chapter, A World of Potatoes, will have you an expert in basic potatoes. Classified by floury (high starch), Waxy (low starch), All-Purpose (medium starch), and Specialty (heirloom varieties vary on starch contents) the reader learns there are more than 4,000 potato varieties. Don’t worry; you haven’t missed much; only 400-500 are actively in production. And just in case you’re ever in the “deserted island” scenario and have, like Mom, opted to take the potato, this book covers 200 of those potatoes, providing their Origin, Availability, Description, and Uses!
After getting to know potatoes, the book moves into ten chapters containing 300 recipes that all use the potato. Everything from soups and appetizers to desserts! Some traditional favorites like Potatoes Au Gratin, and some are not so traditional, like African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup. Following the trend of all things potato, every recipe includes a brief description, helpful tips or a history of the dish. It’s easy to read with boldface ingredients and a glance tips in the sidebar.
These are just some of the delicious possibilities that the humble potato offers in this wide and varied assortment of recipes:
- Classic mash de luxe
- Garlic roasties with rosemary
- Real English chips
- Gnocchi-roni and cheese
- Saffron potato cakes
- All-American potato pancakes
- Sweet potato-crusted shrimp
- East Coast chowder
- Creole potato salad
- French potato galette
- Fennel, potato and white bean stew
- Potato lasagna
- Oyster pie with top mash
- Sweet potato gnocchi
- Mennonite country potato doughnuts
- Potato fudge.
Appetizers and snacks, soups and salads, side dishes, main courses, hearty vegetarian main dishes, baked goods and desserts make up this vast and colorful collection of recipes. The author also includes a complete history and origins of potatoes and a comprehensive chapter covering hundreds of potato varieties.
I have enjoyed reading this book, learning about potatoes, and discovering many new ways to incorporate them into everyday meals. I wish there were more recipe pictures, the sixteen are lovely, but with 300 recipes, I’d have liked to have seen more!
This is a great book whether you love potatoes, are looking for something more in the kitchen or enjoy a good read.*I received 300 Best Potato Recipes in order to facilitate an honest review. The opinions, where expressed, are my own and were in no way influenced by the sponsor. Others experiences may vary.