Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Rusty Pans

July 12, 2016


I noticed that some of my older metal tart pans were getting a layer of rust spots on them. The pans are perfectly good, but nobody wants to eat rusty crusts.
The solution: baking soda to the rescue!

Dampen the pan, and shake baking soda on the rusty areas. The soda should stick and act like a paste on the pan. Make sure the rusty areas are fully covered, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
Use steel wool or a brush to remove the rust, and rinse well to make sure the baking soda is also removed, and fully dry it with a towel. Lightly oil the pan to prevent the rust from returning.

Some swear by using a raw potato to scour away the rust. Cut a potato in half, and use the cut end and either dish soap or baking soda to scrub away at the rust. If the potato starts to get a bit slimy, simply slice off a little add more soap |soda.

To keep pans from rusting, do not put them in the dishwasher. Wash them by hand, and towel dry them thouroughly before storing.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Eat Your Vegetables

October 23, 2015


We all know that we should eat our vegetables; specifically 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, or about 4 1/2 cups per day. The USDA suggests that 3 of those cups be vegetables. The problem is, only about 1.7 cups of vegetables are actually available to us to consume.

Of all of the vegetables and legumes readily available in the United States, a whopping 50% of them are potatoes and tomatoes. Lettuce comes in at 3rd place. Of these amounts, 1/3 of all potatoes and 2/3 of all tomatoes were sent for processing. With these statistics, it is no wonder that the average American thinks eating their vegetables means french fries and ketchup.

The federal guidlines perscribe a variety of vegetables in a rainbow of colors, including dark leafy greens, yellow and orange vegetables and beans all of which help us stave off heart disease, some cancers and strokes.

According to an article on NPR, only 13% of American adults were eating the recommended amount of vegetables each day. That number varied by region, with only 5.5% of those living in Mississippi getting their fill. California, thought of as a healthier state, had only 13% meeting the requirements.

A recent report by the USDA states that the U.S. needs to up its supply of vegetables by 70%, mostly in the vegetables other than potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce, in order to meet our nutritional needs. The real question remains, will the people eat them if they are more readily available? Unfortunately, the supply will not increase without the demand.  Many people stick to the few foods that they know, and have not developed a taste for other vegetables.

The CDC reports that since 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed, there are more schools serving two vegetables and more whole grains than previously. A Rudd Center study of kid’s food habits showed that they are eating more fruit, throwing away less vegetables, and eating more of the healthier entrees being served to them. Hopefully, these children will develop a taste for healthy vegetables beyond potatoes and tomotoes, and the demand for more variety will serve to increase the amount of these more nutritious vegetables grown in the United States. For now, it is a self fulfilling prophecy.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Starch We Can’t Resist

May 20, 2015
Vermicelli nests

Vermicelli nests

I tend to avoid refined carbs as much as possible. It’s not easy. Especially when I love pasta, potatoes, bread and dessert. The hard cold reality is that those foods don’t love me back. Everytime I indulge a little, the dial on the scale goes up, and a little spare tire instantly appears around my midsection.

When I read an article in Prevention about resistant starches, I admit I got a bit excited.

Resistant starches have the chemical structure of starch, but act like fiber, in that they pass through our colon undigested. Our bodies can’t convert them to energy, so they become calorie free. Resistant starches are naturally found in many foods, including lentils, black beans, green peas, oats, and barley. Research has found that resistant starch enriched foods were responsible for an 8%-45% reduction in fat in an animal test group. Most of the fat loss came from visceral fat, or the dangerous fat that surrounds the internal organs. A human study revealed increased fat burning of 20%-25% when resistant starches were consumed.They have also been linked to lowering blood sugar, helping digestion, and reducing appetite.

Roseval potatoes

Roseval potatoes

The catch? How you prepare the foods, effects the levels of resistant starches. Cooking, and then cooling potatoes or rice, for example, has been shown to increase the levels of resistant starch, where allowing a green banana to ripen, decreases the benefits.

While there is not enough research yet to prove its effects, it could be the next big thing in weight management.

Head over to Authority Nutrition for more detailed information.

Related article: Like White on Rice

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Boiling Potatoes

November 11, 2014

spuds, potatoes, three

Boiling potatoes is not exactly rocket science. You basically boil a potato in water, right?
Well, theoretically the answer is yes, but there are right and wrong ways to do everything.

Potatoes are a very dense vegetable, and the inside of the potato often cooks at a much slower rate than the outside. This can result in unevenly cooked, often mushy potatoes.

The solution:

It is best to put the potatoes into a pot of cold water, and then bring the whole thing to a boil. This way, the water and the potatoes heat up at the same rate, allowing them to cook more evenly.

While many people peel their potatoes before cooking, we prefer to scrub them with a brush and leave the skin on. It holds them together better, and the skins slip off easily once they are cooked, saving us the time and effort of peeling them first.

