America loves potatoes, which means we take them — and their preparation — very seriously. Whether you make them to accompany a roast for a special holiday dinner or to star on their own, here are some recipes you may want to consider.
Tossing potatoes into the pan alongside a roast is about as easy as it gets. The potatoes roast along with whatever else is in the pan, and they get soft and creamy and pick up flavor from the drippings. For a high-crunch factor, Super-Crisp Roasted Potatoes may be the crispiest, lightest roast potatoes you will ever make. Starchy baking potatoes are simmered until barely tender and then tossed with fat — duck fat is the bomb but olive oil works, too — before going into the oven to roast. The rough edges from the simmering leave lots of nooks and crannies for the fat, which creates that nice crust.
If you prefer a more stylish presentation, Roast Hedgehog Potatoes look like little fans when they come out of the oven. They get flavor and some color from the fresh herbs tucked between the slices, which crisp up as they cook. Here, too, duck fat can be your friend, as can olive oil.
Leaving the crunch factor behind, chef and restauranteur Daniel Boulud’s Potato Gratin Forestiere is a casserole of very thinly sliced potatoes layered with wild mushrooms, bathed in cream and then slowly baked so that the ingredients meld together to make a mesmerizing new whole. Chef and restauranteur Sang Yoon’s Triple Cheese Curried Cauliflower Gratin is rich and intoxicating in an entirely different way. The cream is steeped in vadouvan and curry leaves before it is poured over the paper-thin potatoes layered with cauliflower, onions and three cheeses. The result is gooey, creamy and bursting with flavor.
Mashed potatoes are a bit simpler to prepare. Rather than slicing, dicing and layering, everything gets smashed together to form a uniform, fluffy mash. These Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes with Fried Sage include yogurt, which elevates basic mashed potatoes a notch or two by bringing a subtle tang and extra creaminess to the party. Leaving the skins on allows for a bit of texture as does the crunch of the fried sage, which also makes a beautiful, understated garnish. Here are more recipes for mashed potatoes.
Lucques and A.O.C. chef-owner Suzanne Goin doesn’t go for a full-on mash; instead she gently smashes the spuds with butter and Italian parsley in her Fingerling Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Chives. She then stirs in a dollop of luxurious, tangy crème fraîche — the sophisticated French cousin of American sour cream — before topping them with fresh chives.