SOURCE: Fresh from Florida and Florida Specialty Crop Foundation

June 06, 2013 05:00 ET

Pass the Potatoes, Please

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Jun 6, 2013) - (Family Features) French fries are one of a kid's favorite things to eat. But there's a whole lot more that can be made from delicious, nutritious potatoes.

"I love the versatility of Florida potatoes," said Chef Justin Timineri, Executive Chef and Culinary Ambassador, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "There are so many different kinds of potatoes that can be flavored in just about any way you like. Get the kids into the kitchen with you and experiment with making potato dishes the whole family will enjoy."

You can find more recipes that will have the kids saying, "Pass the potatoes, please!" at http://bit.ly/flpotato.

Super Spuds
Florida potatoes are a good source of potassium (for your muscles and growth), vitamin B6 (to help fight illness and help your nerves function), and fiber (for digestion). Most of the nutrients are right under the skin -- leave the skin on whenever possible.

 
Smashed Potato Bar 
Yield: 4 servings 
2 pounds Florida potatoes, washed and quartered
1/2 cup milk, warmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt or light sour cream
  Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Place potatoes into a soup pot and add water until they are completely covered. Lightly salt water and place over medium high heat. Cook potatoes for 15 to 25 minutes until they are soft, but not falling apart. Carefully drain the water and return them to the pot they were cooked in.

Kids Can: Use a potato masher to achieve desired texture, being careful not to work the potatoes too much.

Kids Can: Add milk, butter and yogurt to mashed potatoes. Stir ingredients to combine. Taste mashed potatoes and season them with salt and pepper. Add any extra flavorings or toppings and serve warm.

Potato Bar Toppings
--Low fat yogurt or low fat sour cream
--Chives/scallions
--Cheese
--Bacon bits
--Fresh herbs
--Sun-dried tomatoes
--Lemon

Chef Justin's Tips
--Use a combination of purple, yellow and red potatoes to make multi-colored mashed potatoes.
--Leave the skin on the potatoes for extra nutrients.
--Don't over-mash the potatoes; overworking can cause them to become gummy.

 
Potato and Green Bean Salad 
Yield: 10 servings 
1/2 pound Florida green beans, washed, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
2 pounds Florida potatoes, washed, peeled and diced large
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 bell peppers, seeded and diced small
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 red onion, diced small
  Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Kids Can: Snap the ends off the beans and break them into thirds.

Fill medium-sized mixing bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside.

Fill large sized stock pot 3/4 full with lightly salted water. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add green beans to boiling water and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a hand strainer, remove green beans from boiling water and place into the ice water to stop them from cooking. After the green beans have cooled down, remove them from the ice water and set aside.

Carefully add cut potatoes to same boiling water greens beans were cooked in. Cook potatoes in boiling water for around 15 minutes, depending on size. Once tender, drain and rinse with cold water.

Kids Can: In large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice and olive oil. Stir the mayonnaise mixture to combine. Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and lightly stir to combine all flavors. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep potato salad cold in the refrigerator and stir before serving on favorite greens.

 
Roasted Campfire Pockets  
Yield: 4 servings 
20 Florida fingerling potatoes, sliced thin
1 large onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped fine (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary)
2 tablespoons olive oil
  Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, or an oven at 375°F. In medium sized mixing bowl combine potatoes, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, herbs and olive oil. Stir ingredients to combine and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Make 4 12 x 12-inch squares of aluminum foil and lay them out to be stuffed. Place a chicken breast in the middle of each foil square, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute vegetable mixture on top of each chicken breast. Fold each packet so that a tight seal is formed and all the food is contained.

Grill packets, or bake them in the oven, for 20 to 30 minutes until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. Remove packets from heat and let cool slightly. Open packets carefully as hot steam may rush out.

Kids Can: Help slice veggies and stuff their pockets with their favorites.

 
Homemade Potato Chips 
Yield: 4 servings 
4 medium Florida fingerling potatoes, unpeeled (mixed colors)
1 tablespoon olive oil
  Pan release spray
  Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  Additional seasonings (see below)

Special equipment needed: French mandolin

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Rinse and dry potatoes. Slice potatoes as thin as possible with a mandolin.

Place sliced potatoes in medium sized mixing bowl and rinse several times with warm water. Lightly squeeze and dry potatoes.

Kids Can: Place sliced potatoes back in a dry mixing bowl and add olive oil. Toss potatoes to make sure they are evenly coated with the oil, using a little more oil if needed.

Lightly spray a cookie sheet with pan release spray. Lay sliced potatoes in a single layer on cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Remove cookie sheet from oven and let cool slightly. Use a thin spatula to remove potato chips from cookie sheet into a mixing bowl.

Kids Can: While they are still warm, season chips with their choice of seasoning.

Potato Chip Seasonings
--Garlic-Parmesan
--Fresh herbs
--Your favorite dried spice mix (Greek, Cajun, BBQ)

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