What "plain" vegetarian potato dish can I serve at work tomorrow?
May 27, 2015 5:35 AM   Subscribe

What "plain", simple, or sauce on the side vegetarian potato dish will be good cold or reheated in a work kitchen or in a slow cooker? Serve: 15-20. Leftovers are OK.

One of my bosses got a raise and I'd like to bring a treat for my team to share. Problem is, he's super, super picky vegie-avoider and I'm a picky vegetarian. About the only intersection of our tastes is plain potatoes--think french fries, hash browns, mashed potatoes... I'm not sure if he'll eat them with cheese on, even. I want something slightly more impressive than reheated mashed potatoes. At home I have a standard kitchen, at work I have a fridge, a microwave, a very small and dubious toaster oven, and I can bring in a slow cooker (and I have a full collection of serving utensils, disposable eating utensils, etc.).
posted by anaelith to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Roast some fingerling potatoes and serve with a sauce on the side. If your boss doesn't mind vegetables touching the potatoes, put other roasted vegetables on the platter with the potatoes for color and interest. Otherwise maybe a separate platter. You can serve these room temperature; think antipasti.
posted by BibiRose at 5:43 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Boxty? Champ?

Wikipedia has a List of potato dishes.
posted by kmennie at 5:53 AM on May 27, 2015

Garlic potatoes with parsley are good cold or warm, imo. Mince some garlic and fresh parsley, mix in 1-2 tablespoons of oil, and let it sit while you par-boil then bake new/baby potatoes. (Use sunflower oil for the baking, it will make them nice and brown and crispy - olive oil will leave them kind of soft - and season with a good amount of sea salt.) Three-five minutes before the potatoes are done, drizzle them with the garlic/parsley/oil mix. (Or you could make the potatoes and leave the garlic mix on the side, just cook it on the stove top at home for a few minutes at a low heat to get the garlic going.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:55 AM on May 27, 2015

Potato Cheese Bake - dead simple & super yummy. Every time I have brought it for a potluck I end up with just an empty bowl to take home.
posted by jammy at 6:09 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I went to a wedding where there was a mashed potato bar and everyone loved it. Fill the slow cooker with mashed potatoes, then have different toppings on the side (sour cream, chives, butter, those "bacon bits" that contain no actual bacon, a couple of varieties of shredded cheese, etc).
posted by JDHarper at 6:31 AM on May 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

Ooh, how about a Spanish Tortilla? 5 ingredients, stovetop prep, and meant to eat at room temperature.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:34 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Potato salad? make it with a tiny bit of onion, and mayo into which you add some Italian salad dressing. Then chop up the mix-ins - red onion, pickles, hard-boiled egg, green olives, celery - to serve on the side.
posted by theora55 at 6:53 AM on May 27, 2015

Similar to JDHarper's suggestion: I was going to suggest potato skins with a bar of toppings.
posted by whitelily at 6:59 AM on May 27, 2015

Duchess Potatoes. Basically mashed potato piped into shapes with some butter brushed on the top & browned off in the oven. You can get fancy & add egg yolks to the mash for extra crispy topping but I do them without all the time for a friend that doesn't do eggs. Easy to serve, easy to reheat and are basically fancy mashed potatoes.
posted by wwax at 7:49 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I just noticed the tortilla recipe I linked to above says it serves four, but you can get at least eight servings out of that. It's an extremely rich dish.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:10 AM on May 27, 2015

Could you make two dishes for 8-10 people? You can use the potatoes as the base for both so it's not twice as much work.
posted by aniola at 9:32 AM on May 27, 2015

He doesn't even like cheese on his potatoes? Oh goodness. I would've said potato au gratin, twice baked potato, etc.

What if you brought in and reheated plain baked potatoes and a bunch of toppings for a mini toppings bar? Like bring in baked potatoes and then: melted cheese sauce, broccoli, sour cream, green onion and bacon. (I'm not sure what else people eat on baked potatoes, but you get the idea.) Then, it can be as plain as he wants it and you can add something you like to it. You could maybe do it like a twice-baked potato by mashing the insides so they are easier to eat, but don't add any cheese or sour cream or onion, since he may not want that.

Another idea: maybe some sort of tater tot trio with dipping sauces. Plain tater tots, sweet potato tots, and maybe jalapeno or bacon tater tots. Then bring in ranch dressing, ketchup, chipotle mayo and let people dip.

