Thursday, April 07, 2011
I promised this the 6th and final blog on potatoes to include recipes and how to store them some time ago.
There is a lot of information in the first 5 blogs and you might want to read them if you haven’t previously done so.
Now it is Spring! Do you have some spuds that have sprouted? Instead of throwing them away perhaps some info on growing a few just to see if you can do it?
Remember to allow for drainage or have drainage holes in whatever you use and don’t overwater. By planting them in a pot…you can watch out for the potato bugs too!
1. You can take a trash can and cut out the bottom, sink it into the ground and grow potatoes in it.
2. Take the large black pots that a tree or shrub comes in to grow a few potatoes in…This way you can put them wherever you have enough sun.
3. You can grow potatoes in a 5 gallon bucket, (I hear fast food places like Subway might get pickles in them or you can purchase at Home Depot).
4. Use tires and as the plant grows larger just add another tire….this is good if ;you have tires around that you no longer use…
I don’t recommend going out and getting them because if you don’t like this method you will have to deal with their disposal which could be costly. You can also grow them in your open wire compost bin or under hay bales with the same idea, as the plant grows you throw on more compost or hay. Both of these methods are not labor intensive when it comes to gathering your taters in the fall!
Now if you are using the trash can, large black pots or a 5-gallon bucket you need to fill your container to the top with a mixture of half sand and half potting soil. Now plant one piece of a potato with an eye or two in each container to insure the tubers have adequate room to develop. When you cut the potato you should allow it to dry overnight before you plant them. This helps to prevent rotting. You need to plant the potato about 4 inches deep with the eye pointed upwards so it will grow as quickly as possible.
Raw Fried Potatoes
Note: This is what my Mother and Grandmother called them. I think it has something to do with living near the Pennsylvania Dutch people. Anyway it is a good “soul” food that says home for me. Originally my Mom used lard or Crisco but I have changed it to Extra Virgin olive oil with no problems. The taste will be a bit different but still good.
A. Just remember not to use new potatoes as they don’t fry well and russets work better than a red or gold potato.
B. Use cast iron or other non-coated pans because of the high heat!
C. These potatoes go great with dried beef gravy for breakfast or dinner…add some fresh cantaloupe and you are set!
Now I like to cook up a huge cast iron skillet full of these …and it doesn’t matter whether these are large or medium russets. I like to use the really large ones for this recipe. You may peel or not peel them as you prefer. I grew up with them peeled but have chosen to leave the peel on for more fiber…Your choice.
1. Slice enough potatoes to fill your pan. Potatoes should be washed, dried (to prevent splatters) and then peeled or unpeeled (your choice) into about ¼ inch slices.
2. Heat your cast iron or large skillet to a high heat and add ¼ to ½ cup of olive oil. There should be enough to coat the pans bottom and you can add more if needed later.
3. Add your slice potatoes to the pan, salt and pepper them….you will need some salt! Salt to taste, you can try just a little the first time and add more at the table until you figure out how much you want.
4. Turn the heat down to medium heat, cover with a lid (a stainless cookie sheet will do) and let them cook until soft….Do not turn the potatoes until they have browned slightly or they will stick.
Turn over and continue frying, it will take 5-8 minutes per side… Remove the lid and cook for 5 or 10 minutes more, carefully turning potatoes once or twice with a spatula so they become golden brown on top and bottom. I usually make a huge pan and cook a total of 25 minutes so they are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Candied Sweet Potatoes…. 4 servings
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
small amount of salt
1. Scrub sweet potatoes with a stiff brush.
2. Cook in skin in a large saucepan covered with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are not quite tender when pierced with a knife in the center, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Drain potatoes and cool until easy enough to handle.
2. Using hands and/or paring knife peel and remove skin and blemishes from potatoes. Then slice crosswise.
3. Melt butter in large 10" cast iron skillet at low temp add brown sugar, spices and water. and cook for about 10 minutes, uncovered over a very low heat.
4. Add sweet potatoes in single layer in pan and cook over low heat about 20-30 minutes, using a large spoon, turn potatoes occasionally to cook evenly so they caramelize and coat with glaze
Irish Root Soup …6 servings
I entered this recipe in our State Fair and it is in our States's Sesquicentennial cookbook!
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 lbs carrots
2 leeks (white part only!)sliced
6 cloves of garlic
2 lbs sweet potatoes- boiled, roasted, peeled and halved*
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups whipping cream +cream for garnish (or half & half)
pinch sea salt
pinch white pepper
2 T sugar or Stevia
1 T fresh ginger- grated
a pureed soup made with carrots, leeks, garlic and sweet potato
* Boil potatoes about 10 minutes, then oven-roast by placing potatoes on cookie sheet in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until browned and tender.
Heat oil and butter in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, leeks, garlic and sweet potatoes. Sauté until leeks are translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add stock and cream. Cover and simmer until carrots and potatoes are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Puree soup in batches in blender or Vita-Mix. Return soup to same saucepan. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Stir soup over medium heat until heated through. Ladle into bowls and top with whipped cream if desired. Makes 6 servings.
Adding sugar will make give this a sweeter taste, and adding ginger a spicier taste. I add the Stevia and fresh ginger and make a great taste. We love this hot or cold, for lunch or dinner, with a sandwich or a salad. I make up a batch and freeze some for later use…just put the soup into a microwave proof casserole dish with lid and thaw and heat in microwave.
Herb Roasted Potatoes – 4 servings
2 lbs small red potatoes
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T of dried basil OR garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Wash potatoes and quarter them. In a bowl mix the potato pieces with olive oil and spices. Coat evenly and then pour onto baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes until the potatoes edges begin to brown nicely.
Calories 145 gr, Carbs 21 gr, Sodium 301 mg, Fat 4 gr
How to Store Potatoes
First, when buying potatoes check to insure there are no spoiled ones or bad odor.
One potato can ruin several pounds.
If purchased in plastic bags remove and store in brown paper bagsor burlap that allows
them to breath and not build up humidity and also keep the light out so they don't turn green.
Do not store in the refrigerator.
Do not rinse/ wash potatoes before storing.
Store potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place as in the coolest partof the basement, away from
heat and humidity.
If you live in a warmer climate perhaps an insulated garage.
A root cellar, if you have one, is the best storage option.
Make sure the temperature in the area is about 45 to 50 degrees F.
Do not store potatoes with onions but you can store them with an
apple in each bag to prohibit growth.