We get that if you love one ingredient (say, potatoes), you need more than one or two or even three go-to ways to make it over and over again so they feel new and exciting each time.
In the potato chapter of Dinner Made Simple, we tackle easy Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Scallion and Potato Soup and Latkes, among other things, but to me, the Crispy Accordion Potatoes—a singled dishes of potatoes, bay leaves, garlic, and olive oil, baked to crispy perfection—is the star. It’s a side for a any holiday or any day, for company or just your regular crew.
But here’s why it’s really worth it to slice 3 pounds of potatoes into thin rounds: This dish morphs into even more dishes with just a little more work.
Make these potatoes on a Sunday, and double if needed to make sure you have at least half a batch leftover.
Make sure you have some of these things handy:
Several melting and crumbling cheese like Monterey jack or cheddar, plus cotija, feta, or ricotta salata
Skirt or flank steak
Sriracha or another hot sauce
Black beans and white beans
Watercress, arugula, or baby greens
Olives (any kind)
Pea shoots (optional)
Herbs: cilantro, parsley
Sour cream, mayo and other creamy condiments
Pico de gallo or fresh salsa
Now use leftover potatoes to make one or more of these:
Watercress Nicoise Salad with Crispy Potato Croutons: Heat accordion potatoes in the casserole dish in the oven until warmed and crisped, drizzling with olive oil first if needed. Toss together olive oil, lemon juice, watercress (or other small greens), pea shoots, white beans, halved hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced radishes, crisped potatoes, and olives of your choice. Serve at room temperature. For more protein, toss in chopped anchovies or chunks of high quality tuna from a jar.
Nachos: Spread remaining accordion potatoes on a sheet pan in a single layer, and top them with shaved corn, black beans, and grated Monterey jack cheese. Flash them in the oven until the cheese is melted and everything is warm. Take them out and sprinkle them with cotija cheese, cilantro, pico de gallo, chopped avocado, and sour cream. Serve warm.
Spanish Tortilla: Separate the leftover potatoes and use them in place of the cooked potatoes (skip step 1) in this Spanish tortilla. The egg will soften the potato while it cooks, and any browned and crispy parts will be a welcome change to the traditional method.
Steak Frites: Season a skirt or flank steak generously with coarse sea salt black pepper. Sear it in a pan or a grill pan. Meanwhile, heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large pan, and lay out remaining accordion potatoes in a single layer. Cook, stirring occasional, until crispy on all sides. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve alongside the steak, with mayo for dipping.
Potato Hash with Egg, Avocado and Sriracha Mayo: Scoot the leftover potatoes into a layer in the bottom of the dish, leaving a few pockets empty. Heat in a 350°F oven until warmed through. Crack 4 to 6 eggs into the empty spots, season the eggs with and pepper, and return to the oven. Meanwhile, chop an avocado and stir together 1/4 cup of mayo and up to 1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce. Serve the eggs and potatoes with avocado and Sriracha mayo, for breakfast or dinner.