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All Those Potatoes

June 30, 2015 - Radio Kitchen - All those Potatoes

Strolling around the Farmers Market the other day, I was taken by the surprising variety of potatoes available.  It seems there is some sort of heirloom action going on in Spudsville, and that's really good news.  There's nothing like jazzing up and old standby.  Here are some of the potatoes you're going to find.

1.  Small white creamers:  norchip and lamoka are very familiar, with a mild flavor.

2.  Closely related are the Yukon Golds, deeply colored flesh, rich flavor.

3.  White fingerling potatoes are marvelous, and a great spilt and roasted.

4.  Red rounds:  Red Pontiac is very common around here, along with Red Ruby.  These are great for potato salad.

5.  Among the Russets, Goldrush is a smooth-skinned, white fleshed potato great for baking

6.  Among the early potatoes are the red-skinned yellow varieties like Alegria and Rosabelle.

7.  Purple potatoes:  almost black Purple Majesty and All Blue has purple flesh, and a variety called "Peter Wilcox" is purple skinned with yellow flesh.

8.  Of the sweet potatoes, Beauregard is very familiar, and the O'Henry is a pale white sweet potato, while the Purple is of course purple.

Here's a great idea for a summer potato dish.  Get about three or four varieties of potato.  Cut them into one inch cubes, toss them with olive oil, set them out on aluminum foil,  and roast them in a covered grill, possibly with some wood chips. 

At the same time, get three or four of your favorite sausages...I swear by Liberty Delight Farm's bratwurst...and grill them as well.  When everything is done, and the potatoes are nicely browned, toss them in a large bowl with the cut up grilled sausage, drizzle with a little rice wine vinegar, and season with salt and pepper, and garnish with rosemary and parsley.

Just because it's summer doesn't mean you can't enjoy a soup, particularly a creamy potato, corn and country ham chowder.

                Summer Chowder

olive oil for sautéing
one medium sweet onion, chopped fine
one cup fresh corn off the cob
two medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup small slivered pieces of country ham
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half milk
salt and white pepper to taste
chopped chives for garnish

1.  In a large skillet, gently sauté the onions until they are translucent.   Add the corn, potatoes and ham to the mix, and cook for about 5 minutes, over moderate heat.

2.    Add the chicken broth and cook until the potatoes are tender.  Stir in the half and half, check the seasoning and serve.  Garnish with chopped chives.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.