By Chef Diane,
As I was looking at this month's schedule I noticed that February is Potato Lover's Month. Well if there is anything I love, its chocolate and potato’s. How great would a chocolate potato be? Potatoes are wonderful, in fact, according to http://blog.souplantation.com/10-reasons-to-love-the-potato/ there are 10 reasons to love the potato, and they are:
- It’s no coincidence that February is Potato Lovers’ Month and American Heart Month. Potatoes (with the skin) are a good source of potassium. Research shows that potassium may help lower blood pressure, contributing to a heart-healthy diet.
- This one’s simple: one medium-sized potato (5.3 oz.) has 110 calories and is fat- and cholesterol-free.
- Did you grow up listening to your mother tell you to eat your vegetables? Well, potatoes are vegetables, so eat away!
- It’s cold season and what you eat can help you fight off the winter bug—a medium-sized spud has nearly half the recommended daily value of vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin B6.
- Potatoes are also a source of dietary fiber, a complex carbohydrate, which is known to increase satiety and help with weight loss.
- Russets, reds, fingerlings, blues, purples, yellows and whites—with six common fresh potato varieties, there’s always a new color or texture to experiment with.
- No time to boil or bake? That’s a good thing! The quickest methods for cooking potatoes, microwaving and steaming, are also the healthiest because they allow the potato to retain the most nutritional value. Visit www.potatogoodness.com for healthy and quick potato recipes.
- Potato casserole, potato salad, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, roasted potatoes—the possibilities for potatoes are endless!
- Potatoes with skin rank highest for potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and the top 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits. That means they have more potassium than a banana, more than broccoli, more than an orange, more than spinach…you get the idea!
- Each year, there are more than 1 million acres of potatoes planted—that’s like filling the whole state of Rhode Island with potato plants. It’s the leading vegetable crop in the US with a total production of 41.3 billion pounds! That’s plenty of potatoes for everyone.
Of course I love potatoes because they taste good, and can be prepared in so many different ways. You can bake them, boil them, fry them, mash them, make potato salad, soup, or even pancakes with them. You can steam them, roast them, julienne, them scallop them, hash brown and au gratin them. I haven't found any type that I didn't like. When my parents were growing up their families ate potatoes daily, they grew up wanting to never see another potato. When I was growing up we had rice all the time. Well that made me shy away from rice and only eat potatoes. My son, who spent half the week with me, and half with my parents who watched him while I worked had a equal balance of both, so I hope that breaks the rice/potato cycle, but I still eat my potatoes. I especially love a baked potato when I’m not feeling well. They are easy to digest, and are considered a comfort food. My cousin craves French fries, and my favorite side with breakfast is crispy hash browns. Every Sunday after church I have lunch with my parents. We watch a program that has something to do with remodeling restaurants and teaching them a new dish or two to help their struggling business. This past Sunday the host of the show taught them an appetizer to make to help increase sales. He took a small potato, baked it, cut it in half, then scooped out the inside and filled with barbequed pork. Then put some mashed potatoes in a pastry bag and topped the stuffed potato with it. It looked so delicious and wish I knew where that restaurant was! Since I don’t have that recipe, I thought I would share this potato soup recipe with you instead.
To find out more about potatoes, click here: http://www.idahopotato.com/
- 3 bacon strips, diced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup half-and-half cream
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- Shredded Cheddar cheese
- Minced fresh parsley
- In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp.
- Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside.
- Sauté onion and garlic in the drippings until tender.
- Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well.
- Gradually add broth.
- Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil.
- Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.
Do you know?? Who was the Vice President who misspelled the word Potato in a spelling bee?