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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Macaire Potatoes

When we were at Sunflower Market the other day, Michael got a big bag of potatoes. Normally, when I do potatoes for supper they end up chunked and sauteed with some butter and maybe a bit of garlic. Tonight, though, I wanted to do something a little different.

We're really on a budget this week so I had to use what I had in the kitchen. One of my recent cookbook acquisitions was The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook. This is a fabulous work that really steps you through all sorts of techniques from the basics to advanced stuff. Even better it helps you understand what you're doing when preparing dishes rather than just following lists and directions. That really opens up your creativity.

Anyway, I had been flipping through it off and on all afternoon and ran across a recipe for Macaire Potatoes. These looked very easy and tasty. Basically, it takes all three of the favorite ways of cooking potatoes and combines them into one dish! It starts off with baked potatoes, then they're mashed and formed into cakes and finally they are lightly fried. This gives them a great crunchy crust with a luscious mashed potato/baked potato interior. Very tasty and very easy.

6-8 medium baking potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
2 tsp. salt (as needed)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper (as needed)
1/2 cup canola oil (divided for use)

Preheat oven to 425°. Scrub potatoes and blot dry. Pierce skins with fork and place on baking sheet. Bake until very tender and cooked through (about 1 hour). Remove from oven and cut each potato in half. Scoop out potato into a warm mixing bowl using large spoon. (Be sure to use a towel or mitt to handle hot potatoes.) This must be done while the potatoes are very hot!

Add butter, egg, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash until they are smooth and evenly blended. Heat 2 tbs. of canola oil in large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Form the potatoes into cakes. (I found that using a 3" cookie cutter as a form worked wonderfully.) Place cakes into hot oil making sure they do not touch. Allow to brown then turn with spatula. Remove from oil and serve while very hot. Note: replace oil as necessary.

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