September is National Potato Month, so celebrate with a potato dish!

POTATO STACKS WITH GARLIC AND THYME

With this dish, you have an elegant presentation, but an easy to assemble recipe. If you have a mandolin, slice the potatoes paper thin. You can either cook these in muffin tins as I did, or stack them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. The flavors of the garlic and thyme are an excellent pairing with the potatoes.

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 pound Russet potatoes, sliced very thin (potato chip thin!)

Sea salt and ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

For the garlic oil:

Combine the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan and gently warm over low heat until fragrant but the garlic is not brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Peel the potatoes and thinly slice them with a mandolin or by hand.

Brush the muffin tins with the garlic oil using a pastry brush or paper towel.

Put the slices in a large bowl and toss with the oil mixture and salt and pepper until well coated. Divide the potato slices evenly between the muffin tins. Sprinkle the potato stacks with the thyme leaves.

Bake the potato stacks in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and cooked through. Carefully remove from the muffin tins and place on a serving platter. Serve immediately.

WHITE CHEDDAR POTATOES

The use of a food processor will give you the uniformly thin slices of potatoes that make this dish so beautiful and allow all the creamy, cheesy goodness to fill in between the layers.

4 medium potatoes, washed and sliced very thin

8 oz. sour cream

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon dried parsley

8 oz. block of white cheddar cheese, shredded, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

Layer one-half of the potatoes into the dish. In a medium bowl, combine the next six ingredients along with half of the shredded cheese.

Slowly pour half of the sour cream mixture over the potatoes. Layer remaining potatoes, pour remaining sour cream mixture over the them and top with remaining shredded cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 45 to 50 minutes. Remove foil and let potatoes cook another 15 minutes or so until a knife can easily pierce them.

If desired, place potatoes under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.

TWICE BAKED POTATOES WITH CREOLE SEASONED SHRIMP

This dish could be served as an appetizer or as a main course along with a green salad. Select small shrimp for the perfect bite. While the potatoes bake, peel and devein the shrimp, and prepare the filling.

2 large-sized baking potatoes

Olive oil

Kosher salt

1 stick butter

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 ribs celery, diced

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 to 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh chives, thinly sliced

Scrub potatoes well. Lightly coat with olive oil and roll in kosher salt. Pierce several times with a fork and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in a preheated 400-degree oven. Bake for an hour or so until done. Remove from oven.

Allow the potatoes to cool for 5 minutes or so. Slice the potatoes lengthwise. Carefully scoop out potato pulp leaving a thin “rim” of potato in the peeling to help support the shell. Place potato pulp in a bowl.

While potatoes are baking, prepare the filling.

In a large cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper and celery. Allow to cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or so until vegetables have softened. Add garlic and Creole seasoning and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Add shrimp and lower heat to medium. Cook, constantly stirring, until shrimp are pink and opaque.

Remove skillet from heat. Add sour cream and cheese, and stir to combine with the shrimp and the vegetables.

Next, add potatoes and stir to combine thoroughly. Using a small spoon, carefully fill the reserved potato shells.

Place back into the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or so to reheat the potatoes, and before serving, top with freshly ground black pepper and chives.

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. She won the Duke Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram and fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.