The Best Potato Recipes, According to Eater Staff

It’s root vegetable season. As much as we love beets and turnips and parsnips, it’s the potato that wins our hearts. When we crave a comfy blanket of carbs, nothing does the trick like good mashed potatoes, gussied up with lots of butter. The potato is the one tuber that we can cook in myriad ways and never tire of: Whether it’s fondant-style, smashed, or smothered with cheese, it’s worthy of the holiday table and random weeknight dinners alike.

Sasha Marx, Serious Eats

In French, fondant, from the root verb “fondre,” means “melting,” which makes sense if you’ve ever tried the ubiquitous pastry ingredient — but it also holds true in this savory dish of the same name. The Platonically ideal intersection between creamy mashed potatoes, fluffy potato dumplings, and seared potato cakes, fondant potatoes are seared quickly before they’re braised in stock and butter. That braise later gets reduced along with aromatics, becoming its own gravy that you can ladle over the potato morsels to your heart’s desire. What’s more, they couldn’t be easier to prepare, making them equally perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a holiday side. When it comes to the aromatics, don’t feel tethered to the recipe: Sub any hearty herbs, such as rosemary for the thyme, or throw in some smoked paprika as you’re reducing the braising liquid for a nod to papas bravas. — Nat Belkov, design director

Andy Baraghani, Bon Appétit

I spent most of my life making mashed potatoes without a recipe and getting along just fine. But then I saw this recipe in Bon Appétit. It’s not so much its measurements but its technique that’s a game changer. Instead of using plain milk and cream, you steep them with aromatics — garlic and rosemary in particular, though I usually also add a lemon peel, thyme, and fresh bay leaves if I’ve got them on hand. Yes, doing it this way dirties an extra pot, but as annoying as that may be when making a big holiday meal, the added flavor — not to mention the alluring smell of simmering herbs and garlic — is worth the extra minutes over the sink. — Bettina Makalintal, senior reporter

Cook With Manali

South Asian cuisine really grew in leaps and bounds when the New World potato was introduced, to the point where my grandmother jokes that it’s almost illegal for a Saxena to have a meal without potatoes. Anyway, I could eat jeera aloo for every meal. The tender boiled potatoes get a crunchy crust of cumin and crushed coriander, and it all comes together with the bright tang of lemon and hing powder. It works as a great side dish or as an addition to a varied vegetarian plate, or as its own snack with some poori. — Jaya Saxena, correspondent

Gimme Some Oven

Choosing a favorite potato preparation is such a hard decision because each one has so many benefits. But what if I told you that, thanks to the smashed potato, you no longer have to choose? Smashed is my favorite way to prepare potatoes because it combines elements of all of my favorite potato styles. First you boil and smash them, which gives them the texture of a fluffy mashed potato; then you roast them, which creates a steamy roasted potato effect and also gives them buttery, crispy edges like a French fry. I also love how versatile and customizable this method is. Want to make your potatoes more like Cajun fries? Add some seasoning. Are you going for a loaded mashed potato vibe? Top them with cheese and sour cream. Wish they were crispier and just a little more like French fries? Smash ‘em down a bit further. You can’t go wrong. — Terri Ciccone, associate director of audience, analytics

J. Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats

Dated and misplaced stereotypes about their cuisine aside, the British can roast the hell out of a potato. A quintessential part of a Sunday roast dinner, these crispy potatoes are the Platonic ideal, all craggy and crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. You achieve this holy union of textural contrasts by employing a two-step cooking process. First, the potatoes are boiled with a little baking soda, then drained and shaken vigorously with oil and seasonings to take full advantage of the potatoes’ surface area. Then you transfer the whole thing to a sheet pan and bake in the oven for an hour until the exterior of the potatoes is shatteringly crisp and just waiting to be served with garlicky aioli or a drizzle of malt vinegar. — Amy McCarthy, staff writer

J. Kenzi López-Alt, NYT Cooking

When I was a kid, I loved those boxed versions of potatoes au gratin, which my mom would gussy up with shaved Gruyere and aged cheddar on top. As an adult, the boxes leave a little to be desired — simultaneously mushy-yet-slimy potatoes, gloopy sauce (though, hey, if it’s your bag, no judgment). So when I make them for myself, I try to figure out the right balance that keeps the potatoes tender but offers enough textural contrast to keep things interesting. I love this version by J. Kenzi López-Alt (natch), which layers the potatoes upright to create crispy ridges up top. I like the creaminess of a Yukon gold, so I use those here, and as an homage to my mother, I also grate a ton of sharp Cheddar to add to the mix — about three ounces, to balance the Gruyere. You can never have too much cheese, right? You can also get fancy and add fresh thyme, leeks, that sort of thing, but being real, I’m in it for the cheese and potato. — Brooke Jackson-Glidden, editor of Eater Portland

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