I bought these beautiful carrots after passing up a bag of liquidy pre-cut baby carrots. I thought, oh I’ll just peel and cut these myself—more effort, but worth it, right?
I hear so many people complain about the “trouble” of cooking from scratch. I find it so rewarding, both in flavor and in knowing it offers so much more nutrition than pre-packaged meals.
And after saying this, after washing and scrubbing the dang carrots, I got so caught up in flipping the potato cakes I completely forgot about the carrots roasting in the oven. One look at them and Andrew accused me of sneaking him burnt sweet potato fries.
Enough about the carrots, I’m over it. I’m here to also make a case for potatoes. I came from a meat-and-potatoes family, though clearly the meat notion didn’t take. While my husband didn’t grow up eating potatoes, I’m certain we had them in some form every week growing up. That said, even the health nut I am, I’m an absolute sucker for potatoes. And blinis (bah-LEE-nees, Polish potato pancakes) bring me back to all my memorable childhood visits to central PA.
So I’m coming home from school today and it’s frigid out and carbohydrates just seem so appealing. I resisted the urge to make something with four different kinds of cheese and a stick of butter. Instead, I picked up three huge russet potatoes, along with fresh sage and thyme (cue Paul Simon). Tonight: herby potato roti.
If you have a food processor, this is the time to whip out the shredding disc, because grating this much potato by hand would have taken way too long (remember, I spent so much time already with the dang carrots). It took about 40 seconds to grate over 8 cups of potato!
After this, I dried the potato on paper towels, though I eventually used my salad spinner to finish the job. (Remind me to tell you about the magic of salad spinners at some point, and where I find fun gadgets like these for waaaaaaaay less). I added in a teeny bit of chopped onion to my mixture, and then combined the grated potato with the sage and thyme. I was surprised the recipe off of which I based my little potato cakes did not call for any egg or liquid to hold the mixture together, but sure enough the pieces cooked together nicely in a hot skillet of olive oil. I did feel all scientific trying this first in a stainless pan and then in my big nonstick skillet (thanks, Mom) for comparison. Well it was much easier to flip these little guys on the nonstick (duh), besides that I didn’t need to use nearly as much fattening olive oil. But, they did not crisp and brown so beautifully as they did in the first skillet–regardless how high I turned the heat in the nonstick.
Although it seems like the herbs should have burned in these little rotis, they worked out lovely. And they look so artsy, don’t you agree?
I got chicken sausages for Andrew (who was delighted to see a meal with meat), and served our dozens of little potatoes with herbed sour cream (stirred those fresh herbs into plain yogurt for a delicious, nutritious substitute), spiced applesauce, and…yes, the carrot fries.
remember: I love hearing your recipes, cooking ideas, questions, and feedback. and if this photo doesn’t make you want to put on a Simon and Garfunkel album (vinyl or otherwise), I hope you at least have Scarborough Fair in your head the rest of the day.