I ate potatoes, cooked and prepared a different way every single day for an entire month.
Why? Well, living in Melbourne, enduring the longest lockdown in the world I needed something that would keep me entertained, give me a sense of control and a goal to focus on. I set myself some ground rules to manage expectations which were:
🥔 Eat 1 potato-based dish per day for 31 days
🥔 The preparation method must vary each day (I.e no mash, then cottage pie as they are both mashes)
🥔 If a day is skipped it’s a potato for every meal the day after (as punishment)
🥔 Where possible, the potato is to be prepared at home (no takeaway potato every day).
Potato being the most versatile root vegetable in the universe (no exaggeration), seemed an obvious choice for a month-long food challenge. Throughout the month I learned to make dishes that I’d never even considered, friends, family and fans shared potato content and recipes with me daily and it honestly turned into a far more heartwarming and online community bonding experience than I predicted.
Without further ado, I give you the 31 different potato dishes I attempted, with recipes or pages to follow where appropriate…
To scroll all the gorgeous potato images follow me over on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thehungryginger/
Day 1: FRIES
I didn’t have time to make fries/hot chips so put up a poll to decide between an HSP, Chicken shop chips, Chilli loaded fries and Poutine.
The winner was the Chilli Brisket loaded fries from Le Bon Ton. 🙌
They, unfortunately, don’t travel well but gosh, packed with flavour and exactly what my quite lubricated (drunken) self needed for a Friday night.
Day 2: SCALLOPED POTATO
Everyone has their own recipe for scalloped potatoes.
I like to make a garlic roux to go between the layers of potato, onion and cheese 🧀 🧄 🧅
4 types of cheese this time. A cheddar, halloumi, parmesan and cocio truffle were grated and added between layers. So much cheese, it was a LOT of dairy tbh. 🚶♀️ 💨
I had forgotten how long it takes to bake one of these bad boys… about 20 minutes longer than you think, to be precise.
Day 3: LATKES (fritters)
So long as you squeeze the liquid out of the grated potato and veg you add to these you can’t really go wrong… though I’m sure adding cumin is a huge sin to traditional latke recipes.
The latke is a near-perfect breakfast. I am so glad I made these on a Sunday, paired with halloumi and mortadella.
You may note: I’m not sharing the recipes for these really. I’m not a cook, the internet has way more knowledge than I do… I’m just hoping you are inspired to make some new potato dishes, rather than become one. 😆
Day 4: LOADED JACKET POTATO
There’s just something about the humble roasted whole spud. Steaming in its own starchy goodness till it’s a soft as a cloud and melts in your mouth… 🤤
Usually, I’d top this bad boy with bacon, butter, cheese, more bacon and more cheese but since I was eating potatoes every day, I opted for healthy. 💪
Literally, every vegetable and pickle in my fridge loaded on top made for a sensational Monday night feast.
Day 5: SPANISH TORTILLA
I didn’t even know what one of these was before starting this challenge! How uncultured of me. 🙊
So easy and filling, what’s not to love about fried potato and onion in an egg pancake? Flipping the bastard was a fun maths problem but thankfully the internet recipes came to the rescue (I used the NYT recipe here). 10/10 would do again with chorizo.
Day 6: MASH
Ok. So this looks like baby turds. But it tasted amazing. Sweet potato mash. 🍠
I stirred a heap of chilli and lemongrass jam through it and paired with some stir-fried veg. A healthy delight!
Day 7: SWEET POTATO BROWNIE
I am not a baker. I don’t follow instructions for weighing ingredients well… something that isn’t ideal when making brownies.
Despite my anarchic baking ways, these sweet potato brownies were dense and moist and super chocolatey. I used The Minimalist Baker recipe as it was so easy to follow. 10/10 would recommend someone else make them for me again.
Day 8: ALOO BAINGAN
Having had meal prepped all week, I really wanted a Friday night off cooking.
An amazing local restaurant Horn Please has the most incredible Aloo Baingan (Dutch potatoes and eggplant mainly), which was just what I needed. Paired with some okra chips it was so very fragrant and hearty a meal. Aloo Gobi would have also been an excellent potato option 🥘
Day 9: POTATO DONUTS
I must admit I was very sceptical if these would work. The only gluten-free donuts I’ve had were denser than a bowling ball and I wasn’t a fan.
I used the recipe from Buzzfeed Tasty for these, as they were the only ones that didn’t have yeast (I’m not against yeast, I just failed to buy some)… also is leftover potato even a thing???
Anyway… these ended up kinda like churros and I am still shocked that they even worked, let alone how yummy they were.
Warning: I only made half the amount in the recipe and it was still like 8-10 donuts worth!
