Out of all the vegetables in our world, I do believe the potato has to be my favorite! I can remember staying with my grandma during summer vacations out on her farm and there being a bowl of mashed potatoes or a bowl of boiled small red potatoes always ready for the eating. I remember coming indoors from playing with my cousins down in the woods by the pond. They would grab "icing balls" (yes, just what the words say) as their treats and I would grab a cold boiled red potato! Sometimes I would even pocket a few to much on outdoors while playing!
When we lived in Ohio and had a few acres of land, we would grow potatoes in our garden, that is until our English Bulldog "Reggie" would dig them up for his own treat! We had another English Bulldog "Mug-Z" who loved French Fries so much that when we had him in the car with us, if we did not stop at a Wendy's for a burger and fries, he would bark until we turned the car around and hit the drive-thru! Thank goodness our cats were not into potatoes!
Potatoes have been around a long time. There is even evidence that shows the potato was being cultivated 2,000 years ago in Peru. Potatoes arouse strong passions, not the sort which the aphrodisiac properties which potatoes have been supposed to have but do not in fact possess, but partisan passions. Some think mashed potatoes with good milk and butter are incomparable, and so they are for certain dishes like bangers and mash. The Irish claim that plain boiled potatoes, when prepared correctly, are the best of all (drain when cooked, leave to rest a few moments in the pot with a clean teacloth on top and shaken slightly). And who would not assert that chips/frites/French Fries have no competition in the world, but they may falter if they had a nice dish of golden-topped butter and cream enriched scalloped potatoes that the French enjoy. The Swiss may argue with you that the best potato dish is the Rosti! What about the classic Sunday Pot Roast that has those wonderful whole potatoes nestled beside the meat roasting away with the pan juices! Now, are you ready to fix some potatoes for dinner tonight!
I have come to enjoy "Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes" lately. They are petite little yellow potatoes that have a wonderful smooth texture and rich flavor. Leave the skin on and cut the potatoes into quarters. Heat the oven to about 400 degrees. Put the cut potatoes in a bowl, sprinkle with a good bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss well and put onto a cookie sheet and spread them out so they are not touching each other. Roast for about 10 minutes, then stir them, roast another 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. I love it when they have a nice outer crust on them. Also, as a variation, instead of the salt and pepper coating, I use a seasoning. Take for instance a Creole seasoning or even an Italian mixture of dried herbs, or you can use fresh herbs such as Rosemary. You can dress the potatoes to match the rest of the dishes you are having for dinner. These little guys are so versatile!
Did you know that the skin on the potato is not really nutritious but the layer immediately under it, which is only millimetres thick, contains most of the potato's vitamin C content. It also holds most of the flavour also. So next time you are peeling the potato for a dish, give it a second thought whether you need to peel or not!
Cheers and we will wine it tomorrow!