What is Dr. Potato’s favorite way to eat potatoes right now?A:
OK, first a couple of confessions before I answer your question. I eat a lot of potatoes in my line of work as it is always fun to see how inventive chefs can be with something as basic as a potato. Sometimes friends will recommend a restaurant to me just based on knowing I’ll want to try the sides if they include potatoes. I usually experience this wide variety of tastes and preparations when I travel.
When at home, there’s nothing better than a perfectly prepared Idaho russet potato. To me, that’s one that’s washed and scrubbed to remove any soil, not brushed with oil (as I like an extra crispy skin) and when I blossom the potato open, the steam releases and the texture is dry and fluffy inside so it soaks up a pat of rich butter and Plugra is my weakness.
At a restaurant I tend to want to try the chefs execution of fingerling potatoes. I know that chefs love that they are easy to portion, cook up quickly whether boiled, baked or roasted and they often feel free to experiment a little on the spices or flavor enhancements. However, top of mind for me right now are two outstanding potato dishes, one from a food truck and one from a fixed price upscale dinner selection.
At Roli Roti, a food truck operating out of the San Francisco bay area, the fingerling potatoes are prepared by cutting up into large chunks, placing at the bottom of a rotisserie filled with Chicken on skewers. The chicken fat drips onto the potatoes as both are heated by flames. Once crispy on the edges and soft in the middle, these are placed in a take out container or served along side the roasted chicken. A little sea salt and ground black pepper and I’m in potato heaven.
At Progress, in San Francisco out by Japan town I attended a fixed price dinner where you select four items and can add on. The “Potato Cloud” starts with a small shallow bowl, black caviar in the center, crispy smoky ground potato chips around the edges and then a very rich cream, butter and potato foam, extra thick on top. A little portion but an explosive taste.
What is your favorite way of preparing potatoes?