And today I shall climb back on the horse to participate in:
The Friday Feast, sponsored by Ca-Joh. For more food, folks and fun head on over to http://cajoh.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html. I think it's BYOB, though.
Today's topic is Potatoes. Hmmm, taters. So many things to say.
First, a funny and fortuitous story. Back last year I bought LG a pretty cool little toy. It involved an airplane with a little rolly mouse as a pilot. There were two other toys in this "series" and I thought I'd buy them one at a time, when he "earned" a toy. Stupid Mama. They no longer make them... (and yes, I learned the lesson, but them when you see them, dole them out as appropriate). So, being the anal retentive person I am, I searched for them on-line. And searched and searched. It became a mission. Finally found them at this little, never heard of toy store. Who promised to ship them in two days. Woo hoo. The box came. I was excited. Anticipation builds. I open box. And see a "SpiderMan" Mr. Potato Head. Huh? Nothing like what I ordered. Nothing like what I'd want. Kind of creepy, actually. The letter said upon trying to ship, they discovered their inventory system was wrong. They didn't have any. So, they shipped me a free Mr. Potato Head to assuage my sorrow. He, he, he. Now, while I was disappointed, I did have to giggle. Mr. Potato Head as a consolation prize? As it turns out, our nephew loves Spidy, so he got it as a random prezzie.
On to things really food related.
Have you ever heard of "Salt Potatoes"? If you're from NY, you probably have. And they are the most wonderful thing on earth. The background is that there is a huge salt mine under a large portion of western NY. Back in the 1800s the Irish that work in the mines to distill the salt used to drop their potatoes into the boiling water to make lunch. And the result was magic. They come out creamy and salty and yummy (salt makes the water boil at a higher temp, which does funky things to the starch).
In NY you can buy "Salt Potatoes" ready to boil. It's just a 4 lb bag of taters and a 1lb bag of salt, though. You can do this at home...The instructions say to dump the whole 4 lb bag into a big pot, with the big bag of salt, and boil. Slather them with butter, and eat. That's it. Easy as pie. And right now you're thinking "No wonder NY has so many problems. The people there must be simple. This isn't a delicacy." But you'd be wrong. Simple, maybe. Delicious, certainly. I can tell you, no NY summer BBQ is complete without some salt potatoes. Just keep the aspirin handy for when Grandpa has a heart attack from all the salt and butter...
The recipe (for folks who can't saunter into the Wegmans and buy a bag):
New York Salt Potatoes
8 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of kosher salt (add another cup if using the Diamond Crystal brand)
3 pounds well-scrubbed small red or white potatoes, as uniform in size as possible and with skins on
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1. Bring salt and water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes in a strainer and place pot back on stove over medium heat and add butter. When just melted, after about a minute, add potatoes and, if desired, herbs and black pepper. Toss and serve immediately.
Go for it this weekend. Grill yourself a nice steak and boil up some corn. And try these potatoes. Then come back and tell me what you thought.
Have a good weekend, all. And thanks Ca-Joh for reminding me that I need to make these before the summers out!