Tuesday, June 28, 2011


As I have explained in the past http://alwayspassionateaboutfood.blogspot.com/2011/03/perfect-egg.html, my love affair with the egg began many moons ago. I must admit however that I share the same affinity and obsession for potatoes as I do for eggs. I apologize to the egg whom I adore, but the truth had to come out....there is someone else. POTATO. I am sure the egg will forgive as I am Russian after all and you know what they say about Russian's and potatoes, right? Well in case you didn't, here it goes.

Potatoes are an integral part of Russian cuisine. I grew up on potatoes cooked in every way, shape and form, as most Russian's do. The potato is practically part of almost every meal. Be it boiled, fried, mashed, baked, etc. Often it is served along side a slew of cold and hot appetizers, or part of a stew, soup and MY FAVORITE, boiled and then pan sauteed until crisp with mushrooms and onions!

Like a good friend, potatoes are reliable, comforting, solid and always there for you. The number of ways to make potatoes is infinite and it is not often that I come across a potato preparation I am not familiar with. Which is exactly what happened the other day while reading the following blog I really enjoy http://lickmyspoon.com/recipes/baked-chicken-recipe-tuscan-style/. The chicken recipe was phenomenal as is but then something caught my eye. The writer suggested serving the chicken with something called "potato smashers". Here is when things came to a sudden stop. I literally heard the breaks inside my head.

I backed up very slowly and clicked on the link she provided to an earlier post. Here is when it happened. As I read the recipe for potato smashers http://lickmyspoon.com/recipes/potato-smashers/ I salivated. Saliva actually dripped from my open mouth and on to the keypad of my lap top. I kid you not, I was so happy no one was there to see this as my husband would have mocked me for weeks to come had he witnessed it. The recipe by the way was awesome! I have made them 4 times since and served the smashers alongside chicken stew, broiled fish, with a salad, and on their own! They are such a crowd pleaser every time and disappear within minutes. Garlicky herby goodness, with just the prefect bite and crunch, these smashers are so yum!

I also love a great potato salad. I make one using red potatoes and serve it warm or room temperature with a tangy Dijon vinaigrette. The dressing is so good and the crunch from the bell peppers and celery I add to it goes so well with the moist potatoes. Again, no matter how you look at it potatoes are just the best. I can truly eat them every single day.

14-16 small red potatoes
1/2 green bell pepper cubed small
1/2 yellow or red bell pepper cubed small
2 celery sticks cubed small
1/4 of a red onion cubed small

For The Dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red vine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk the Dijon and red vine vinegar together until combined and the slowly add the olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper and set aside.
Cook potatoes until fork tender. Drain, wait until they slightly cool so you are able to handle them and cut each one in half. In a large bowl, using your hands gently toss the potatoes with the bell peppers, celery, onion and the dressing. Serve warm or at temperature. If you'd like for added protein, sprinkle with 1 chopped hard boiled egg on top just before serving...you see I can never fully let go of the egg!

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