Potatoes, Anyone?

Of course you’re going to be eating lots of potatoes this Pesach. With no other starches available, potatoes are filling and will accompany most meals. If you are tired of your basic mashed potatoes or potato kugel and are looking for a bit more variety, we’ve come up with some exciting ideas.

And remember, potatoes are good for you! They contain vitamin C along with other vitamins and minerals and are naturally fat free.

Potato Zucchini Frittata

A frittata falls somewhere between an over-sized latke and an omelet. Prepare this in a cast iron skillet for amazing results!

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tomato (peeled, if it your custom to do so), seeded and chopped, divided
  • 2 small cooked potatoes cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium zucchini, peeled or not, sliced into rounds ¼” thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, checked scallions

Preheat the broiler. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a 10”-12” cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and half of the tomato; cook, stirring, until the onion is limp, about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, until they start to brown, about 4 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until heated through. Remove the vegetables from the pan; season with salt and pepper.

Wipe out the pan, brush with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, and return it to low heat.

Lightly whisk whole eggs and egg whites in a medium bowl. Add the vegetables to the egg mixture and pour into the pan, gently stirring to distribute the vegetables. Cook over low heat until the underside is light golden, 5 to 8 minutes.

Place the pan under the broiler and broil until the top of the frittata is puffed and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Loosen the frittata and slide it onto a platter. Garnish with scallions and the remaining chopped tomato.

Slice in wedges and serve immediately.

Potato Pie with Caramelized Onions

A meatless version of Shepherd’s Pie. If you are making this for a milchig meal, add a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese between the onions and the potatoes—mm, mm!

For the potatoes

  • 5 Idaho potatoes, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the caramelized onions:

  • 1 large sweet yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cube and cook potatoes until just soft enough to pierce with a knife. Drain and mash potatoes as smoothly as possible, adding lemon juice, oil, broth, salt and pepper.

Peel and slice yellow onion. Place onions with olive oil into a heavy-duty saucepan, cover and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, (or until softened). Toss often while cooking. Sprinkle onions with sugar and wine and sauté until onions are caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place half the potatoes in a 9” deep pie plate or oven-to-table dish. Top with the caramelized onions. Place remaining potatoes in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe potatoes on top of onions in a decorative design. Bake 35 minutes or until top is browned and crispy.

If you still prefer your potatoes mashed, try adding some knob celery or parsnip to the potatoes. Adding chicken soup to moisten the mash also adds lots of flavor! And don’t skimp on the fried onions!

Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid transgressions related to insects.

Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to peppermill@hamodia.com. This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.