The recipes below will feed about four, but adjust up or down as necessary. The first recipe in each category is the main recipe, then the two that follow are variations. Salt and pepper are assumed.
Mashed dishes are best made with russet varieties, and new potatoes are better for cooking in fat. (Use the latter type of potato for the labor-intensive Tater Tots, which are little short of a revelation.) You can peel the potatoes in these recipes or not; thin-skinned potatoes, especially, are just fine with a good scrubbing (use a brush).
BAKED 1. Pommes Anna Heat the oven to 400°F. Peel and thinly slice 2 pounds all-purpose potatoes (consider using a food processor). Toss with 3 tablespoons melted butter or oil and neatly layer in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet. Bake for 30 minutes; slide the cake out onto a plate, cover with another plate, invert it, and slide it back into the skillet, with a little more butter or oil if necessary. Continue cooking until potatoes are done and top is browned, 20 to 25 minutes; cut into wedges.
We produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.