Generally, when I am planning dinner I choose the main dish first. Steve likes almost everything but loves steaks and chops. His mother favored roast chicken for their family Sunday suppers, so I try not to make that on Sunday. I like to fry chicken in my electric frying pan on Sunday afternoons when everyone else is busily napping or playing and it is a great convenience appliance. The cold fried leftovers never go to waste.
No matter what I choose for the main part of the meal, my real interest is in the sides. Specifically, potatoes. Potatoes are the real unsung star of many meals and can be served in many disguises. Potatoes even come in different colors for more variation. I could eat potatoes in some form or another at every meal.
On weekends, I grate them for hash browns. When I feel like showing some skill, I slice them ultra thin and make chips. But mashed, roasted, gratin, baked, creamy or boiled, there is always a new recipe to use. Even potato salads have variations. It is the most versatile side that is never the star of the show. One of my most recent additions to the recipe box is my Baked Potato Casserole. It uses great ingredients in a combination that beats the more traditional recipes.
Tonight, I’m serving it with Steve’s favorite broiled pork chops. Some convenience foods have become a part of my meal preparation but I don’t think that I will give up my love of the real deal. That would be like using a plastic replica of a potato in place of a real russet potato for Mr. Potato Head. Can you imagine!