This Spud’s For You

If I were forced to pick only one food item to eat for the rest of my life, it would be potatoes.

Potatoes are amazing. Their versatility seems endless. I challenge you to find another food that can bring the high level of tasty goodness to a meal that the potato does.

Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, red potatoes, scalloped potatoes, potato chips, and my favorite, French fries, are just a few examples of the glorious ways in which a potato can shift hunger to happiness.

I have yet to find a potato recipe that I don’t like.

There are several food items that have been forced into unholy unions with other food items, but I can’t thank of one single combination where a potato and another food don’t work.

For example, every Thanksgiving and Christmas, cooks across America mix green beans with a can of dried onions and cream of mushroom soup. It’s terrible.

I’ve never tried this, but I bet if you ditched the green beans and substituted potatoes, it would be great.

Mashed potatoes, made with just the right amount of butter, cream, salt and pepper, and topped with homemade cream gravy, is pretty close to perfection. Yukon Gold potatoes work great for mashed potatoes. I could eat a 55-gallon drum of it. Kentucky Fried Chicken has the best mashed potatoes and gravy if you’re away from home and can’t make them yourself.

A loaded twice-baked potato is a complete meal. Fill it with butter, bacon bits, chives, grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, and you have deliciousness.

Garden-fresh red potatoes that are boiled in a pot of salt water, and then paired with fresh green beans are excellent. This is where green beans belong; not in a Pyrex dish with mushroom soup and dried onions.

Scalloped potatoes, done right, melt in your mouth. I have to confess that this is not a potato dish I’ve perfected, but I’d like to. Scalloped potatoes alone are a good enough reason to buy Ron Popeil’s Ronco Veg-O-Matic slicer. Layered with sharp cheddar, flour, butter, cayenne and paprika, they’re almost as good, if not better, as leftovers.

Frito Lay built an empire on potato chips. I prefer thin-sliced chips over the rest. They’re not good for dipping, but the flavor is better. Kettle potato chips, made at art fairs and carnivals are the best. If you’ve never tried kettle chips, treat yourself the next time you have the chance.

Finally, the French fry. Whoever came up with the idea to slice potatoes into strips, deep fry them, and add salt and ketchup, was a genius. He or she ranks right up there with Thomas Edison and the light bulb. If there is a holy grail of potato recipes, it has to be a perfected plate of French fries. French fries are, quite simply, wonderful.

If you have a unique and tasty potato recipe, I’d love to see it. You can send it to me through

If you’re my cardiologist and are reading this, I’m following my diet to the letter. I promise.

©2016 John Moore

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