fried cheddar potato balls

Photo: Mariha-kitchen/Thinkstock

A Handheld Version of Everyone's Favorite
Crispy, creamy potato croquettes are traditionally a handy way to repurpose leftover mashed potatoes. Yet they're so delicious, we'd happily make a batch of mashed potatoes just so we could scoop them into balls, roll them in bread crumbs and fry them. The surprise ingredient in this recipe, from Jacqueline Dodd's new book, The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook, is a half-cup of citrusy IPA; its carbonation adds body and lightness.

Get the recipe: Fried IPA Cheddar Mashed-Potato Balls
breakfast potatoes

Photo: Christina Lane

A Hack for Hash Browns
This two-step method for perfectly cooked bite-size potato cubes is a revelation. It's from Christina Lane's new book, Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two, and has you microwave whole, russet baking potatoes, wrapped in paper towels, for a few minutes until they're mostly done. Then, you carefully dice them and cook them in oil and butter on the stovetop. They'll be golden-brown on the outside and fluffy inside, making a fantastic accompaniment at breakfast, brunch or any meal, really.

Get the recipe: Shortcut Breakfast Potatoes
savoyard gratin

Photo: Quentin Bacon

The Only Gratin You Really Need
Potato gratin is a classic French dish wherein thinly sliced spuds, soaked in a heady mixture of milk, cream and cheese, are baked until they're bubbling. It isn't hard to make this ultimate comfort-food dish, but this recipe from The Essence of French Cooking, by Michel Roux, explains how to get the dish perfect every time. First, use Comté, Gruyére or Emmentaler cheese; each melts like a dream and has a slightly sweet note. Second, include a fresh grating of nutmeg to give the dish a warm, fragrant taste. Finally: Rub the inside of the baking dish with a cut garlic clove before you pile the potatoes in to give everything a subtle kick.

Get the recipe: Potato Gratin Savoyard
apple latkes

Photo: Noah Fecks

A Reason to Eat a Holiday Classic Year-Round
News flash: Latkes aren't just for Hanukkah. And if you've never made potato pancakes, this is an excellent (if untraditional) recipe. The latkes are baked, not fried, so you get that satisfying crunch but none of the mess—or the, you know, extra calories. This recipe, from Florence Fabricant's City Harvest, includes an apple puree that has hints of rosemary and ginger; it's a play on the applesauce that usually accompanies latkes, and is just sweet enough.

Get the recipe: Latkes with Apple Puree and Sour Cream
smashed potatoes

Photo: Lynn Andriani

An Insanely Tasty Boil-and-Bake Spud
This game-changing technique will alter your view of just how delicious a potato can be. First, you cook baby new potatoes in simmering water until they're soft enough that you can smash them slightly with the bottom of your fist (you let them cool slightly first). Then you transfer the potatoes to a baking pan, coat them with olive oil and salt and slide them into a blazing-hot oven. The banged-up edges of the potatoes will be brown and crisp, while the insides will be soft and pillowy.

Get the recipe: Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs