Worshipers of the spud rejoice – it’s Potato Lovers Day! Observed annually on February 8, this is the day to bow heads and pay homage to the humble, versatile tuber. Russet, white, red-skinned, fingerling, gold and sweet take the tabletop spotlight in all their roasted, boiled, mashed, fried and grilled glory.
They’ve earned their rightful place in any course from appetizers to entrées to desserts. While hash brown and corn-beef hash usually grace breakfast plates, use today as an excuse to prepare a full-scale dinner featuring potato dishes.
Kick things off with a platter of potato-skin appetizers, the perfect vessels for serving melted cheese, crispy bacon, scallions and sour cream. Your guests will swoon as you ladle bowlfuls of velvety potato and leek soup for the first course.
There are so many possibilities in which the potato can accompany your chosen entrée. Few things marry as well with a perfectly grilled steak as a baked potato with butter, sour cream and chives. And for dessert, enter the Southern classic, sweet potato pie.
If your inner culinary child wants to exercise some ambition in the kitchen, consider making Italian gnocchi, little potato dumplings cooked and served similarly to pasta. One popular presentation coats them with pesto sauce.
Another favorite is the French classic, potatoes au gratin. This dish is made with thinly sliced potatoes, layered in a baking dish, drenched in a luscious cheese sauce then baked until golden-brown and bubbly.
Alternately, consider hosting a potato pot luck and invite guests to contribute their favorite savory spuds. After everyone is stuffed, you can all assume your roles as couch potatoes for a relaxing close to Potato Lovers Day.