Day 10: HASH BROWNS
Show me a better hangover cure than the humble hashie? I chose the golden crunchy Coles variety based on the important research done by Mips Chips. 🍟
Turns out deep frying is how to make them taste like a 9/10, but oven-baked was still a winner! 🏆
Day 11: SZECHUAN STIR-FRIED POTATO
Never have I ever stir-fried a spud! 🥢
This dish recipe is from The Woks of Life and boy oh boy I WILL be making it again! All the carbs with 110% of the crunch and freshness. There are so many aromatics in here it’s practically a salad. 🥗
Just be cautious. It’s about a minutes difference between perfectly crunchy and a trip to sog-town.
Day 12: WEDGES
Who thinks wedges are better than fries? The perfect dipping conduit for guacamole or hummus makes them a tough contender!
The wedges from The Happy Mexican never disappoint, they were the obvious choice for my daily potato that also fell on a #tacotuesday.
Day 13: SWEET POTATO TOAST
Trust me on this. Instant sweet potato cakes. 🙌
Just slice your sweet potato into “thinnish toast” slices and pop into the toaster. I find a couple of goes (a few minutes) makes them toasty perfect.
Smeared with your fave PB and/or Jam. A heavenly snack! 🍠
Day 14: HASSELBACK
These aren’t quick to make. That’s just a note in case you thought you’d WHIP UP some David Hasselback taters for a snack 😆
But they are delicious. There’s something about the crispy delicious top and the fluffy starchy centre. But if there’s a shortcut to make them bake in under 45 mins… I don’t know it!
Hot tip: use a chopstick, placed behind and in front of the tater for perfect slices that don’t go all the way through.
Day 15: GNOCCHI
Sure. I could have handmade gnocchi. If I didn’t also have a job, and if it wasn’t the end of a long week on a Friday. And if I kinda wasn’t already a little over cooking potatoes… 😂
But this gluten-free, vegan gnocchi found at my local IGA, paired with some freezer pasta sauce (thanks pasta me) and a gluten-free stout was exactly what a rainy Friday asked for. 🍝
Also when the gnocchi packet says it serves two… It definitely doesn’t.
Day 16: POTATO PIZZA
So. Most people put the potato on TOP of the pizza for a potato pizza (yes, it’s a thing).
However, I really wanted potato to be the hero so wanted to know if I could use it as the base instead. Turns out… with just potato and eggs you can make a crispy massive potato rosti that totally acts as a pizza base.
Thanks to The Gardening Foodie for the easy peasy recipe!
Day 17: 15-HOUR POTATOES
Welp. I had to have a fail at some point. Apparently, these potatoes are all the rage over on tik-tok… they’re pavè potatoes though aren’t they? 🤦♀️
Anyway. I layered these incorrectly by overlapping and not stacking. I sliced them soo thick and, consequently, they wouldn’t stick together. They also wouldn’t crisp up in the oil… perhaps I’m impatient but what I got were soggily baked, then fried chips.
They were mostly inedible. What a waste of duck fat 🦆
So uh Google 15-hour tik-tok potatoes if you want the recipe to try for yourself! I took one for the team I think.
Day 18: SWEET POTATO ROSTI
A rosti is different to a latke because (apparently) they don’t use eggs to bind. So I didn’t either and expected a fail!
However, these simple patties of grated sweet potato, spring onion, parmesan and cornflour fried in coconut oil were crispy and sweet and bloody delicious! Just enough starch in the potatoes and cornflour to glue them together nicely.
10/10 would do again! 🙌
Day 19: LEEK AND POTATO SOUP
As you now know, the month of potato was conceived due to lockdown boredom. A lovely friend cottoned onto the fact that maybe no one else had cooked for me during the lockdown and offered to make me this soup. You need friends like this 😊
A baked leek and potato soup filled with bacon bits, parmesan, oil and love was served to me in a big warm bowl. It reminded me that it won’t be long till we can express our love for others through food again and, it warmed the cockles of my heart.
The NY Times has a great baked potato soup recipe if you’re looking for one! 🥣
Day 20: LOADED POTATO SKINS
The only time I had eaten loaded potato skins before was on a girls trip to Vegas and, I’m almost certain, I was very hungover when we had them.
They are the ultimate hangover food. An artery-clogging delight. Baked potato, scooped out, baked again with more oil to crisp up, then stuffed with cheese, bacon and spring onions. Except I used chorizo, halloumi, cheddar and red onion (plus some Tabasco for bite).
There are many recipes online, it seems the key to success is definitely in baking them 3 times for ultimate crisp factor 10,000.
Day 21: GERMAN POTATO SALAD (KARTOFFELSALAT)
My potato salad usually has eggs and bacon and some secret ingredients and is a party favourite! This is not that.
