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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The last few times I've made potatoes for guests, they fell on the dish as if it were chocolate, going for seconds and thirds and finally scraping out the little crusty bits from the baking dish with their forks. I have to conclude that people are potato-starved, which makes this all-spud cookbook all the more valuable.
Roy Finamore and Molly Stevens went through 1,500 pounds of potatoes (more than 20 varieties) on the way to testing and developing 300 potato recipes. There are recipes for dips, chips, soups, salads, main dishes, breads, and desserts. There are recipes for potatoes in their stand-alone glory -- baked and roasted, gratinéed and scalloped, mashed, fried, braised, and boiled. There are 31 (count 'em, 31!) recipes for potato salad alone, and the chapter on fried potatoes just may convince me that it's finally time to buy a mandoline.
Finamore has also done some excellent archival work, digging up great potato recipes from the files of such great cooks as Richard Olney, Diana Kennedy, Paula Wolfert, Tom Colicchio, Martha Stewart, and Jean Anderson. (Olney's Potatoes in Beer sounds particularly interesting.) He's drawn on the various ethnic classics -- potato kugel, potato gnocci, Swedish hasslebacks, potato pancakes, colcannon, Tunisian potato turnovers, and the Alasatian fluetters, or potato dumpling. (Take away the potato and it's clear that most of the world's cuisines, excepting Asian, would be severely damaged.) He also pays proper respect to the sweet potato, not a relative, botanically speaking, but certainly a kitchen cousin when it comes to gratins, mashes, and such.
One Potato, Two Potato also does a good job as a potato primer, explaining all the varieties, herbal soul mates, and storage principles. At last, I can figure out the difference between low-starch and high-starch potatoes, thanks to this tip from the book: "A simple test is to cut a raw potato in half with a large chef's knife; if there is a lot of white residue on the blade and if the potato seems to cling to the knife, it's starchy. If the potato leaves little residue without clinging, it's most likely waxy." Couldn't be simpler. (Ginger Curwen)