Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recipe Thursday: Sneaky Potatoes

Yes, sneaky potatoes. Why are they sneaky, you ask? Because they don't include just potatoes.

So, this installment of Recipe Thursday was inspired by those breakfast potato things/home fries I love to order when we have breakfast out. They are so yummy. I didn't really start out following any real recipe for this, so there is room for improvement.

Anyway, the sneaky-non-potato part of this side dish is the turnip. I was thinking about making my own skillet-potatoes (see how many names those yummy things go by?!), and also thinking about how to get more veggies into our diet (way back when we were in TX), and I remembered a conversation I had had about turnips, and that they could be cooked just like you would potatoes. I'd successfully done the skillet potato thing before, so I decided to try adding turnips into the mix.

So, you start with however many potatoes and turnips you think it will take to feed your crowd, and wash/peel/chop. Rough, one-inch-ish cubes seems to work well. Peeling the potatoes is completely up to you.  It will be tasty with or without potato skins. The turnips, though, you do need to peel, and not just till the purple comes off. If you slice one in half, you'll see a slight color variation around the edge. You need to get all of that skin off. Trust me, it will cook up stringy and hard to chew. I've made the mistake before.

Then, you throw the potatoes into a hot pan, with a sparse amount of oil/butter. I have non-stick pans, so I really can use very small amounts of oil. Medium to medium high heat works. I like to get the browning on at least a few sides (yum!), so I do spend some of the cooking time on the higher end.

Salt, pepper, and season to taste. Stir constantly (although, you can be working on other things, just keep an eye/ear out).

In my experience, the potatoes take longer to reach the soft, ready-to-eat texture than do turnips. So, after 5-10 minutes, toss the turnips into the pan, too. Season more if needed. Keep stirring.

All in all, I'll usually spend a half hour so with the potatoes on the stove. I also almost always make too many, and then eat too many. That little fact is more to give you a gauge. The amount I usually make would probably do nicely as a side for a family of four, but I end up eating nearly a full serving as I am cooking them. Feel like you know more about me than you want to yet?

Anyway, you do have a window when it comes to the desired texture of the potatoes, so they can come off the stove a bit sooner, or stay on there longer, depending on how the rest of the meal is coming together.

Room for error, I like that. ;)

Do you share my love of breakfast potatoes? Do you think I should have told my husband that there were potatoes and turnips in his side dish from the get go, or was waiting a bit ok?

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