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The ultimate potato challenge

  • k

We don't eat potatoes a lot (but we love them)...I have to sort of stay away from high glycemic index stuff and I don't spend enough time pairing it with the 'right' things for me (dairy or meat or beans or anything low glycemic index). Ideally, I should leave the skin on.

That said, I let the potatoes from my CSA pile up over the past several weeks and now I have 14 russets and 13 sweet potatoes.

Any favorite recipes? I'm more than willing to freeze stuff. There are only two of us. Willing to try anything different, new, out of the ordinary that one might do with a potato.

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. For what it's worth, in my experience as a type 1 diabetic of 35 years, sweet potatoes are one of the lowest glycemic index carbohydrates I have found. I know it seems counterintuitive because they taste so sweet.

    You can lower the GI even further by adding (I know you don't often do the dairy, but indulge me for a minute) plain yogurt and feta cheese to them, which is quite delicious. A little freshly-grated nutmeg and black pepper makes it even better.

    I bake them, take them out of their skins, mash and mix them with the above ingredients, season to taste, pack them back into their skins, and bake them again until they're brown and crusty on top.

    The skins are good to eat, too.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Liz

      That sounds great! I had no idea about sweet potatoes. Knowing how high white potatoes are (Glycemic index), I just assumed sweet potatoes were the same if not worse. Thanks for the info. I shouldn't assume.

      Oh, I'll do dairy, no problem - I was saying that I haven't always paired it with white potatoes in the past (like I'm supposed to rather than just eating a potato with sparse toppping) - sorry if I wasn't clear. I don't think there's a food group I don't like!!

    2. When our youngest daughter was in high school, she worked at a mall eatery that specialized in serving only baked potatoes topped with a myriad of selections. I don't remember all the possibilities, but one of them was chili. Small wonder that I remember that, huh? Other possibilites are salsa cruda (fresh salsa), guacamole, sloppy joe, and other toppings you could dream up.

      The sweet potatoes could be used for pies with the same seasonings as those for pumpkin pie. I think sweet potato pie tastes better than pumpkin pie.

      1. If you want to make potatoes so that potatoes aren't the entire meal, I think Moussaka would be a good candidate. It's well-balanced and yummy... some people make it with eggplant, but I've had a lot of Moussakas that featured both eggplant and potatoes, and I think you could do that with the two no-potato recipes I've linked. (If I were you, I'd probably go with #3, the hearty low-fat one, but that's just me).

        Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fin...

        1. You could make gnocchi and freeze it. There's been some discussion on this board lately, and gnocchi is shockingly easy (after an almost inevitable initial failure). And you'd only need to eat a few pieces with your favorite sauce made out of the "right" foods for you.

          Alternatively, I sometimes dice, blanch, and salt potatoes, freeze on a tray, and then throw them into a bag in the freezer. Instant breakfast potatoes or hash browns whenever I want.

          1. Liz is right - sweet potatoes are a good GI choice. New potatoes -not just small 'regular' potatoes - are, too. I read recently that the white-fleshed sweet potatoes have the lowest GI, but I personally welcome all colours, shapes and sizes!

            After pasta, potatoes are my favourite starch. My three favourite things to do are:

            1. Galette
            Finely slice potatoes (I leave the skin on) with a good knife or mandolin. Don't rinse (you want the potato juices). Toss in a bowl with EVOO/melted butter, S&P, and any of the following: finely grated cheese, chopped herbs, minced garlic, finely sliced apples or onions, minced ham. Lie in overlapping circles in a casserole dish,going for several layers sprinkle top with a bit more oil/butter/cheese, and bake at 450F/230C for 25-35 min (a fork pierces it easily). Sometimes I broil for two minutes as well to get a crispy top. With sweet potatoes, I lessen the cooking time, and cover with tinfoil for 15 min to keep them from drying out. I also make portions-for-one in a little rectangular casserole dish, and use as a bed for meat, or eat as is with a green salad and optional fried egg (fried eggs are great on baked potatoes, btw). Can't describe how tenderly delicious this is.

            2. with long, tubular sweet potatoes, I slice them into two inch cylinders. I fry a little butter/oil in a skillet, put them so the cylinders stand upright in the pan (you want a full but not crowded pan), and after a minute, I pour in enough stock to submerge two thirds of the cylinders. Then I cover with a lid for ten min (doesn't need to be tight-fitting), maybe turning potatoes half way. When the stock has boiled down to 1/2 inch, I take them off the heat, and using a flat-bottomed, sturdy glass or measuring cup, I lightly exert pressure to cause the potatoes to just barely crack (still in one piece, though). After you've totally destroyed three or so, you'll get how hard to push! Look out for splattering stock -apron is a good idea. Then simmer the stock down, add a bit more butter/oil, and brown the potato bottoms. Outside should be crispy and brownedd in spots, and creamy and fluffy inside.

