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4 Potato recipes Matt Damon should have eaten in The Martian

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Matt Damon would have liked these potato recipes a lot better in The Martian

Just like many of you, I read The Martian — and I watched the movie. Unlike most of you (I assume), all I could think about when Mark Watney was growing and eating potatoes was: How did he prepare them? Followed by: I know how I would have done it! If NASA ever decides on a real Mars mission, I hope they send me — I’ve got an eternal supply of delicious spud recipes.  

In honor of The Martian’s three Golden Globe nominations — Best Director (Ridley Scott), Best Actor (Matt Damon) and Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy — I’ve created four easy and amazing potato recipes Mark Watney (and Matt Damon) would love!

Matt Damon would have liked these potato recipes a lot better in The Martian
Image: Robin Miller/SheKnows

Smoky baked potato chips recipe

The smoky paprika adds a touch of heat and a beautiful crimson color, making these perfect chips for any occasion, from cheeseburgers to prime rib.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, oil and salt. Toss everything to combine them together. (Use your hands to make sure the potato slices are evenly coated with oil and salt and separate slices if they get stuck together.)
  3. Transfer the potato slices to the prepared baking sheets, allowing a little room between each slice (this ensures they crisp up in the oven).
  4. Season the top with the paprika and black pepper.
  5. Bake them for 15 minutes.
  6. Rotate the baking sheets and cook again for 15 to 17 more minutes until they are golden brown and crisp.
  7. Transfer the potatoes to parchment paper and let them dry for 5 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the potatoes with additional salt if desired.

Matt Damon would have liked these potato recipes a lot better in The Martian
Image: Robin Miller/SheKnows

Potato hash with bell peppers recipe

The vinegar adds a burst of freshness at the end and complements the sweetness of the golden brown potatoes and peppers.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large or 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup minced white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter and oil together in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the potatoes and stir to coat the potatoes with the oil and butter.
  3. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the bell peppers, onion and garlic and stir to combine.
  5. Cover them and cook for 15 more minutes until the potatoes and vegetables are golden brown and tender.
  6. Stir in the vinegar.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Matt Damon would have liked these potato recipes a lot better in The Martian
Image: Robin Miller/SheKnows

Scalloped hash browns with two cheeses recipe

Using shredded potatoes instead of potato slices creates a more evenly cooked casserole every time. Plus, the blend of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, coupled with the caramelized onions, sends this side dish to the moon, er, I mean Mars.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 large or 3 medium russet potatoes, shredded and patted dry
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (Greek yogurt blend)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced white or yellow onion

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat a shallow baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients (potatoes through black pepper), and then mix well.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, melt the butter and oil together in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  7. Add the onion and cook for 15 minutes until they are golden brown and caramelized.
  8. After the potatoes have cooked for 1 hour, top with the caramelized onions.
  9. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.

Matt Damon would have liked these potato recipes a lot better in The Martian
Image: Robin Miller/SheKnows

Twice-baked potatoes with bacon and cheese recipe

Two types of melted cheese, crisp bacon and tender potatoes blended and baked to create a golden brown, cheesy exterior and creamy interior. The red planet’s new favorite side dish.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup and 4 teaspoons shredded Colby and Monterey jack cheese blend, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 4 slices applewood smoked bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Rub the oil all over the potatoes.
  3. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet or piece of aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour until they are tender.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  5. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to halve each potato lengthwise.
  6. Using a spoon, scrape the flesh into a mixing bowl, being careful not to tear the skin (leave about 1/4-inch of the flesh with the skin).
  7. Add the sour cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, green onions, bacon, oregano, salt and pepper to the potato flesh and mix everything until blended.
  8. Fill the potato shells with the filling.
  9. Top them with the remaining 4 teaspoons of cheese.
  10. Transfer the filled potatoes to a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese melts.
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