August 25, 2004 at 4:01 p.m.
What you don’t know about buying and cooking “spuds” (as the gentleman called them) probably won’t hurt you a bit, but there will be some differences in your finished products depending on the variety, age of the spuds you use, and how you store them. Old spuds that have been stored for part of a season will cook much faster than new; just harvested ones and raw potatoes stored in the fridge will have a sweet taste as the starch in the spuds will begin to turn to sugar. So, don’t store your spuds in the fridge, same as bananas. You can freeze mashed or deep fat fried spuds, but not raw spuds as they become soft and mushy when frozen.
This gentleman said to me, “Y’know, spuds are mostly water and have no fat. Shucks, there’s only about 70 calories in a medium spud but it’s all the other stuff you put on it that makes it high in calories and what’s that new fangled word they say?” You mean carbohydrates, I answered. “Yep, and if you’re worried about that, take a smaller spud.” Well, there you are.
We’re still grilling, aren’t we? This is a great way to individualize potatoes on the grill. Plan ahead as they take an hour to bake.
GRILLED POTATOES AND VEGGIES
6 medium Idaho russet baking potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 medium green pepper, sliced thin
1/4 t. garlic salt
1/4 c. melted butter or margarine
Slit potatoes crosswise at 1/4-inch intervals, but not through. Put onion and pepper slices in slits. Combine garlic salt and butter. Put on each potato on a square of foil (enough to wrap it completely) and pour butter mixture over each potato. Seal foil around potato, place on grill and cook for one hour or until tender when pierced.
NOTE: These can also be baked in the over at 375 degrees for one hour. Serves 6.
We tried this potato dish in a restaurant in Pocatello and they were delicious.
3 T. butter or margarine
4 Idaho potatoes, peeled (russets)
3 T. flour
1-1/2 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. paprika
1-3/4 c. half and half cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
Cut potatoes into thin slices, cut across slices to make matchstick pieces. Cook potatoes 3 minutes or until almost tender. Put in a buttered 1-1/2 qt. casserole; set aside.
In small saucepan melt butter, stir in flour until smooth. Whisk in mustard, paprika and cream. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; simmer two minutes. Add salt and pepper; pour sauce over potatoes; sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Serves 4.
This is a very quick way to make scalloped potatoes and I know it’s good.
2 lbs. (about 6 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 can cream of mushroom or celery soup, undiluted
2 T. butter or margarine
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
In a large bowl, combine potatoes and soup. Layer half of the mixture in a greased 8x8 baking dish or 2 qt. casserole. Dot with half the butter and sprinkle with half the cheese; repeat layers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serves 6.
NOTE: Any kind of russet potatoes may be used in these recipes, however, Idaho russets are really the best (so says the elderly gentleman I spoke of earlier.)
A little info for the day: Why do potatoes grow so well in Idaho? It’s due to the state’s warm days, cool nights and rich volcanic soil, along with fresh water from the mountain snowmelts. This water is brought down by the Snake River and used to irrigate the crop. I can vouch for the warm days and cool nights as when we were there the first week in August it was 98-101 degrees during the day and down to 50-55 at night and that’s the way it is from the middle of July through August––with very little humidity.
Commenting has been disabled for this item.