I had 20 minutes to whip up something for lunch and decided to go back to my German roots with a fairly classic Kartoffelsalat. Boiled potato, onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and a side of sauerkraut and schnitzel.
Lunch of champions! 🥔
Day 22: POTATO CRISPS
Friday was the first day we could go to a restaurant for months. So strategically I had potato crisps as a quick go-to for the day.
They certainly were a salty, starchy alcohol mop after a little too much wine. 🍷
Usually, I’d go for Kettle brand original chips but my local IGA had my second favourite plain chippie from Red Rock Deli.
Day 23: POTATO CROQUETTES
I used a recipe from My Kitchen Sanctuary for some baked croquettes, since I’d had a fair bit of fried potato by this point. 😅
Folks… I recommend you fry your croquettes. They don’t taste as yummy baked. But they did work.
I should have used sharp cheddar instead of halloumi for the centre, but this was a great way to use up random potatoes and cheese! If I did it again I’d include parmesan in the crumbing process for extra bite. 🙌
Day 24: BOSTON BUNS
I had no idea Boston buns used “leftover mashed potato” in them (not that it’s a thing in my house). It goes in with the sugar and wet ingredients before the dry flour.
I made this gluten-free and used a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens as it was easy to follow (and I’m not a baker). I gotta say the dough was SO sticky to work with so getting them into the muffin pan was a fair struggle.
They ended up coming out like a hot cross bun! If a hot cross bun was a bit chewy and dense (but that’s probably cos I overworked the dough). They looked superb though and it was nice to have a potato that wasn’t savoury and fried for a day. 🧁
Day 25: PERUVIAN CAUSA RELLENA
A friend told me about this wonderful dish that is a part layered casserole, part salad and entirely delicious. I used the recipe off Delish Dlites and it couldn’t have been easier to make.
I couldn’t get Amarillo paste so whipped some jarred Amarillo in a blender with a little oil and the lime juice. The amount of lime in this dish perfectly counterbalances the oiliness of the tuna and mayonnaise, with the chilli adding a perfect bite to the potato.
You eat this cold and could definitely sub the tuna for prawns or another white meat or fish. By golly, I’ll be making this again. 🙌
Day 26: POTATO CAKES
I haven’t had a potato cake in years. As a coeliac, they are something that takeaway and fish and chip shops simply don’t make gluten-free. 🤷♀️
I made the batter with some egg, flour, water and baking powder. The potatoes were boiled first so they only needed a few minutes in the oil. Almost a perfect snack, I’m so glad they were on the list!
Day 27: ROASTED POTATO
The humble roasted potato. Everyone has their way of cooking these to their liking. My only tip to getting these perfectly crispy, is that they always take longer than you expect. No matter what recipe you follow.
There were only four days left in this challenge. I’m proud that I tried some harder recipes early on and kept some of the simpler potato variations for the final sprint. 🏃♀️
Day 28: POTATO VODKA
I was extremely excited to get to vodka day. Not only because I didn’t have to cook a potato, but the fact that I quite enjoy a sip of vodka.
Unfortunately, Vestal Potato Vodka is not a sipping vodka. Also, potato vodka is actually not as common as you’d think! Most are made from grains these days 🤷♀️
Anyway… this will make an excellent Bloody Mary one day and that’s the nicest thing I’ll say about this particular vodka. 🥫
Day 29: GERMAN DUMPLINGS (KARTOFFELKLOESSE)
I had forgotten how easy it is to make German potato dumplings! Just some mash, starch (I used tapioca, but many use potato), nutmeg and salt. A good recipe for the ratios can be found on Ela Vegan here.
The key is to cook the dumplings in super duper salty water. 💦
So fluffy and gelatinous at the same time and boy, oh boy do they take on gravy well.
Day 30: POTATO GEMS
An ultimate comfort food, we used to have Gems (or tater tots) as a treat when mum couldn’t be bothered cooking. Kinda like tiny hash browns, I adore these loaded with chilli or nacho style cheese and hot sauce.
I ordered the loaded gems from Easeys as they do an epic slow cooker beef chilli and was not disappointed. More loaded than gems, I was thrilled to not have to make these from scratch, to be honest!
Day 31: RAW POTATO
Don’t be disappointed though, I actually have a list of 11 more potato recipes I didn’t even make that you can look up and try (in case 30 varieties wasn’t enough for you!):
- German Spetzl
- Pan Fried Potatoes
- Potato Lasagne
- Potato Gratin Dauphinois
- Fondant Potatoes
- German Pickert Pancake
- Korean Potato Skewers
- Finnish Boiled Potatoes
- German Potato Cheese (Kartoffelkas)
- Irish “Boxty” Potato Pancake
- Cooked in Earth Attica Potato