Cooking time varies based on the size of the potatoes. They are done when they are tender when poked with a fork, knife or metal skewer. This should take about 10-20 minutes.

Don’t forget to salt the water, and leave the lid off the pot to keep them firm.

Drain them well before mashing, slicing, dicing or just drizzling with butter and eating fresh from the pot!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Accordion Potatoes

July 29, 2013

For awhile, it seemed like we were bombarded with photos of beautiful accordion-like potatoes, often referred to as Hasselback Potatoes, in honor of the Swedish restaurant The Hasselbacken, which created them. Tonight, I thought I would give them a try, as the accompaniment to a rack of lamb.

I used small Yukon Gold potatoes, but any kind will do.


Peel the potatoes. (confession: I didn’t.) Cut small slits into the potato, leaving it still attached at the bottom. You can place chopsticks on the cutting board on both sides of the potato to stop the blade of the knife from going all the way through. Be sure to cut deeply enough, or the potato will not fan open while baking.


Brush the potato liberally with melted butter or olive oil, allowing it to seep between the cut. Sprinkle it with coarse salt and any other seasonings you wish to use. Place the potatoes in a greased  pan, cover with foil and bake in a hot, 400 degree oven for about 30  minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Uncover, and brush with more butter or oil, and cook another 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Enjoy!

Some recipes call for cheese, garlic, or any other topping that catches your fancy. If you are using cheese, add it to the last 15 minutes of roasting.


CSA Tuesday

December 5, 2012

It’s that time of the week again; CSA Tuesday!
Today we got golden beets, potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cilantro and celery.


Brussels sprouts, still on the stalk!


Fresh cauliflower.


Golden beets.



It’s been so busy, that it may have to wait until Sunday to get cooked and eaten. We still have leftovers from last week’s haul!

photos: Spencer Jones

CSA Tuesday

November 13, 2012

Today is CSA Tuesday, and our selection is a bit Thanksgiving- esque in nature.

We got sweet potatoes, white potatoes, onions, thyme, turnips and several bunches of kale. We also got more radishes, to add to the 2 bunches that we didn’t eat last week.

Turnips look like big radishes, but have a much different flavor!

Potatoes and onions in various shades of reds and browns.  Perhaps I will roast them with the turnips and some herbs for a comforting winter dish.

Fresh herbs never seem to last very long, so I think I will try this trick I posted a while ago, for frozen herb butter:

I will to roast the radishes, for an another interesting side dish, as previously posted last summer:

I’m off to saute some kale for dinner…that should pretty much take care of this week’s inventory!

Feeding Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012

All of us in New York are hunkering down and waiting for Hurricane Sandy to have her way with us. Sunday was spent preparing lots of leftover ingredients into edible dishes.
The leeks, celery and potatoes became a delicious potato leek soup; rich and creamy, without the added calories of cream.

The pumpkins were roasted and pureed. A pumpkin tart was quickly assembled, using what I had in the house. The traditional evaporated milk was hastily replaced by coconut milk, with no adverse reactions to the texture or flavor.

The leftover roasted pumpkin puree will become pumpkin gnocchi tomorrow night, assuming I can see to cook it!

There is still a giant cabbage awaiting it’s fate. I think the carrots and celery can get slivered in with the cabbage and tossed with an avocado dressing,assuming we have electricity for the blender. I guess sooner or later, they will be soft enough to blend by hand!

The flashlights have batteries, the bathtubs are filled with emergency water, and the candles and matches are laid out on the dining table.
We are as ready as we can be for Sandy’s wrath.

We hope all of our east coast readers weather the storm safely.
We will continue to post as long as we have the internet connection to do so.

Leave a comment to share your hurricane stories here…

CSA Tuesday

September 26, 2012

It’s CSA Tuesday, and I am a little unexcited about today’s selection.

There is a head of lettuce, some potatoes, 2 types of squash and a pumpkin.

There is an herb that looks like mint and smells lemony. I think its lemon balm.

I will try that tonight with some sautéed seafood and see how it goes.

The pumpkin will hopefully yield a small pie, something B has been requesting since last Thanksgiving.

Any ideas for the squash?

Community Supported Agriculture

September 12, 2012

I just got my first CSA package and I am so excited!
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and each Tuesday between now and mid December, I will pick up a selection of produce, which comes from a local farm.

Today’s bounty was pretty straightforward:

6 potatoes

6 onions

4 ears of corn

1 head of lettuce

2 pounds of plum tomatoes

16 heirloom cherry tomatoes

1 bunch of lemongrass

Hmmm. Lemongrass. There is the challenge I have been hoping for!

When I signed up for this program last spring, my goals were to support a local farm, always have fresh produce on hand, and to expand my horizons by having to experiment with a vegetable or fruit I was not used to using.
I am going to spend a little quality time with my Asian-fusion cookbooks, and will share my recipe(s) using lemongrass with you shortly.

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