The Ultimate Potato Book

The Ultimate Potato Book

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by Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough

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Potatoes as a main course?

That's right, The Ultimate Potato Book moves the versatile potato to the center of every meal. Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough offer up main course classics such as Shepherd's Pie, Cod Cakes, and Chili Fries, along with some surprising new ideas -- Lasagna (potatoes replace the noodles), Enchiladas, and Twice


Potatoes as a main course?

That's right, The Ultimate Potato Book moves the versatile potato to the center of every meal. Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough offer up main course classics such as Shepherd's Pie, Cod Cakes, and Chili Fries, along with some surprising new ideas -- Lasagna (potatoes replace the noodles), Enchiladas, and Twice-Baked Potatoes with bacon, asparagus, and Cheddar.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
You can never have too many potato cookbooks. Weinstein and Scarbrough, of Morrow's Ultimate series, distinguish their work from other spud books by emphasizing potatoes as a main-dish ingredient rather than as a side. This can be distracting when what you really want is a side (you have to go to Shepherd's Pie or Bangers and Mash for mashed potatoes), but the results are generally impressive. Recipes are alphabetical and presented without excessive fanfare; a one-word title often suffices. There is something really appealing about being able to look under the letter H and find a basic recipe for Hash. Weinstein and Scarbrough hedge their bets by offering up a multitude of variations, which can take them into some uncharted territory (Prune-Armagnac Potato Coffee Cake, Sake Fondue). Some purists may wonder if Ceviche, Borscht and Shrimp Balls really belong in a potato book. But the more obvious entries-Latkes, Moussaka, Knishes, Potato Skins-are included, along with a few pricelessly eccentric applications ("a cut potato makes a great tool to remove a broken light bulb") There's the usual guide to potatoes and the potato-vs.-yam lecture, as well as a strikingly meticulous list ("yellow and red" vs. "yellow or red") that indexes recipes by potato type used. Witty and user-friendly, this volume is a fine contribution to potato publishing. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The latest entry in the "Ultimate" series, which covers both sweet (Ice Cream) and savory (Shrimp) foods, follows the format of the earlier titles, with dozens of alphabetically arranged recipes, and many more variations on each. The authors focus on main-dish recipes, from Ajiaco, a Colombian stew, and Manhattan Clam Chowder to Venetian Pasta e Patate, although, of course, some of the potato "subcomponents," like the sour cream mash in Bangers and Mash, could also be served as sides. It's true that some people can eat potatoes every night, but how many potato cookbooks do you need? Roy Finamore's big One Potato, Two Potato includes 300 recipes, and Lydie Marshall's A Passion for Potatoes is a classic. For larger collections and where the "Ultimate" series is particularly popular. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Ultimate Cookbooks
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Read an Excerpt

Potato-Crusted Cod

Makes 4 Servings

This elegant dish is perfect for a dinner party or a romantic late-night supper. The very thin potato slices crisp around the fish, giving it a golden, baked crust. The potatoes themselves must be long enough to provide you with slices that can wrap around the fish fillets. Have your fishmonger remove the cod's skin. Check the flesh for bones and remove any with a pair of tweezers.


6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large baking potatoes, at least 6 inches long, preferably Russets, scrubbed
1 1/2 pounds cod fillets, skinned and cut into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


  1. Place the melted butter in a large bowl. Peel the potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. With a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the potatoes, starting with the flat, cut side, making long paper-thin slices. Let the slices fall into the melted butter. You may also use a mandoline, fitted with the thinnest slicing blade, but you'll need to run the potatoes lengthwise over the blade, a tricky task with some mandoline grips. Toss the slices to coat with the butter.

  2. Lay an 8-inch piece of plastic wrap on the work surface. To build a bed large enough to hold a piece of cod, lay about one quarter of the potato slices on the plastic wrap in a straight row, overlapping each slice halfway with the next. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, then place a cod fillet on top. Gently fold up the ends of the slices to meet on top of the fillet; seal tightly by rolling the fillet lengthwise -- use the plastic wrap to help seal the potatoes and hold them in place. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining potatoes, fillets, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate the four potato-wrapped fillets for at least 30 minutes, but not more than 6 hours.

  3. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Gently unwrap the fillets, taking care not to disturb the potato crusts.

  4. Heat a large oven-safe sauté pan or skillet (preferably nonstick) over high heat until smoking. Swirl in the oil, then add the fillets, potato seam side down. Immediately lower the heat to medium and cook 3 minutes without turning, until the potatoes brown. Carefully turn the fillets with a spatula, then place the skillet in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Serve immediately.

Potato Skins

Makes 4 Servings

Potato skins remain a favorite retro treat. These stuffed skins are both crispy and gooey, filled with cheese and bacon.


4 large baking potatoes (about 1 pound each), such as Russets, scrubbed
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, then cooled
8 strips bacon, fried and drained
4 scallions, green part only, finely chopped (about 4 tablespoons)
1 cup grated Cheddar (about 4 ounces)


  1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the potatoes in the center of the rack and bake until soft, for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack until they can be handled easily. Cut in half, then scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Reserve the potato filling for another use, such as Gnocchi (page 95); cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

  2. Position the rack 4 inches from the broiler, then preheat the broiler. Place the potatoes, skin side up, on a baking sheet, then brush each with 1 teaspoon melted butter. Broil for 1 minute, then turn the skins over. Brush the insides of each with 2 teaspoons melted butter. Broil until brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Keep the broiler going while you fill the skins.

  3. Crumble 2 strips bacon into each skin, then sprinkle about 1 tablespoon scallions in each. Top each with 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
  4. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Ultimate Potato Book. Copyright © by Bruce Weinstein. Reprinted by pepermission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are the award-winning authors of nineteen cookbooks. They are contributing editors to Eating Well and columnists for, and they contribute regularly to Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, the Washington Post, and other publications. When they're not teaching cooking on Holland America cruise ships, they live in rural Litchfield County, Connecticut, with a fairly sane collie named Dreydl.

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Ultimate Potato Book: Hundreds of Ways to Turn America's Favorite Side Dish into a Meal 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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