SPEAKING OF FOOD: Potato dish saves meal gone bad

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

My daughter, Mary, says her favorite part of my job is the Cook of the Week interview because, if she’s lucky, the featured cook will send me home with some sort of food, usually a dessert.
She and her brother, Patrick, have been treated to homemade pound cakes, caramel cakes, chocolate cakes, pecan pies, peanut butter pies, fried pies, cake balls, brownies, divinity and cinnamon rolls, to name a few treats.
When they see a paper plate covered in foil sitting on the kitchen counter, they will just about knock each other down to see what I’ve brought home.
That being said, Mary’s least favorite part of my job is this column, because often it entails “experimental food,” which is her way of saying I’m trying a new recipe.
To be honest, I’d say about 75 percent of all new recipes I try turn out well, or at least they’re edible. I can usually tell just by reading the ingredients whether my family will like something or not, even if I’ve not personally tried the dish.
But then there’s that 25 percent that just do not turn out. I’m not talking about the ones that don’t look too pretty but still taste great. I’m talking about the ones that look awful and taste worse.
I made one of those dishes not too long ago, but I don’t think it was the recipe’s fault. I was halving the ingredient list, but I forgot to halve the bread crumbs (and it was a lot of bread crumbs). The dish looked like – and tasted like – glop, for lack of a better word. It went straight into the trash.
Fortunately, another dish salvaged the meal. Rachel Becker had recently given me a copy of a new cookbook called “Just What the Doctor Ordered: Prescriptions for the Kitchen,” and a potato dish in it had caught my eye.
The cookbook was compiled by members of the Mississippi State Medical Association Alliance, which raises money for scholarships for third-year medical students. Rachel said they’re hoping to make $20,000 from the sale of the cookbook, which is available at Creative Cakes in east Tupelo for $16.
These potatoes cooked perfectly and they were delicious. The lemon and oregano are very pronounced though, so if you don’t like those flavors, I’d skip this recipe. Or, if you’d like, you can substitute cilantro or basil for the oregano.

Lemon Oregano Potatoes
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
14 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
14 cup olive oil (I used less)
2 teaspoons salt
12 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 teaspoons oregano
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
12 cups water
Combine potatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic in a bowl and mix well. Spoon into an 8×12-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Pour water over the potatoes. Bake at 475 degrees for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

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