            The light 'cracking' of the potatoes lets the stock better infiltrate the flesh and make it creamy.
            This recipe works best with whole, new potatoes, but I've modifyed it to work with sweet potatoes, too.

            3. I got this from someone off this board (sorry, don't know who). Stirfry coarsely grated sweetpotatoes in a little butter with a pinch of salt. Let them go a bit translucent You want them to lose any flouriness, but still be crisp, and starting to sweeten. Makes a great bed for something saucy. Love the crispness - something new and unusual. You can tart it up with things like fried garlic, ginger, herbs, even cheese. Mmmm...

            Oh, and try the cilantro lime roasted sweet potatoes on EPI. Also great with orange juice instead of lime. The sweetness works really well in these kinds of contrasting flavours dishes.

            Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

            1. Honestly, my favorite way to enjoy a good russet (you can even leave the skin on) is making oven-baked fries. Cook's Illustrated has a good basic recipe for making oven-baked fries so they come out crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. I think the exact recipe was posted months ago, so do a search. When I want to make them fancy, I drizzle truffle oil and add a sprinkling of grated parmesan.

              My mom dehydrates sweet potatoes for a wonderful chewy snack.

              The obvious potato gratin comes to mind. I believe there was a good recipe floating around for sweet potato gratin that had chipotles. Enjoy using up that stash!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Carb Lover

                I just wanna say you guys rock! I'm making the Croation Moussaka tonight and will be trying the rest of your ideas over the next few days. I'll give a full report....please, feel free go hand out more ideas (I've got plenty of potatoes!)

                1. re: Carb Lover

                  For us poor sods living a Cook's Illustrated-less existence, could you paraphrase the fries recipe? Thanks.

                  1. re: kate

                    Fortunately, I found the old thread (linked below) w/ the CI recipe that I was referring to! Sweet potato fries are even mentioned in the thread.

                    What I like about the CI method that improved upon my old one:
                    1. soaking in water
                    2. cutting into wedges w/ 3 sides as opposed to 4 sides
                    3. covering for first 5 min.

                    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                    1. re: Carb Lover

                      I'm too anal to not clarify...the wedges should be cut so you have 2 flat sides (the third side is the rounded skin side). This allows both sides to get equally crisp.

                      1. re: Carb Lover

                        Thanks for posting.

                        when you say 'sides' do you mean the edges, or the large flat expanses? i.e. are the wedges like large coins, or like little triangles?

                        1. re: kate

                          Hehe, so much for my clarification :-)

                          I was going to describe it to you, but ah, remembered I had a photo somewhere that is infinitely better than words. Sorry for the huge pic; had problems shrinking it.

                          Anyhow, see how there are two long "flat expanses" and one rounded side? One potato usually yields about 6-8 wedges, often called "steak fries" in the US. What's great about this is that all the pieces are perfectly even and both sides get equally crisp w/ one turn!

                          PS. I think I used the CI method for these and then laced them w/ a bit of truffle oil to finish. Mmmmm...

                          Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

                          1. re: Carb Lover

                            After seeing photo, it became perfectly clear! I think I was confused because the rare occasion I've had 'home fries' at diners in the States, they're been coin-shaped. Thanks...

                2. These potatoes might be a good excuse to cook up some regular &/or sweet potato latkes.

                  Also, how about skordalia? I've only enjoyed this garlicky, creamy Greek potato dip in restaurants (sorry I don't have a recipe to recommend) but there's tons of recipes when I Google "skordalia recipe".

                  I know this isn't too creative, I but I always love boiling or steaming a few potatoes in advance to use for home fries in the morning (saute in canola oil w/ onions, paprika, granulated garlic, s&p) or roasted potatoes as a side dish.

                  Good luck enjoying your bounty!

                  1. c
                    Caitlin McGrath

                    I like warm or cold roasted sweet potatoes for snacks, and they are low GI and high in fiber. Just spread a sheet of foil right on your oven rack (to catch any sticky drips) and roast them, then let cool, wrap in foil, and stick them in the fridge. A small one straight from the fridge or warmed makes a snack that's easy to eat out of hand, sweet, flavorful, filling, and actually healthful.