The common question I receive from being a food blogger is this, “Do you cook?” Dang! And I give them an answer, “Hmmm… If I have the time.” Hahaha! That’s an honest answer ladies and gentlemen. As you’ve noticed, whether on Facebook or my Instagram account, I love posting photos of food I eat. Not from my own kitchen but from someone else’s. Basically, eating out in restaurants takes a big bulk of my lifestyle. Although I figured that some, if not most, of the dishes I tried could also be learned in my own kitchen. It’s time to brush up my cooking skills to prepare myself for the future. Hahaha! 
Before I drive you to my own kitchen, I’ll share with you two food establishments that inspired me to pull up my sleeves to hold the frying pan.

Press Cafe

Press Cafe, tucked inside Fully Booked Greenhills, portray an ideal spot for book and coffee lovers. Two relaxing objects under one roof. In this coffee shop, coffee is accompanied by various snacks you can choose from. 
The interiors encourage you to put down your phones and go lift a book to read. 
Press Fries (Php 155)
Rate: 4/5
I took my cousin Nathan out, also known as Ice in my previous posts, before school starts for him. His all-time required snack should be ordered and that was a plate of fries. I love that Press Cafe used thick-cut American potato wedges for their Press Fries, also served with ketchup or garlic mayo. Every kid has a soft spot for fries and this version of Press Cafe impressed us, especially my cousin. I figured, one order wasn’t enough for us. And this was the start of an idea for me to make similar potato wedges at home. 
Grilled Cheese with Ham (Php 240)
Rate: 5/5
To treat my personal cravings for cheese, I got myself Grilled Cheese with Ham. Glued and oozing cheese falling out of its wheat bread slices. Adding ham is an optional for a smoky and salty flavor. 
On its side, slim-sliced potato chips and aioli dip. Nathan was more inclined to digging for the chips than the sandwich. He loved the thin crisp that didn’t leave a hint of its oil. However, it was ‘bitin!’ or in other words, we wanted a bucket of these crisp potato chips. That was our feeling after finishing the chips on the side. I was supposed to order one more but I realized I could make more if I buy US quality potatoes in the supermarket and cook for my cousin. 

Irish Potatoes

On one side trip to Fisher Mall for a restaurant review, Reine and I passed by a small stand beside the escalator called Irish Potatoes. It’s a new brand to my ears and eyes. I haven’t tried this Potato Corner look-alike so I took the opportunity to taste and see what Irish Potatoes serve. 
Gaging its value for money, Irish Potatoes is way cheaper than the popular brand we all know. Price starts from P59. Irish Potatoes gives us more options on how we want our potatoes dressed up. Choose from their powder flavors, sauces and creative combinations of toppings. 
Fries with Sour Cream ‘n Onion Powder
Rate: 5/5
The sour cream ‘n onion powder used is like a replica of the other brand around the corner. The big difference lies on the potatoes used. Irish Potatoes used thicker and fuller potato fries, which I loved more! You can taste the actual potatoes with a thicker cut. I hope they expand more across Metro Manila!

Gaelic Rage
Rate: 4/5
Reine wanted to try Gaelic Rage, combination of cheese powder, chili and beef. Thick cheese powder was very appetizing and kid-friendly. A temptress to all kids you want to please. For its added chili and beef, it gave a Mexican feel and somehow turned it to nachos style. 
Because of these fries, I had non-stop cravings for more french fries at home, while working or watching my TV series. 

US Potato Board Recipes

What if you are an amateur cook like me and want to prepare similar potato dishes in your own home? It’s a breeze to know that the main ingredient we all need is available in major supermarkets. I bought mine in SM Megamall supermarket by the way. That ingredient is no other than US Potato Board’s Frozen Potatoes
America’s favorite vegetable is in the Philippines and sorted according to US standards. When you purchase frozen potatoes, please check the label and make sure it has a USPB (United States Potato Board) seal on it. With only 110 calories, rich in Vitamin C, potassium and fiber, leading nutrition experts like Harvard Medical School’s Dr. George L. Blackburn and registered dietitian Ann M. Coulston – past president of the American Diabetic Association – recommend US potatoes as part of a healthy and balanced diet. But of course, with certain limitations that you won’t go overboard. 
Heat turned on to fry potatoes! Time for me to share with you my simple and humble recipe that I created using US Potato Board products. 
I purchased two types of Lamb Weston potatoes – Wedge Cut Fries and Waffle Cut Fries. There are more varieties available in the supermarket but I only needed these two types for the recipe I had in mind. Other potato cuts available are the following: straight cut, natural crisp (chips), slices, twister fries, hash brown, smileys and crinkles. 
Let’s start off with the first dish, which I call 5-Dip Potato Wedges.
In this recipe, you can be creative in mixing and matching your chosen dipping sauces. I suggest, colors of dipping sauces should vary.

5-Dip Potato Wedges

Lamb Weston Wedge Cut Fries
Vegetable or olive oil 
For the Sauce:
Barbecue sauce
Japanese sesame sauce
Cheese sauce
Sour cream with pesto dip
1. Heat a tiny amount of cooking oil, vegetable or olive oil, over medium-high heat. You don’t need to defrost the bag of potato wedges. 
2. Add the potatoes in single layer. Cook for 8-10 minutes to desired color and crispness.
3. Turn the potato wedges in both sides, 2-3 times, to ensure even cooking.
What’s awesome about the product is that your potatoes are not swimming in oil just to fry them properly. Frying, not deep frying. 
4. Drain the potato wedges using a large laddle. Once drained, transfer them to a separate plate. 
5. Fill in 5 saucers with 5 dipping sauces. My suggestions are ketchup, cheese sauce, barbecue sauce, Japanese sesame sauce, and sour cream with pesto dip. 
5 dips are optional as mentioned earlier. It really depends on your pantry’s stocks and your palate’s likings. For a presentable plate, choose a variety of colors for your dipping sauces. 

Potato Waffle Chocolate

Lamb Weston Waffle Cut Fries
Vegetable or olive oil
Premium chocolate bar
Bacon bits

1. Heat a tiny amount of cooking oil, vegetable or olive oil, over medium-high heat. Same as the potato wedges, there is no need to defrost the bag of potato waffles. 
2. Add the potatoes in single layer. Cook for 7-9 minutes to desired color and crispness.
3. Turn the potato waffles in both sides, 1-2 times, to ensure even cooking. 
4. Drain the potato waffles using a large laddle. Once drained, transfer them to a separate plate. 

5. In a separate pan, heat one premium chocolate bar until it melts. In this case, I used Dutche, a more economical brand that’s fitting to the semi-sweet chocolate taste I desire for this recipe. 
6. Dip potato waffles, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. Better to use tongs to do this properly. Refrigerating potato waffles with chocolate for 20-30 minutes is an option, which I strongly suggest.
7. Arrange potato waffles on plate and top it off with crunchy bacon bits. 
Tadahhh! My very own Royce-inspired potato chocolate recipe without the splurge. Haha! 
I’m absolutely sure you will have fun cooking these 2 recipes with your family, 5-Dip Potato Wedges and Potato Waffle Chocolate. The ingredients are easy to find and the recipes itself will not cost you too much time in the kitchen. 2 recipes for fun-loving foodies who find pleasure in eating potato dishes like me.
What do you think of these US Potato Board recipes
Share with me your thoughts! 🙂 
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The Food Scout