The other idea that jumps to mind is just baby red potatoes, or maybe even those fancy colored fingerling potatoes, diced or sliced up and cooked in some olive oil with a little salt. It's very plain, but it can look nice.
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:21 AM on May 27, 2015

Mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy!
posted by oceanjesse at 11:39 AM on May 27, 2015

I would rethink this if at all possible - a bowl of mash does not scream "yay well done" to me at all. Delicious comfort food yes, celebratory meal no. I would go down the traditional cookie or cake route myself, unless he is so picky he hates all sweet items too.

If you have already committed yourself to savoury, I would go with cold potatoes dauphinoises (omit the garlic) and a separate green salad, plus maybe some sliced deli meats for the others (depending on how strict a vegetarian you are - I won't eat meat products but will provide them for other people, ymmv).
posted by tinkletown at 2:24 PM on May 27, 2015

Yes, what Room 641-A said! A Spanish tortilla is rich, delicious, simple, and meant to be at room temp. It is more than the sum of it's parts, it's the kind of thing you can't stop yourself from eating. Fantastic.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:37 PM on May 27, 2015

Thank you everyone. I have pushed back the potato treats a little bit, so I have more time to think about it (but it will still happen).

Garlic is right out, he once complained about me eating a garlic pasta (wasn't that garlicy) from across the cube.

Desserts are out, I bake all the time for the rest of my team and he's turned up his nose at everything so far--I think the only thing he's actually eaten is a plain white cake, after he scraped all the frosting off. (Earlier this week he snubbed a delicious bee-sting cake with the pudding on the side because he doesn't like almonds.)

We're pretty sure he doesn't like cheese, he will complain if the person at Wendy's accidentally puts cheese (or tomato, or lettuce) on his burger. On the other hand, he does eat pizza.

Some more information to give you an idea of how picky he is... Typical meals are Wendy's (burger with NO toppings, fries, soda), Chipotle (soft tortillas with steak, a little white rice, and, I think, a little corn), or leftovers which is usually just meat and potatoes, flavored yogurt tubes for snacks. Also once I made a quiche like this only no bell peppers and no mushrooms. He said it was much too spicy, I liked it (I'm picky, too, and don't like spicy), and every single other person said it tasted like cardboard.

Despite being so picky, he's highly food motivated, so if I can come up with something that's plain enough but still looks nice then I think he'll be pretty happy.
posted by anaelith at 4:56 AM on May 28, 2015

Also, I will serve meat, but I won't cook/prepare it, and I have a lot of difficulty figuring out what type of meat people might like and how much. We have a couple of other vegetarians on the team, but most people here eat meat.
posted by anaelith at 5:01 AM on May 28, 2015

Your boss might be my 9 yo daughter. Bagged popcorn? Peanut butter bread? Seriously though since you have more time, what about baked potato soup in slow cooker with toppings on side? Sour cream, chopped green onions, bacon or bacon-ish bits, grated cheddar, even brocolli if you want to go all out and add a veggie. If you wanted to take this even farther you could add sides of salsa, ground veggie beef (Yves, Morningstar), jalapenos, and corn. The first baked potato soup recipe I made was a Cooking Light recipe but there are many good recipes out there. I may suggest using whipping cream and cream cheese if you are holding it at temperature or reheating to boiling as those dairies will not break like milk might.
posted by RoadScholar at 12:50 PM on May 28, 2015

Baked potatoes are easy for lunch if they are hot when you leave in the morning, each wrapped in foil, and you transport them in an ice chest. Yes, ice chests can keep things hot if that's how they start out.

You'd have to wake up pretty early to cook them all, but hey, it's a special occasion!!

You might also present this as a team pot luck event and have people bring various dishes that won't each make everyone happy, but enough choices will let everyone be at least partially happy.
posted by CathyG at 1:04 PM on May 28, 2015

New potatoes, cooked in butter until golden brown. You can do this in a pan or oven. The oven baked version is crunchier and probably prettier. Serve as a side to baked chicken and have some kind of egg or cheese dish to round it out for the vegetarians (or beans if there are vegans).

I am a huge fan of potatoes and I have a lot of dietary restrictions. This is my favorite plain but fancy-looking dish. You can use a mix of yellow and red new potatoes if you want some visual interest. Scrub them, remove any bad spots and cut up with the skin still on. No spices necessary, though you can add salt and pepper if you think he will accept that. I also do paprika, but if you want to be super conservative, just cook the potatoes in butter and serve.
posted by Michele in California at 1:29 PM on May 28, 2015

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