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Recipes for Busy Moms Recipes for Busy Moms

Ingredient of the Week March 17: Potatoes

Posted by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 1:01 AM
  • 14 Replies

 

                                 

Potatoes
Potatoes have become such a European staple that it wouldn’t be hard to find someone in Ireland or Poland who would swear that the starchy little tuberous crop was indigenous to the Old World. But in fact, potatoes are native to the
Americas and were only introduced to Europe in 1536. Today, the root is common in dishes and beverages the world over, in everything from potato chips and French fries to vodka and mashed potatoes. While thousands of varieties of potato still grow in the Andes today, where as many as a dozen varieties may be maintained in a single household, only a few varieties were brought back to the Old World and subsequently made a staple food. Because of this, genetic diversity amongst the potato dwindled, rendering the crop vulnerable to disease. By the mid-19th century, Ireland’s potato varieties were so genetically similar that the crop was decimated by a plant fungus called Phytophthora infestans, more commonly known as blight. This caused the Great Irish Famine of 1845 which hit the poorer communities in Western Ireland the hardest, killing nearly a third of the Irish population and causing mass emigration from the country.

If you visit the western counties in Ireland, even today you can still see evidence everywhere of this tragic chapter in Irish history. Commonly known simply as “famine houses,” ruins of little stone cottages still litter the countryside. These houses the size of most modern kitchens were typically inhabited by families with as many as ten children – as well as their farm animals, if they were lucky enough to own any. When the famine hit, families either perished in these houses or in the “coffin ships” sailing to America (where conditions were horrible). While some were lucky enough to make the trip and reestablish themselves in America, millions of men, women, and children died. The greatest tragedy is that Ireland possessed more than enough food supply to feed its people but, because of rampant racism and classism entrenched in the British colonial government that ruled over Ireland, the British let these innocent people starve. Famine houses have been left standing to make certain that this great injustice is never forgotten and that the memory of those who died lives on.

                                  

Storage
Potatoes will store for fairly long periods. Best to keep them in a cool, dry, dark place. Best to buy boiling potatoes in ten pound bags. Boiling potatoes can also be baked. Nevertheless, certain potatoes are selected specifically for oven cooking. Baking potatoes can usually be selected individually and will cost a bit more. Boiling potatoes tend to have slightly less starch and hold their shape better when boiled. These normally include
reds and some yellows. Baking potatoes have in excess of 20 percent starch and make the best mashed potatoes as well. Remember, new potatoes are not necessarily red potatoes, but simply immature potatoes.

                      


Intesesting

Germany's King Frederick William realized that potatoes were a good food source and ordered peasants to plant and eat potatoes or their noses would be cut off.

During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold. Potatoes were valued for their vitamin C. And gold, at that time, was more plentiful than nutritious foods!

In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.

 

What is the best method to pre-cook mashed potatoes and reheat later?
Boil water, add peeled potatoes cut into large chunks, cook and drain. Mash or use a ricer. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to help keep the potatoes from oxidizing and let them cool then cover tightly and refrigerate. Reheat (microwave, crock pot, oven, stovetop) till slightly warm and then add in the liquids (milk, chicken broth, even a little water to rehydrate can work).

What's your favorite way to enjoy potatoes?

by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 1:01 AM
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Replies (1-10):
goddess99
by Michelle on Mar. 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

We love mashed potatoes and onion potatoes.

swdesigns
by Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Thank you so much for this info!

Our family loves mashed potatoes, and a special favorite of mine is mashed potatoes and cheese patties.

jjamom
by Silver Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 8:56 AM

I love fried potatoes and onions.  But, I like potatoes prepared in just about any way.  They are one of my favorite foods.

ZsMommy
by Bronze Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Every way but mashed...no clue why-just not a fan of mashed potatoes.

SweetLuci
by Luci on Mar. 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

 What are onion potatoes?

Quoting goddess99:

We love mashed potatoes and onion potatoes.

 

SweetLuci
by Luci on Mar. 18, 2013 at 6:10 PM

 Same here. We loved mashed potatoes and I love patties made from leftover mashed potatoes. What kind of cheese do you use in yours?

Quoting swdesigns:

Thank you so much for this info!

Our family loves mashed potatoes, and a special favorite of mine is mashed potatoes and cheese patties.

 

goddess99
by Michelle on Mar. 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM


LIPTON'S ONION ROASTED POTATOES
Printed from COOKS.COM

1 env. Lipton onion recipe soup mix
2 lbs. all-purpose potatoes, cut into lg. chunks
1/3 c. olive or vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In large plastic bag, add all ingredients. Close bag and shake until potatoes are evenly coated. empty potatoes into shallow baking or roasting pan; discard bag. Bake, stirring occasionally, 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Garnish, if desired with chopped parsley. Makes about 8 servings.
Quoting SweetLuci:

 What are onion potatoes?

Quoting goddess99:

We love mashed potatoes and onion potatoes.

 


goddess99
by Michelle on Mar. 18, 2013 at 6:22 PM

We love this, make it all the time.

Quoting goddess99:


LIPTON'S ONION ROASTED POTATOES
Printed from COOKS.COM

1 env. Lipton onion recipe soup mix
2 lbs. all-purpose potatoes, cut into lg. chunks
1/3 c. olive or vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In large plastic bag, add all ingredients. Close bag and shake until potatoes are evenly coated. empty potatoes into shallow baking or roasting pan; discard bag. Bake, stirring occasionally, 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Garnish, if desired with chopped parsley. Makes about 8 servings.
Quoting SweetLuci:

 What are onion potatoes?

Quoting goddess99:

We love mashed potatoes and onion potatoes.

 



periwinkle163
by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

 Baked and french fries are probably my favorite ways.

periwinkle163
by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 7:44 PM

 My mil makes something called salt potatoes that are delicious, they don't sell them packaged with directions here though, so dh has them whenever we visit.

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