With the price of rice, wheat, and corn going up, many thrifty cooks are turning to the potato for frugal and delicious meals. Nearly everyone loves potatoes, and besides, they are a versatile food that can be prepared in so many ways. Here are some frugal and delicious recipes made from potatoes.
Things You'll Need
- other ingrediants
- use of a kitchen
During times of real food shortage in the past many families in The United States of America, Ireland, Russia, and many other countries escaped starvation because of the lowly potato. Many of our most cherished potato dishes originated during these times.
The potato has been cultivated for thousands of years, and in every civilization that has cooked and prepared it, in whatever fashion, a deep and abiding respect and love has grown up around the potato.
Not only is the potato filling, tasty, and easy to prepare, but it goes well with most meats, and is perfect in soups or stews, and other hot dishes.
Potatoes are easy to grow and easy to store. Potatoes can also be home canned; alone, or with other vegetables, or frozen, or dehydrated, so that they can be stored even longer.
The simplest and most frugal way to cook potatoes is to boil them. Often, during times of hardship, boiled potatoes would be the only food poor people had. To a family that has known hunger nothing is ever wasted, so potatoes were usually boiled in their skins, and the skins were also eaten. The cooking water was used too, either right then, or saved to use in soups later.
Potatoes were often cooked with cabbage, in Ireland for example. Usually the potatoes were boiled, then mashed, then mixed with the hot, cooked cabbage. The green cabbage was chopped and cooked in boiling water in the same fashion as you make boiled potatoes.
Often this was all there was to the dish, although if they had it, a cook would add some butter, or cream, or fried bacon, or bacon grease to the dish. Sometimes, nowadays, grated cheese is melted over the top of this dish.
This is one of those comfort foods that people are fond of, even when they can afford more expensive foods. It is actually delicious and I eat this dish quite often.
Fried Potatoes With Eggs
This dish is simple but really tasty. I make it all the time.
Fry as many potatoes as you need or want in hot oil in a heavy skillet.
When the potatoes are browned on one side, turn over and brown the other side.
When potatoes are browned on both sides, and cooked through, break a few eggs over the top of the potatoes, and gently stir through the dish so that all the potatoes are covered with egg. Continue cooking until eggs are done.
Season to taste, and serve with hot sauce, salsa, or ketchup if desired.
In Mexico, cooks use all kinds of fillings in their tacos, including diced and boiled potatoes. I love potato tacos, they are really filling, and potatoes go well with cooked beans, diced onions, chopped tomatoes, lettuce or cabbage, and salsa.
You can also use leftover fried potatoes, or leftover mashed potatoes in tacos. They are really delicious too.
Potato Soup and Chowders are another excellent potato dish that thrifty cooks have been making for generations.
Follow any good potato soup recipe, and omit the bacon for the vegetarians or if you can't afford bacon right now. Chopped onions, sauteed until brown, and diced celery are good in potato chowder.
I like to add some diced, cooked potatoes to my refried rice too, as it adds bulk, and is very filling. This is especially good if you have no meat for your refried rice, with cooked potatoes you don't even miss it.
Another thrifty dish is the baked potato dinner. Just top cooked, baked potatoes, split in half, with whatever toppings you like and can afford. Butter is always good, and so is chopped broccoli, salsa, a bit of chili, or some chopped chives. Sprinkle some grated cheese on the top too, and broil till the cheese melts.
Potato pancakes are another delicious potato meal that is thrifty and satisfying. These are made from raw, grated, potatoes, that are then fried. You can add some grated onion to the potato pancakes before cooking them if you want. Add just enough egg and flour to bind the pancake together, then season to taste, and drop by spoonfuls into your skillet, and brown on both sides in the hot oil. These potato Pancakes are crunchy and delicious!
Potato Salmon Pie was a thrifty meal made with 1 can of salmon, drained, and with the bones and skin removed, and then flake the salmon. Add 2 cups thick white sauce and 1 cup cooked peas to the salmon. Put in casserole dish. Top all with 2 cups mashed potatoes. Dot with butter, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. A thrifty, tasty, dish that serves six.
Tips & Warnings
- Don't forget potato salads, french fries, mashed potatoes, creamed and scalloped potatoes. All different, and all filling and satisfying to a hungry family.
- Photo Credit freefoto.com
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