3 Simple potato dishes

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Spanish tortilla (egg-potato frittata). (March 1, 2011) Spanish tortilla (egg-potato frittata). (March 1, 2011) Photo Credit: Marge Perry

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Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

TIP Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure.

SPANISH TORTILLA (EGG-POTATO FRITTATA)

This is best served at room temperature and can be made a day in advance.

2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

2 cups very thinly sliced onion

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

4 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large, shallow baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then across in very thin slices. Toss with the red pepper, onion, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Spread on the prepared pan and bake, tossing occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 50 minutes.

3. Beat together the eggs, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Toss with the potatoes and let the mixture stand 15 minutes.

4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an 8- to 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potato mixture and cook, shaking the skillet frequently, until the egg is nearly set, about 8 minutes. Run a flexible spatula along the edge of the mixture to be sure it is not sticking to the pan. Place a plate over the skillet and quickly invert the omelet onto the plate. Slide it back into the pan and cook until the underside is golden and set, about 3 minutes longer. Let cool before cutting into wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 229 calories, 8 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 348 mg sodium

CAESAR MASHED POTATOES

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Alter the amount of milk to make thicker or creamier potatoes.

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, rinsed

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 small clove garlic, minced to a paste (1/4 teaspoon paste)

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Prick potatoes in several places with a fork. Place on plate in a spoke pattern and microwave, turning over once, until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes. Hold a potato with a potholder or kitchen towel and cut potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out flesh with a large spoon and transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining potatoes.

2. Meanwhile, warm milk and olive oil together in microwave. (Do not allow to boil.) Add to potatoes and mash into small chunks with a potato masher.

3. Combine mayonnaise, Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, mustard and black pepper. Add to potatoes and mash to desired consistency. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 255 calories, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 237 mg sodium

CHEDDAR-JALAPENO STUFFED POTATO SKINS

These may be made ahead and baked 15 minutes before serving.

2 large baking potatoes, about 1 pound

1/4 cup skim milk

2 tablespoons light sour cream

1/2 cup shredded light Cheddar cheese (2 ounces)

1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

1 scallion, chopped

1 large plum tomato, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and microwave until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Holding each half with a kitchen towel or pot holder, carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch thick shell.

3. Transfer potato flesh to bowl and combine with the milk, sour cream, Cheddar, jalapeño, scallion and tomato. Divide mixture evenly among the 4 skins and bake until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 149 calories, 7 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 133 mg sodium

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