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It's time for Weekend Herb Blogging!
This week is hosted by Anh of Food Lover's Journey. Please stop by her blog on Tuesday (a day later due to the holiday) to read all of the wonderful recipes and culinary insights.
Potatoes. We either love them, hate them or love to hate them.
We eat nothing but baked potatoes because we're on a diet.
We won't touch potatoes because we're on a diet.
We live on potatoes because they're so good for us.
We won't touch potatoes because they're wasted calories.
What's a poor spud to do?
Here's the truth of this much-maligned tuber: it's good for us. It's loaded with vitamins C and B6, potassium, copper, manganese and dietary fiber. It offers cardiovascular protection, has a potential for lowering blood pressure and has a variety of phytonutrients with antioxidant activity.
We're the ones that add all of the fat and calories to it with the oil, salt, butter, cheese and sour cream.
When I was growing up boiled potatoes were a part of almost every meal. After leaving my mother's kitchen I followed the fads and switched to brown rice and pasta. Now that I'm almost grown-up the potato has returned to my table.
It started with our year in Ireland. It's true: the Irish eat a lot of potatoes. "Jacket Potato" or baked potato was standard on every menu and not just as a side dish. We saw lots of people have lunch of a salad and jacket potato. Not a 'stuffed twice-baked potato smothered in cheese' like you would see in the U.S. but a plain, old baked potato with, just maybe, one small pat of butter and a bit of salt and pepper.
New potatoes have been at our markets for the last few weeks. I didn't buy them initially because they are 'tres cher' but I finally succumbed. Now I'm hooked. New potatoes are immature potatoes with a very thin skin and are quite small. They are incredibly sweet and creamy. They are addicting. Here are two of my favorite ways to fix them:
Braised New Potatoes
8 – 12 small new potatoes
1 bay leaf (laurel)
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar or white wine tarragon
Chop onion. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Leave potatoes whole (should be golf ball size or smaller). If using larger potatoes, cut into quarters. Add bay leaf, potatoes, stock and vinegar. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until stock has reduced to a thick, syrupy glaze, about 15 minutes.
8 – 10 new potatoes
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
Cut potatoes in half. Put remaining ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Add potatoes and toss, coating thoroughly. Arrange potatoes cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes. When done remove from pan, turn cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Of course, simply boiled and tossed with butter and fresh parsley is pretty tasty, as well.
Happy Easter to Kalyn, the founder of Weekend Herb Blogging and all of the wonderful cooks/bloggers that participate each week.