Potatoes: Any Meal's Best Friend
October 14, 2018

Potatoes: Any Meal's Best Friend

With over 4,000 varieties around the world, the potato is designated as one of the top four crops on Earth. An average potato has around 110 calories with a bit over 4 gram of protein, and no fat or sodium. Having such a worldly flair enables a multitude of cooking styles and recipes.

The most known and popular of the potato dishes is, of course, the good, old-fashioned mashed. Russet is the most used and liked of all the tubers. The Russet Burbank, created by Luther Burbank, has a higher resistance to disease and contains a high starch content. This potato variety is textbook for baking, mashing, and frying. Here is a great mashed potato recipe.

MASHED POTATOES

INGREDIENTS
4 medium Russet potatoes cleaned, peeled, and sliced in half
1/3 cup of butter
½ cup of whole milk
Salt & pepper to taste (plus 2 teaspoons for the water)

A bowl of delicious mashed potatoes with melted butter.

After peeling the potatoes with the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Vegetable Peeler, slicing in half is effortless using the MAC 8” Pro Chef’s knife. Place the sliced potatoes in Le Creuset 12 QT Cherry Stockpot.  Cover with water.  Add 2 teaspoons of salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a medium low and cover until tender with a fork.  20 to 25 minutes should be the correct timing on the taters.  Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Heat on high for around 30 seconds to dry the potatoes.  Using an OXO Good Grips Potato Masher,  simply mash thoroughly.  Add the milk and butter while whipping your potatoes into a creamy, fluffy side for al to enjoy.  Don’t over-do it. This makes the spuds gluey.   Another great method for producing fluffy mashed potatoes every time is by using the Salton Masha Vegetable/ Potato Masher.  No lumps or clumps will occur with the rotor technology Salton has invented.

Pair your mash with a juicy steak and some bacon wrapped asparagus for a fantastic dinner!

Cooling it down, yet spicing things up a bit with a potato salad always is a fan favourite at the pot luck.  Adding a dash of hot sauce, or even a chili paste such as Harissa create a unique flavour to this classic salad.  Waxy potatoes in the likes of Yukon Golds or Reds will provide the structural integrity needed to keep this salad at its best.

SPICED-UP TATER SALAD

INGREDIENTS
2 large Yukon Gold and 4 Red potatoes (adds color)
2 teaspoons of capers (diced fine)
1 small red onion (diced)
1 small can of sliced black olives (drained and dried)
¼ cup frozen peas (rinsed and dried with paper towel)
store bought (or homemade) mayo
1 tablespoon Harissa or 5 dashes of a vinegar based hot sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, salt, and pepper

First, scrub your potatoes clean with the OXO Good Grips Vegetable Brush.  Leave the potatoes whole for steaming tender in the Breville Digital Food Steamer.  Full steam occurs in 30 seconds, providing quick heat for potatoes and much more! Peeling is easy after the steaming.  Peel the thin skin with the Zyliss Inspired Julienne Peeler once cool enough to touch.  Dice into ½ equal cubes via the Global 4.5” Utility Knife with Solid Handle.  Now, just insert all ingredients except the mayo to a large glass bowl such as the Pasabahce 85OZ Glass Bowl .  Mix with the Vollrath 10” Spatula. Add the mayo until all ingredients are fully covered. Allow to rest in the fridge overnight. More mayonnaise might be needed as absorption and cooling occurred during the respite.  This recipe is sure to make folks inquire about the distinctive flavour due to the Harissa’s involvement.  What fun it is to have your guests asking what this unique flavour is.

One of the easiest and prettiest potatoes to be placed on a plate is the Hasselback.  One only needs 9 ingredients to mesmerize your guests with this spectacular spud. Careful cuts create a crispy, fanned- out, and unforgettable spud.

HASSELBACK POTATO

INGREDIENTS
1 Red Bliss, Russet, or Yukon Gold potato
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
chives (trimmed)
½ stick of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
OPTIONAL
Sour cream

Hasselback potatoes dish garnished with Parmesan cheese

Clean the potato utilizing the OXO Good Grips Vegetable Brush.  Handling a Miyabi 5” Shoto/ Paring Knife  provides the perfect precision to cut the potato 1/8 inch width-wise, 3/4th’s down. Do not lacerate the potato fully.  These cuts deliver the caverns needed to hold the fats (olive oil and butter), herbs, and cheese.  Mix olive oil, butter, salt and pepper, and rosemary together. Reserve all of these ingredients for a second layer.  Liberally rub the potato fully.  Bake in a preheated oven at 425° to guarantee a crispy crust. At the 30-minute marker, paint another layer on the spud by means of the Chef Craft 10.5” Premium Silicone Basting Brush.  At 30 minutes, the potato should have “blossomed” a bit opening up fissures to coat the soon to be fluffy insides with even more fats and herbs.  This too, will add more to the crispy texture.  Now, at the 50 minute indicator, timed with a Escali Triple Event Timer,  which makes timing different dishes an ease, add the Parmesan to the top. Again, bake it off for the last 10 minutes. Potatoes generally take an hour to bake.  Times vary due to size and temperature variations.  It should be crusty, and the Parmesan a bit golden.  Gorgeous as it is delectable - Enjoy!

For those lucky enough, the La Bonnotte from an isle in France is listed as the world’s most pricey tuber.  $300 a pound due to the fertile soil contains seaweed.  These taters register as the 5th most expensive food in the world. Hand-picked and around for only the 1st ten days in May, make these root vegetables far from the everyday baked.

Enjoy your local farmers markets to locate some rarer potatoes than the supermarkets. Experiment with the different textures needed for the multiplicity of recipes out there.  As a side or main dish, the potato as a natural vegetarian food source can be fashioned to suit one’s needs.  Healthy with a bit of oil and pepper, or bacon and cheese?  Up to you.

Bon Appetit!