Collegian Cooks: The potato pilot

If it is white, powdery and from a box, it is not a potato. Drop the college stigma of instant ramen and mashed potatoes, there is a better, more pure path.

We know it’s easy, but so is placing a potato in boiling water. Even beyond the mash, the potato is a versatile and inexpensive tuber worth exploring.

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On that note, here are some of our favorite recipes that fit the college diet.

Scalloped potatoes:10443127_10204591340935561_8586346549992408094_o

What you will need:

  • four potatoes
  • bag of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 (ish?) of a white onion
  • two to three cups of whole cream
  • optional diced precooked bacon
  • powered garlic to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Step one: Wash potatoes, then slice them thin and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step two: Prep other ingredients, such as dicing onions and cooking optional bacon. Also warm cream in a pan on the side around this time, keeping it at a low simmer.

Step three: Grease a pan with olive oil. Use your hands. It will be fun.

Step four: Add one layer of sliced potatoes. Then add some cheese and onion. Repeat until out of potatoes and onion. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Step five: Add final layer of cheese, then pour in warm cream and finish with beautiful bacon crumbles on top.

Step six: Place in your preheated oven and wait for about 20-30 minutes. Check it while it’s in the oven as the cheese melts because it looks nice and you will be hungry. Then pull it out and enjoy.

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Home fried potatoes:

What you will need:

  • sliced potatoes
  • about an entire bottle of vegetable oil
  • salt, pepper and whatever condiments you prefer
  • deep pot that can handle a fair amount of hot burning oil

Step one: Pour oil into pot and heat on medium for about five minutes. If you place a potato slice in and it does nothing, wait a little while longer for the oil to heat. Also, by no means use water to put out a grease fire, instead smother out the oxygen from the fire and turn off all burners.

Step two: Place sliced potatoes in the pot until it looks full. Not too much, not too little; make sure all potatoes are covered in oil, drowning.

Step three: Cook until golden brown and delicious or whatever crunchiness you desire. Pull out the slices with a pair of tongs and place them on a plate covered in paper towels to get rid of excess oil.

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Skyler Leonard, co-host of Collegian Cooks, pulls a potato out of boiling water to make mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes:

What you will need:

  • four or five potatoes depending on size
  • a lot of water to fill a pot about 2/3 of the way up
  • two or three cups of whole cream
  • handful of rosemary
  • one cup of cheddar cheese
  • about a stick of butter (but also be healthy)
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Step one: Fill a large pot with water, then place on high. Wait for a lifetime for the water to boil.

Step two: Clean potatoes and carefully place them in boiling water. At this time pour cream into a small sauce pan and add rosemary and garlic. Keep on a low simmer to allow the rosemary and garlic to infuse with cream.

Step three: Wait until potatoes are tender and you can stick a fork through one without resistance.

Step four: Place potatoes in a large bowl then mash.

Step five: Begin adding slices of butter, while continuing to mash. Then remove rosemary from sauce pan and pour cream mix into the bowl.

Step six: Mix in cheese, then salt and pepper to taste. Mash until creamy, chunky or whatever texture you want.

Collegian chefs Lawrence Lam and Skyler Leonard can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.