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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baked Potato Fans



Potatoes, what amazing vegetables! You can dress them up, dress them down, fry, bake, boil, roast, mash, rice and steam them and these are only a few ways of preparation.

They've been incorporated into breads, cakes, pancakes, salads, soups and more yet we never seem to tire of them.

And if that’s not enough they also provide an essential ingredient in our recipe for Penne a la Vodka .

There are so many varieties to choose from and depending on what we are preparing there is a potato that’s the right colour, has the right texture and desired starch content for the recipe we choose.

As a young child, I just loved French fries. As a special Saturday night treat, my father would occasionally prepare some fries for my mother and the four of us kids.

He seemed to cut them just the right shape but the real treat was the paper cones he would make to hold the French Fries.

We would each get our own cone and with great enjoyment eat them with our fingers. When we were done eating he would get down on all fours and give each one of us a little pony ride around the kitchen and through the living and dining rooms. Even my mother would get a turn! How’s that for Saturday night entertainment?

To this day, when I eat French fries (with a fork of course) I get the irresistible urge to use my fingers.

Ah, the power of food memories!

In the next few weeks I will share some delicious potato recipes enjoyed by our family. Hopefully, these recipes will make more wonderful food memories!


Baked Potato Fans

4 medium size Yukon Gold potatoes (unpeeled, use potatoes with good skins)
¼ cup melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or chives
¼ cup grated cheddar, provolone or any favourite cheese
  1. Scrub potatoes and place lengthwise between 2 wooden dowels or 2 wooden spoon handles to prevent knife from cutting all the way through and cut into thin slices.
  2. Put potatoes into a baking dish and drizzle with butter and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover baking dish with foil wrap and bake in a 425 degree F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer (uncovered) or until lightly browned and cheese melts.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Although Yukon Gold potatoes are great for this recipe any good baking potato works well.
  • If the potatoes have blemishes or very tough skins it’s better to peel them.
  • Infuse your favourite herb flavour into the potatoes by adding sprigs of herbs to the roasting pan before baking.
  • Thyme or rosemary adds wonderful flavour.






Unearthing Some Interesting Potato Facts


Being such a versatile vegetable I would venture to say that most everyone likes at least one potato dish.

When counting calories we may tend to limit our intake of potatoes. I recently came across some information in a food magazine that allowed me to have a greater respect for the potato.

I was surprised to find out that one medium size potato only has 110 calories, is naturally fat free, high in vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana. Now that should make us feel better about eating them.

However, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be careful about what we put on or into the potatoes which could become detrimental to a healthy diet.

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