You say potatoes, I say pugh!
I never quite liked potatoes… Give me a second, allow me to correct that: I always hated potatoes. I blame that in part to our culture; potatoes are hardly an important part of Dominican cuisine, they are mostly used as an ingredient in stews and soups. It doesn’t help much that they are also considered a bland food, the ideal fare for babies, the infirm and little old ladies with no teeth.
It took me over two decades and meeting my now-husband for me to learn to enjoy the virtues of potatoes. Danes are as passionate about potatoes as Dominicans are about rice. Having been exposed to the many varieties and countless ways of preparing this humble tuber made me, if not a raving fan, at least an appreciator.
It is unfortunate that potatoes have such a bad reputation here; it is after all an excellent food, one that is cheap and provides us with many important nutrients. A small serving of potatoes provides us with thiamin, dietary fiber, protein, carbohydrates, folic acid, niacin, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc and iodine.
Potatoes also have a whooping 80% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, more potassium than that found in bananas and more antioxidants than most vegetables. To take better advantage of the nutritional richness of this tuber it is important that whenever possible the potatoes be cooked with the skin intact so it retains nutrients that could be lost during cooking. The skin itself is a great source of soluble fiber.
I have no intention of turning anyone away from our beloved rice, but it is always nice to be open to new things. And to help you ease your way into the world of potatoes I give you two of my favorite potato recipes, they are easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. I have to credit my fabulous mother-in-law for this.
- 2 lb lb of large potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon of dill, finely minced or two sprigs or rosemary
- Peel the potatoes and cut into wedges (halve, then cut the halves into thirds)
- While the potatoes are boiling pre-heat oven to 350 ºF.
- Boil the potatoes adding a tablespoon of salt and the garlic to the boiling water. The potatoes should be soft but firm. Once they are tender but firm remove from water.
- Pour the olive oil, on the potatoes, add the dill (or rosemary) and paprika.
- Add oregano, salt and pepper (half a teaspoon of each) and mix everything well until the potatoes are coated in oil and herbs. Try to keep the wedges intact.
- Spread over an oil-coated or non-stick baking tray, keeping the wedges as far apart from each other as possible.
- Bake in the oven until the wedges are golden brown. Take them out of the oven and let them cool for 3 to 4 mins. Serve hot.