Potato Perfect


Potatoes are the perfect answer to that burning question, ‘What’s for dinner?’

Family Features

Now, more than ever, family chefs need super supper staples that allow for a hearty meal at a moment’s notice on a family-friendly budget that still delivers big on flavor.

For ease, simplicity, great taste and a grocery bill that won’t break the bank, comfort foods win every time. In particular, the humble potato weighs in as one of the top, all-time favorite comfort foods.

Think steaming baked potatoes, savory home fries and rosemary roasted redskin potatoes. Or, how about a side of your family’s favorite french fries or creamy mashed potatoes?

Because of its great versatility, the potato carries universal appeal. Dress it up or dress it down, serve it to kids or adults, go low-fat or decadent — what ever way you serve your potatoes, they’re sure to satisfy.

With national trends toward smart spending and keeping it simple, home-cooked foods often appeal more than pricey takeout or restaurant fare. But, who has time to peel and cook potatoes on a weeknight?

Thanks to the availability of pre-peeled, pre-chopped potatoes from Ore-Ida’s new product line, Steam n’ Mash, homemade mashed potatoes can fit into any last-minute menu. Simply steam in the microwave and then mash or pre pare them according to any cook’s preference.

The recipes included here feature the perennial comfort food staples, shepherd’s pie, sweet potato casserole and potato soup. The sweet potato casserole is the usual, time-honored favorite with a buttery streusel topping, starring brown sugar and pecans. The shepherd’s pie and mashed potatoes put a little twist on tradition; the mashed potato topping on the pie is spiked with sour cream, horseradish and Worcestershire for an extra zing. The potato soup offers a blend of potatoes, bacon, cheddar, green onions and broccoli florets.

With the use of pre-cut real potatoes, these appetizing dishes come together in a fraction of the time they would normally take. Simple, hearty, satisfying — and homemade without a hassle — think of it as comfort food, at its best.

Beefy Shepherd’s Pie With Horseradish Mashed Potato Topping

Makes 6 servings

1 bag Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Æ Cut Russet Potatoes (24 ounces)

4 slices bacon

11‚Ñ2 pounds beef stew meat

1 onion, chopped

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

1 jar Heinz HomeStyle Beef Gravy (12 ounces)

1 cup lower sodium beef broth

1 packet brown gravy mix (1.6 ounces)

1‚Ñ4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a shallow 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, but not crispy. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to plate lined with paper towels. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pan. Add stew meat and brown on all sides. Add onions and saut for 2 min utes more. Stir in vegetables, cooked bacon, gravy, broth and gravy mix. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bak ing dish and set aside.

Prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions. Stir remaining ingre dients into prepared mashed potatoes and distribute evenly over stew mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve hot.

Loaded Potato Soup

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 bag Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes (24 ounces)

2 cups broccoli florets, frozen

1 jar Classico Creamy Alfredo sauce

2 cups milk

1‚Ñ4 pound bacon

1 cup cheddar cheese

1‚Ñ4 cup green onions, chopped

Prepare potatoes in the microwave, as directed on package. While potatoes are cooking, cut bacon into small strips, chop green onions and shred cheddar cheese. Fry bacon in a saucepan over medium-high heat, set aside. Drain bacon grease, turn heat down to medium-low and pour Alfredo sauce into sauce pan. Add milk and broccoli florets, and stir soup occasionally. Pour one cup of cooked potatoes into small bowl, mash. Blend mashed potatoes into soup. Pour 1 cup of cooked potatoes into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup over the potatoes. Top with cheese, bacon and green onions.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 bag Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Cut Sweet Potatoes (24 ounces)

1‚Ñ3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

1‚Ñ2 cup brown sugar

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon salt

Streusel topping:

3‚Ñ4 cup pecans, chopped

3‚Ñ4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1‚Ñ4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Cook potatoes according to package directions. Pour potatoes into a bowl, add milk, butter, brown sugar and salt, and then mash to desired smooth ness. Place mashed sweet potatoes in an 8x8-inch casserole coated with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine all topping ingre dients, and sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the top ping is browned and the potatoes are thoroughly heated.

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