The Multipurpose Potato

Twice Baked Potatoes

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Taken straight from the sack, potatoes are pretty bland. But with just a little love — and butter — they become a force to be reckoned with. And let’s face it: They’re as versatile as they are comforting. Yukon gold or russet? Baked or smashed? Now that the most satisfying crop of all is in season, there’s no telling what could end up on your dinner table tonight.

If you grow your own potatoes, did you know they can keep for upwards of six months or more? Fresh potatoes can be eaten immediately and are prized for their tender, new skins. But potatoes can also be cured in a dry, room temperature space to allow skins to slightly desiccate. Keep them in the dark and they can store for upwards of six months. For more great tips like this one, be sure to check out HGTV.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, there’s something to be said for a quality baked potato. You know, the kind that’s sliced down the middle, perfectly moist on the inside and inundated with toppings. Food Network Magazine’s Twice Baked Potatoes (pictured at top) pack in leeks and chive-and-onion cream cheese, while thse Twice Smashed Baked Potatoes (pictured above) go the broccoli and double-cheese route.

Let’s move on to mashed. If you love the skin, try Rachael Ray’s Mashed Potato Skins recipe, which comes loaded with cheddar, crispy turkey bacon and fresh chives. If you like yours creamy and full-flavored, serve up a dollop of Alton Brown’s Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Or do as the Barefoot Contessa does and add sour cream to your next batch.

Scalloped Potato Gratin: Tyler Florence

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Needless to say, the scalloped potato is the most decadent — and worthy — preparation around. Laden with cheese and cream around each crispy sliver, Tyler Florence’s Scalloped Potato Gratin recipe is classic and comforting.

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FoodNetwork_07_187.tif

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Anna Williams

Anna Williams

Food Network Magazine’s unconventional Four-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes, on the other hand, bring mozzarella, Asiago, raclette and Parmesan together.

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KO_FN_07MiniScallopedPotatoes2_008.tif

Photo by: Kana Okada Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855 ©Kana Okada 2012

Kana Okada Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855 , Kana Okada 2012

Do you prefer single servings? Then Food Network Magazine’s Mini Scalloped Potatoes are just the thing.

If you’re warding off all things buttery, think about roasting. Giada De Laurentiis uses extra-virgin olive oil and herbes de Provence for her Roasted Baby Potatoes.

Cracked Pepper Potato Chips with Onion Dip

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

And if it’s a spud snack you’re looking for, take a crack at frying with Ellie Krieger’s slimmed-down Cracked Pepper Potato Chips With Onion Dip or Ina Garten’s Baked Potato Wedges.

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IMG_5000.TIF

Barbecue season may be over, but there’s still time to enjoy a good potato salad. Alton Brown’s Cold-Fashioned Potato Salad uses red potatoes, while Aaron McCargo, Jr.’s Classic Potato Salad goes for Yukon gold.

And finally, now that we’re moving into fall, who’s up for some sweet potatoes? Go for Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Honey and Cinnamon, Sweet Potato Fries or Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes.

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