Title: One Potato, Two Potato (300 Recipes From Simple to Elegant - Appetizers, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and More)
Authors: Roy Finamore, with Molly Stevens
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001
Having always been rather a big fan of potatoes, when I saw this one on the shelves I just had to have it, and it's been well worth it. Shelf price is $35, though you can probably get it cheaper through Amazon.com or a book membership with various book shops.
Just as the title says, the book contains 300 recipes for potatoes. But they don't just dive in, no, first they explain all about potatoes.
"In each culture where it has appeared, the adaptable potato has been appropriated, stolen, and, inevitably, embraced. Potatoes are international and immensely important - second only to rice as a food crop. And unlike rice, potatoes find their way easily and elegantly into every course of a meal..."
Finamore goes on to delve slightly into the cultural history of the potato, and then into the different types of potatoes. There are, apparently, over 1000 types of potatoes. The book doesn't list them all, but merely convenient categories, and describes potatoes needed for recipe either by type, or starchiness.
The book contains the descriptions, notes on ingredients, and chapters on Appetizers and First Courses; Soups; Salads; Main Dishes; Mashed Potatoes; Fried Potatoes; Baked and Roasted Potatoes; Gratins and Scalloped Potatoes; Braised Potatoes; Boiled Potatoes; Breads and Rolls; and of course Desserts.
I'll admit I've made the most use of the desserts so far, mainly the Farmhouse Chocolate Cake (which uses white potatoes to stay moist longer, and is quite delicious), and especially the Caramel Sweet Potato Pie, which I've made my own adaptation of.
The book is rather painful in terms of keeping the pages open...I've found that the flour container works best, generally...but it's quite informative. Also, it tends to be very helpful to have a scale nearby, since all of the potatoes are given in weights, rather than cup sizes.
All in all, though it's a very useful book, and generally provides a lot of fairly simple ideas for things to do with potatoes that one might not otherwise come up with.
Roy Finamore is a leading editor of lifestyle books and cookbooks for Clarkson Potter (for authors like Martha Stewart, Dianna Kennedy, and Ina Garten) and Molly Stevens is a contributing editor to Fine Cooking and the author of Williams-Sonoma New England. The book is for the most part conversational, although at times it assumes the individual following the recipe is a seasoned cook and knows what they're talking about just from a brief description. Althogether, recommendable.