Without the potato, the balance of European power might never have tilted north. - Michael Pollan
Potatoes are the stuff of history and cookery lessons. Blight in just one vegetable, brought incredible suffering to millions during the Irish Famine of 1845-52. Rugged and prolific, the potato - an import from the South American Andes in the late 1700’s – took to Irish soil as if it was a true native and quickly became a staple in the diet of those who had very little else to eat. A diet so heavily laden with one plant, proved to be a horticultural and human catastrophe in waiting.
Fortunately, most potato memories are not so terrible. My Dad would fork up mountains of little potatoes while my sister and I selected perfect specimens for our favorite dish - new potatoes and green beans with little bits of bacon. I don't remember seeing any greenish potatoes among the clumps of dirt and potato, but I have seen a few green potatoes in the stores and wondered why.
I found out that the green color (in and just under the peel) is the result of chlorophyll which is produced in response to sunlight from too shallow planting or through improper storage. Potatoes do not like the sun. Chlorophyll, fortunately, is not toxic. Sunlight also causes a chemical reaction that results in the presence of a chemical called solanine. This is more of a concern as it can (in large quantities) cause illness. It also tastes rather bitter. The solution is simple. Avoid buying green potatoes and store your spuds in a dark place out of sunlight. If you have some that are greenish, just peel and cut off as much of the green and eyes as you can right before use. The rest of the potato is perfectly safe as most of the solanine is in the skin.
Speaking of the skin, eat it. That’s where a great deal of the nutrition resides. Potatoes are very high in potassium, B6, and C. Eating the skin also slows digestion which vastly improves the spuds glycemic nature. Enjoy your favorite potato every now and then. They are good for you.
Red Potatoes a la Nicholson with Lemon Chive Butter is a simple way to serve my favorite potato - the lusciously creamy red potato.
If you have never made a twice baked potato, or think they must be high in calories, do give Carolyn’s Twice Baked Potato a try. It is simply not necessary to cheese and bacon the poor potato to death. Carolyn's light treatment is all it needs.
Crazypotato98’s Three Picadillos offers three delicious ways to make the Mexican treat - the potato taco!
The main recipe in this post is for Traditional Scalloped Potatoes. I've included my family's favorite variation on the theme using Jarlsberg and leeks.
Sheila’s Hash Browns for Brunch is the best way to feed a crowd of hungry kids and adults! Make it with convenient frozen hash browns or your own shredded potatoes.
This German Style Potato Salad came from a search of the recipes at Calorie Count!
Homemade Oven Fries are so much better than frozen or fast food fries. They are simple to make, less fatty, and much cheaper too.
Do you include potatoes in your diet? Do you have a favorite type of potato? Have you ever eaten a home grown spud? What is your favorite potato recipe? Do you prefer them at breakfast or dinner? Share your recipe here! If you would like your recipe to be considered for the CC Palate, send it to me via pm.
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