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The Incredible, Edible Potato

Try out these recipes using this all-American favorite.

Mashed potatoes, French fries, baked potatoes, hash browns and potatoes au gratin; Americans love them. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American eats about 140 pounds' worth of potatoes every year. That's 50 pounds more potatoes than the closest competitor, tomatoes. Potatoes have soared to superstardom for a reason: versatility.

Mashed Potatoes With Chiles

Ingredients:

6 to 8 large red potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, finely chopped
two 4.5-oz. cans chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cracked pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin

Preparation:

Cook potatoes and carrots until tender. Drain; stir in chiles. Beat potato mixture and remaining ingredients together. Serves about four or five.

- Recipe by Martha Mugford, Naples, Fla.

Davey Crockett Potatoes

Ingredients:

4 lbs. little, new potatoes sliced into thin rounds
2 small bags baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
2 bunches green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. Lawry's seasoning salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
1/2 lb. butter

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a large roaster. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Another option would be to wrap the ingredients in individual foil packets and place on a grill. Makes 10 servings.

- Recipe by Gert Olivieri, from The Artist's Palate, a cookbook from the Art League of Bonita Springs, Fla.

Seasoned Potato Wedges

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
six 5- to 7-oz. russet potatoes
2 tsp. olive oil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine all seasonings in large plastic storage bag. Slice potatoes lengthwise into six wedges each. Add potatoes to large bowl; drizzle olive oil over wedges and add wedges to the seasonings, coating thoroughly. Place on baking sheet and cook about 40 minutes until done and crisp. Serves 6 to 8.

- Recipe by Pete Bellenger, from The Artist's Palate, a cookbook from the Art League of Bonita Springs, Fla.

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