Weeknight CookingWhat to Cook

One Sack of Potatoes, Five Dinners

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Put time into dinner now, and you can make it last forever -- or at least the whole week. Welcome to Halfway to Dinner, where we show you how to stretch your staples every which way. 

Today: Kelsey of Happyolks merges eating well with eating on a budget, and she does it all with a sack of potatoes. 


After cooking potato after potato, I knew this post must be dedicated to my 21-year-old brother and his housemates. If there is anyone on this planet who would find a column dedicated to a week's worth of potatoes useful, it be would him. For Austin, who loves to cook and play and celebrate life, here is a week of meals for you and your friends so you can eat well, cheaply. 

My first potato inspiration comes from Nigel Slater's Tender -- this potato cake is like one giant, amazing latke, and it's not a bad place to start. Slater calls for duck or goose fat but here, I use butter and it is just as good.

Crisp Potato Cake by Happyolks

6 large russet potatoes
5 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
2 teaspoons fresh thyme

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Potatoes, Onions, and Melted Fontina 
Wintry potatoes find their way into a dutch oven, cozy up next to onions and pockets of nutty fontina, and keep us warm for days.

Mustard Parsley Mash 
Your standard mashed potatoes wish for this moment. Make a base, and generously swirl it with chopped parsley and your favorite mustard. Eat it by the bowlful.

Herbed Potato Cake
Part of the beauty of cooking your way through a bag of potatoes is that you have absolute permission to eat potato cakes at your whim and fancy. This straddles the line between tortilla and latke, and gets studded with whatever herbs you have on hand. 

Baked Potato with Arugula and Feta
Baked potatoes are a crisper-drawer blank slate. We riff on the classic by topping ours with arugula, gently wilted by the steam of the just-cooked spud, and a healthy hand of feta. But the options are endless -- go wild, your potato awaits. 

Photos by Kelsey Brown

Tags: halfway to dinner, potatoes, five dinners, mash, staple, recipes happyolks, everyday cooking

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