Potatoes-A A +A
By Artie Sy
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
LAST Wednesday, one of our favorite people, Mrs. FABIOLA FIANZA BOSEMAN celebrated her birthday at the Baguio Country Club with a seat down dinner. On the menu was grilled lamb steak and roast turkey. Accompanying the entrees were the usual salad, buttered veggies and mashed potatoes. Bringing us to what I considered the pièce de résistance of the evening. Mashed potatoes. Though the choice of the pièce de résistance might be odd, not being an entree, the mashed potatoes were so good that to highlight them would not be unearned. Frequently, mashed potatoes is thought of as baby food, and seldom is treated as an adult accompaniment in the same way as fries, baked, or boiled potatoes.
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop, used as food since the 16th century. The word may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have become an integral part of much of the world's cuisine. It is the world's fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat and maize. Long-term storage of potatoes requires specialized care in cold warehouses. All these four foods abound in Baguio, re-enforcing the fact that our beautiful Baguio is blessed beyond belief.
Following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, the Spanish introduced the potato to Europe in the second half of the 16th century, eventually reaching our very own Baguio City.
Whether mashed, baked or roasted, people often consider potatoes as comfort food. It is an important food staple and thought of as one of the number one vegetable crop in the world. Potatoes are available year-round as they are harvested somewhere every month of the year. They are the swollen portion of the underground stem which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant.
So our very own Baguio has the province of Benguet to supply us with potatoes, and the market is again abound with this wonderful food. After about half a year of exorbitant prices, the same has now stabilized, and as of this writing is approximately P30 per kilo. If one goes to the trading station in La Trinidad, the price ranges from P5 to P25 per kilo, depending on the size. Yes, P5 per kilo for the small calamansi sized ones.
Going back to the mashed potatoes of Ms Boseman's dinner, without question, it was so well done and tasty.
Today we feature a mashed potatoes recipe and a potato/vegetable/root crops salad.
DELICIOUS MASHED POTATO RECIPE.
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
• 2 kilos potatoes, medium sized, well scrubbed
• water to cover
• 3/4 cup to 1 cup milk fresh is possible, evap if not
• 1/2cup of butter, cold
• 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper or to taste
• 3 or 4 tablespoons of finely chopped chives
Do not peel potatoes, cover and cook in boiling salted water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when a fork goes thru when pierced. Drain potatoes and put in a colander. And then peel when cool enough to handle. Put the peeled potatoes through a ricer or mash in a large mixing bowl until no lumps remain. Add milk in small amounts, beating after each addition, until desired consistency is reached. Add butter, salt and pepper, tasting as you go, especially with the salt, beating until mashed potatoes are light and fluffy.
Makes enough mashed potatoes for 8 people. If served a side dish to an entree, serve the mashed potatoes with gravy.
POTATO ROOT CROPS
• 2 kilos potatoes. scrubbed, and boiled in their jackets
• 1/4 kilo sugar beets, scrubbed and boiled in their skins, BOIL separately, so that the potatoes won't color
• 1/4 kilo carrots scrubbed, and boiled in their jackets
• 1/4 kilo baguio beans boiled only till bright green (you may boil the carrots and beans with the potatoes, but put the beans on top so you remove them when they are still green.
• 1/2 cup chopped onions
• salt and pepper to taste
• (optional 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple)
• (optional for non vegetarian...2 cups of flaked cook chicken, boiled or fried, whatever there is)
• dressing, 1 cup real mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons of mustard not dry, used the bottled type)
• hard boiled eggs for garnish
Wait till all vegetables are cold. Then peel and cut to 1/2 inch cubes. Put in a pretty bowl. Mix your dressing, salt, pepper, crushed pineapple with juice to taste, mayo and mustard. chill both veggies and dressing separately. When ready to serve, mix dressing and veggies. Enjoy.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 13, 2012.