Making Delectable Breakfast Potatoes

Breakfast potatoes exist in almost every culture. There are bratkartoffeln (German potatoes), au gratin potatoes (a French dish), bramboraky (Czech potato pancakes), potato pierogies (a Polish favorite) and American fried potatoes. Breakfast potatoes can be used as a side dish or as the main course.

Types of Potatoes
A breakfast potato recipe begins with your choice of potato. You can choose from russet, red-skinned, white, gold and even sweet potatoes. Based upon firmness and starch content, some potatoes are better for baking or mashing (such as russet or sweet), while others might be better fried (white) or steamed (red).

How Breakfast Potatoes are Prepared
First, decide whether to prepare the potatoes with or without the skin. Certain types of dishes will dictate whether the skin should be removed. If preparing potato bread or a potato pastry, you would want to remove the skin. But, if you are roasting or frying the potato, you might want to keep it. Next, how will the potatoes be cut? They can be shredded, diced or even cubed. One thing to consider is that the thicker or larger the potato slice, the longer it will take to cook.

Choosing the Right Cooking Method
There are as many ways to cook a potato as there are varieties of potatoes to cook. Breakfast potatoes are delicious fried, baked, roasted or even steamed. You can also combine potatoes with eggs, vegetables and a variety of meats to make a breakfast entrée, such as a frittata or a potato omelet.

Herbs and Seasonings for Potatoes
Breakfast potatoes can be seasoned with various herbs and spices. Some of the most popular seasonings for white, red or gold potatoes include parsley, paprika, garlic, rosemary and, of course, salt and pepper. Also consider adding vegetables like white or red onions, red, green or yellow peppers, or meats like ham, bacon or fatback for additional flavoring.

Since sweet potatoes have a different taste, they should be seasoned differently. In breakfast dishes, sweet potatoes are oftentimes seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger or brown sugar. Other items used to flavor sweet potatoes include orange or pineapple juice, lemon zest or vanilla extract.

Toppings and Condiments
Special toppings can be used to make delicious potato dishes. Some toppings for white, red or gold potatoes might include a variety of cheeses, scallions, bacon bits or tomatoes. Make a tasty chicken gravy to pour over biscuits and mashed potatoes for a hearty breakfast. Some people enjoy simple condiments such as ketchup, sour cream, cottage cheese, salsa or ranch dressing on their morning potatoes.

Sweet potatoes can be made scrumptious with a variety of toppings, such as yogurt, coconut, walnuts or pecans. Use condiments such as butter, nectars, liqueurs, honey or syrups to add to the taste.

Breakfast Potatoes as the Main Course
Potatoes don't have to be just a side dish. With a few minor changes, they can become the entree. Here are a few ideas:

Sweet Potato Waffles: Mash sweet potatoes, and combine them with milk, butter, flour and seasonings to make delicious and healthy waffles.

Potato Tacos: For a southwestern breakfast, stuff fried or mashed potatoes in tortilla shells and top with shredded cheese, salsa and sour cream for a unique breakfast entrée.

Smothered Breakfast Potatoes: Boil cubed red skin potatoes in a pot. After the potatoes have cooked for 15 minutes, heat 2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil in a skillet. Rinse potatoes in cold water and drain. Add potatoes to heated skillet along with your choice of onions, peppers and sausage or chicken. Add water to avoid sticking. Season with salt and pepper. Heat broiler and, once ingredients are cooked, cover potatoes with cheese and brown under broiler. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Breakfast Sweet Potato Bar: Serve sweet potatoes for a breakfast party or brunch. Begin with prebaked sweet potatoes. Warm before serving, and allow guests to choose toppings for their potatoes. Basic toppings include butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Additional toppings might include pineapple chunks, pecans, raisins, craisins, walnuts, syrups and mini-marshmallows.

Other Potato Tips
Follow these tips for better potato preparation and cooking:

  • Whether preparing skinned or unskinned potatoes, be sure they are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Boil potatoes slightly prior to frying for a shorter frying time.
  • The Idaho Potato Commission recommends running potatoes under cold water before frying to minimize sticking.
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