Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fancy Baby Boomer Potatoes

              I was given a few bags of the Little Potato Company Baby Boomer Potatoes and Fingerling Potatoes recently with the challenge of coming up with a recipe to make them delicious for people to make at home.

I have only used the Baby Boomer potatoes so far but I prepared them in 2 ways.   One way was a family style dish that I just created with stuff I had in my fridge and pantry.  The other one was a bit fancier for a cocktail party for those people that don't like the same old cheese and crackers or shrimp and cocktail sauce.
These potatoes are great if you want to make a quick meal because the come pre washed and you don't have to peel them.
It's high in potassium because of the thin skin.  They are a Canadian company from Edmonton, Alberta

The Cocktail Party - Shepherd's Pie Potato Bites


Ingredients:

2 lb lean ground beef
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 large yellow onion
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Worsteshire sauce
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups of either water or beef stock
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp. flour
1 - 1.5 lb bag of the Little Potato Company
Baby Boomer potatoes
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of milk
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp fresh chives


 Step 1 - Brown the ground beef in a large skillet or as I used a cast iron Dutch oven.  When you have the meat browned you can add the onion diced and the garlic crushed.  Add the tomato paste, worsteshire sauce, chili flakes and the thyme, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper.  Add a tablespoon of flour and mix the meat mixture.  Add the water or stock and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the frozen peas and simmer for another 10 minutes.  The mixture should be thick but have a bit of a gravy left.  Add water or reduce until you get the best consistency.

 Step 2 - Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 15 minutes or until they are fork tender but not too soft.
 Step 3.  After the potatoes have been drained and cooled until cool enough to handle then scoop out the middle using a melon baller.  This is the fastest easiest way to get a round centre to fill.
Step 4 - With the potatoes that you scooped out add the butter and milk and salt and pepper and mix until smooth mashed potato consistency.  Set aside.

Step 5 -   Fill the scooped out Baby Boomer potatoes with a teaspoonful of the ground beef mixture.  You can cut a piece off the bottom to make the potatoes sit flat if needed.

Step 6 - Using the mashed potato mixture top the potatoes using either a spoon as I did or if you want to make them fancy you can pipe the potatoes with a piping bag or using a ziploc bag and just cut a little hole in the bottom corner of the bag.   I didn't bother as this was a test but for a fancy cocktail party it will look better if you pipe them.

Step 7 - Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top.   You can prepare this in advance for a party and keep it in the fridge until your guests arrive and then you can bake them off.

Step 8 - Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and they are warmed throughout.  Garnish with chopped chives  and transfer to a serving platter.
A bag should make at least 24 potato bites.

 Recipe Number 2 -  Creamy Smokey Baby Boomer Potatoes



Ingredients:

Half of a 1.5 lb bag of Baby Boomer Potatoes
1 cup of Sugar Snap Peas
4 slices of Smoked Prosciutto or Smokey Bacon
1 large yellow onion
1/2 of a red pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 green onion chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 cloves of garlic crushed


Directions:

Boil the bag of baby potatoes in salted water for about 15 minutes.
In a separate large saute pan fry the bacon or prosciutto until crispy and then remove the crisp prosciutto or bacon and chop into small pieces and set aside.  Leave about 1 to 2 tbsp of the bacon fat in the pan, drain if there is more than that or add butter if there isn't enough fat left.   Add the chopped onion and then the chopped garlic to the bacon fat in the pan.  Cook until translucent and then add the diced red peppers and the sugar snap peas.  Add the seasonings, paprika, salt and pepper.  Add the Baby Boomer potatoes to the pan and then add the heavy cream.  You can add some stock, or hot water about 1/2 a cup.  Let it simmer on medium low heat until the heavy cream reduces and the vegetables are cooked.  Add half parsley and half of the bacon or prosciutto to the pan and toss everything together and serve on a large platter and garnish with the parsley and some of the bacon.  I made a prosciutto rose out of a piece of uncooked prosciutto to dress the plate.

It should serve 4 people.   This dish is pretty flexible.  I just kept adding things.  It wasn't a pre planned dish.   I could have added spinach or kale or  other vegetables but the most important part is the cream sauce and the smoky flavour from the bacon and smoked paprika.   I am sure you can find ways to make the plate look fancy for special guests but the flavour will be a hit with whoever you serve this to no matter how you plate it.

I made a lot and had about half left over and just reheated it the next day and it was even better.  It just lost the fresh green look of the vegetables.

This is a great dish to make if you forget to defrost some meat but you have bacon or prosciutto in your fridge.  I guess you could even use ham or chicken and it would work just as well.
I don't have step by step photos for this one because I was just creating it as I went along. I didn't crisp up the prosciutto but I have added this step to this recipe for a better result.

Recipe and Photos by Linda Matarasso and potatoes supplied by the Little Potato Company, all other ingredients are my own.


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