Potatoes are one of the most valuable of vegetables. They are easy to grow, and will grow just about anywhere as long as the soil is workable and the area gets plenty of rainfall.
Mash and season with butter and salt half a dozen boiled white potatoes, add a little grated onion and chopped parsley.
Sift together in a bowl 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoonful baking powder and a little salt.
Add a small quantity of milk to one egg if not enough liquid to mix into a soft dough.
Roll out like pie crust, handling as little as possible. Cut into small squares, fill with the potato mixture, turn opposite corners over and pinch together all around like small, three-cornered pies. Drop the small triangular pies into boiling, salted water a few minutes, or until they rise to top; then skim out and brown them in a pan containing a tablespoonful each of butter and lard.
Germans call these “Garden Birds.” Stale bread crumbs, browned in butter, may be sprinkled over these pies when served. Serve hot.
These are really pot pie or dumplings with potato filling.
All young housewives may not know “that there is more real food value in potatoes baked ‘in their jackets’ than is found in preparing this well-known tuber in any other way.” The secret of a good baked potato lies in having a hot oven, but not too hot.
Scrub good sized potatoes, or, for a change, they may be pared before baking, place in a hot oven, and bake about 45 minutes, when they should be a snowy, flaky mass inside the skins, palatable and wholesome. When fully baked they should fed soft to the touch when pressed.
Medium-sized potatoes, pared, cut in half lengthwise, and baked in a hot oven 25 to 40 minutes, until the outside of the potato is a light brown, make a pleasant change from boiled potatoes. When baked the proper length of time and served at once, the inside of potato should be light and flaky.
Serve rice or macaroni and omit potatoes from the bill of fare, especially in the spring of the year.
Potatoes should always be served as soon as baked, if possible. Potatoes may be baked in less than a half hour in a gas oven.
VARIOUS WAYS OF USING SMALL POTATOES
Early in the season when small, early potatoes are more plentiful and cheaper than large ones, the young housewife will be able to give her family a change, while practicing economy, as there are various ways of using small potatoes to advantage.
First, new potatoes, if about the size of marbles, may be scraped, boiled in salted water, and served with a thin cream dressing, sprinkled liberally with chopped parsley, or the boiled potatoes,
while still hot, may be quickly browned in a pan containing a couple tablespoonfuls of hot drippings or butter. They are much better prepared in this manner if the potatoes are put in the hot fat while still warm.
Or the small boiled potatoes may be cut in thin slices, browned in a couple tablespoonfuls of butter or drippings and two eggs beaten together stirred over the potatoes a few minutes before they
are ready to serve. The small potatoes may also be scraped and dropped in hot, deep fat and fried like fritters.
When possible, the small potatoes should be well cleansed with a vegetable brush and boiled without paring. They may then be easily skinned after they are cooked. Some of the more important ingredients are lost when potatoes are pared, and it is also more economical to boil them before paring.
The cold boiled potatoes may be cut up and used for potato salad, or thinly sliced after being skinned and placed in a baking dish alternately with a cream sauce consisting of milk, butter and flour, and seasoned with salt and pepper, having the first and last layer cream sauce. Sprinkle bread crumbs liberally over the top, dot with hits of butter and bake in a moderate oven about 20
minutes until the top is nicely browned. Serve in the dish in which they were baked.
Or peel one-half dozen medium-sized raw potatoes, cut into small, narrow strips about 1/3 inch wide, dry on a napkin and fry in very hot, deep fat about six minutes, then lift from fat, drain, sprinkle salt over and serve hot. These are a nice accompaniment to broiled steak.
Peel and slice, or cut in dice, 6 or 8 cold boiled potatoes, cut into in a stew-pan with 2 tablespoonfuls of butter, salt and pepper to season, heat all together, shaking pan occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of cream, sprinkle a small teaspoonful of parsley over and serve hot.
Instead of slicing or dicing cold boiled potatoes (in the usual manner) to be fried, if they be cut in lengthwise sections like an orange (one potato should make about 8 pieces) and fried quickly in enough hot fat to prevent burning, they can scarcely be distinguished from raw potatoes cut in the same manner and fried in deep fat, and are much easier to prepare. They should be served at once.
Another manner of preparing potatoes is to slice raw potatoes as thinly as possible on a “slaw-cutter,” place in a fry-pan with a couple of tablespoonfuls of a mixture of butter and sweet drippings.
Watch carefully, as they should be fried quickly over a hot fire, turning frequently.
When brown, serve at once.
Raw sweet potatoes cut about as thick as half a section of an orange, fried in a couple tablespoonfuls of a mixture of sweet drippings and butter, prove a change, occasionally.
In a baking dish place layers of pared, thinly sliced, raw white potatoes. Season with a very little salt and pepper and scatter over small bits of butter. A very little finely minced onion or parsley may be added if liked. To 1 quart of the sliced potatoes use a scant half pint of milk, which should almost cover the potatoes.
Either sift over the top 1 tablespoon of flour or 2 tablespoons of fine, dried bread crumbs and bits of butter; place in hot oven and bake about 3/4 of an hour, until top is browned nicely and potatoes are cooked through.
Old potatoes are particularly good prepared in this manner.
CANDIED SWEET POTATOES
Place in an agate pudding dish 6 pared and halved (lengthwise) raw sweet potatoes. Scatter over them three tablespoons of sugar, 2 large tablespoons of butter cut in small bits, and about 1/2 a cup (good measure) of water. Stand in a hot oven and bake about 3/4 of an hour.
Baste frequently with the syrup formed in the bottom of the dish.
The potatoes when baked should look clear and the syrup should be as thick as molasses. Serve in the dish in which they were baked. Should the oven of the range not be very hot, the dish containing the potatoes may be placed on top the range and cooked about 25 minutes before placing in oven to finish baking.
SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES
To 1 pint of hot mashed potatoes, or cold boiled ones may be used, squeezed through a fruit press; add 1 tablespoon of butter, pinch of salt, 2 eggs, whites beaten separately.
When cool, form into small cone-shapes, dip in bread crumbs, then into egg, then into crumbs again, and fry in deep fat. Drain on paper and serve on platter garnished with parsley.
FRIED ONIONS AND POTATOES
Another way of utilizing left-over cold boiled potatoes particularly relished by “Pennsylvania Germans,” whose liking for the humble onion is proverbial, is to fry onions with potatoes in a fry-pan containing a couple tablespoonfuls of sweet drippings and butter; when heated place a half dozen thinly sliced cold boiled potatoes, half the quantity of thinly sliced raw onions, well seasoned with pepper and salt, cover and steam for ten or fifteen minutes, when uncover and fry until light brown; serve at once.
Or the thinly-sliced onions, after skins have been removed, may be sliced thinly across the onion, placed in a fry-pan and partly covered with boiling water; stand on hot range and steam, closely covered, about fifteen minutes, or until onions are tender, then drain off water, should any remain, add a small tablespoonful of butter, salt and pepper to season, fry quickly a light brown; pan should be uncovered. Serve at once with liver or bacon.
Onions are considered more wholesome prepared in this manner than if fried.
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