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Digging For New Potatoes

Apparently potatoes are the most popular and widely eaten vegetable in the world, It is the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following maize, wheat, and rice. The green leaves and green skins of tubers exposed to the light are toxic.
 I have a confession to make, I don’t really like potatoes. Well it’s not that I hate them or anything; I would rather eat other vegetables and leave them until last. Unless ….. they are Jims potatoes.!!!new-potatoes-mixed

 I have wanted to write this story about potatoes for a while but I had to wait until my friends returned from their latest caravan jaunt. While they were away the neighbours in the street volunteered to water the gardens, and Jim generously said to help yourself to the produce.  For weeks we have been enjoying carrots, rainbow chard, cauliflower and citrus. But I was the only one to know about the secret potato bed, and they were the most delicious little skin free buttery centred morsels I have ever eaten, they has the texture of stiffly whipped cream and melted in the mouth.  I didn’t want a mass excavation of the vegie beds in their absence so I kept them a secret. It’s like digging for treasure, I love it.!!

So now I am a convert to new, golf ball size thin skinned Sebagos.
New potatoes are freshly harvested young, or small, potatoes. They have paper-thin skins and lots of moisture inside, and they tend to be sweeter than older potatoes (in much the same way that freshly picked corn is so much sweeter than cobs that have been sitting around for a few days). New potatoes are
pure perfection in potato salads or simply steamed with a bit of butter and a few chopped herbs. newpotatoeswithcaviar

Tamborine Mountain has a history of growing potatoes; they thrive in the rich red soil. At the Heritage Centre machinery shed in Wongawallen rd there is a potato harvester. I had to ask what it was, it’s a weird looking contraption that digs them out with a metal plate horizontal to the ground, then gravity takes them over a rack and into a bag fitted on the back, all drawn by a horse.new-potatoes-smashed

My favorite ways of enjoying new potatoes are-

*Smashed- steam until cooked, place on a baking tray, flatten with a fork or potato masher, drizzle with olive oil, salt and rosemary, cook in a hot oven for about 10 minutes until golden and crispy on top.

*Canapes with caviar. Slice into 1 cm discs, steam until cooked. Arrange on a tray, season with salt and pepper, place a dollop of sour cream or crème fresh and top with caviar. Very decedent!!! Roger would love this.

*Tossed in butter and herbs. The most complimentary herbs are mint and chives.

January 04, 2017 / Uncategorized / thechef