Thursday, June 5, 2008

Asiago Potatoes - The Easy Tasty "Fancy" Potato Side Dish

While I've always enjoyed sharing and swapping recipes with people, I didn't make the jump to sharing my favorites with a wider public until last fall. I'd been a writer and editor for my college newspaper for two semesters when I decided to add a food column to my list of writing commitments. The original intent of the column was to provide recipes students could make using only ingredients from the convenience store on campus. Choice was limited, however, and so I decided to leave that idea behind and instead just focus on the "ease factor," always so important for college students. One of my later columns included these potatoes (with the student-friendly name "Easy Cheesy Potatoes"), a personal and family favorite.

Shaking a bag full of potatoes and seasonings is almost as fun as crushing ice in a bag with a mallet.

We've been eating these potatoes at my house for about as long as I can remember, although until recently my mom only made them for special occasions. Last year, though, as I shadowed the cooking process, I saw just how easy they are to make. The most labor-intensive task is cubing the potatoes, everything else is either shaking or flipping. Now this dish has become almost a weekly staple side starch at my house. They're that easy, and they're that good.

Make sure to turn the potatoes twice while cooking to allow them to cook evenly.

I've heard some people say that no matter how large a closet they have, they will always fill it with clothes; content somehow manages to always meet capacity. In my family, these potatoes follow the same line of logic: no matter how much we make, we'll eat the entire dish. The formula has held up over time as we've served the potatoes to all manner of guests, family members and camp friends alike. Everyone finds them yummy.

The finished product should have golden, crispy edges.

They look quite tasty and impressive when you set them out on the dinner table in a nice casserole dish, and my mom says that makes them an ideal first dinner party potato.

Ease, taste, and a pretty finish. What more can you ask of a side dish?

Asiago Potatoes

6 potatoes peeled and cubed
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Combine the flour, cheese, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Shake the cubed potatoes in the bagged mixture. In an oven-safe casserole dish, melt the oil and butter, then pour the seasoned potatoes into the dish. Bake for 60 minutes, turning the potatoes every 20 minutes for even cooking. Makes 4 large servings.
Notes: Depending on how thin-skinned your potatoes are, you may not want to peel them. It all depends on the consistency and fiber-content you're looking for. Also, you can substitute pretty much any cheese you like, although harder cheeses like Asiago and Parmigiano-Reggiano work best. If you really want to give your taste buds a treat, mix a few together.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have I eaten these? If I have...I think I loved them...if I haven't, you or your mama needs to make them for me next time...