Throughout the Winter months yearning for some warm comfort food is a common occurrence in our home. And why wouldn’t it be? On a cold night there’s nothing better than lighting a crackling fire, pouring a nice glass of wine and cooking up a hearty meal. Ahhh , are you imagining it right now?
Prince Edward Island is known for their potatoes. In fact the province is the largest producer of spuds in Canada.
Potatoes fall into two important categories that impact the outcome of your dish: starchy and waxy (plus a category that lies somewhere in between those two).
Starchy: Like the classic Idaho or Russet, these potatoes are (obviously) high in starch and low in moisture. They’re fluffy, making them great for boiling, baking and frying, but they don’t hold their shape well, so they should be avoided in dishes like casseroles, gratins and potato salads.
Waxy: Like Red Bliss or New Potatoes, these have a low starch content and are often characterized by a creamy, firm and moist flesh that holds its shape well after cooking. They’re typically great for roasting, boiling, casseroles and potato salads.
All-Purpose: These potatoes have a medium starch content that fall somewhere in between the starchy and waxy potatoes. They’re a true multi-purpose potato, and therefore can be used for just about any cooking application. A classic example is the Yukon Gold.
Here are some classic potato recipes that you may enjoy.
Cheesy PEI Potato Croquettes
- 1kg Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled, chopped
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
- 16 cherry bocconcini
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
- Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
- Tomato relish, to serve
- Mayonnaise, to serve
- Place potato in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover. Cook on HIGH for 8 minutes or until tender. Mash until smooth. Stir in parmesan. Season. Cool 15 minutes.
- Shape 2 tablespoons of potato mixture around each bocconcini. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and parsley in a separate bowl. Dip potato in egg, then coat in breadcrumb mixture.
- Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Cook croquettes for 5 minutes, turning, until golden all over. Drain on paper towel. Serve with relish, mayonnaise and extra parsley.
PEI Potato Gnocchi
- 1.5kg PEI Russet Potatos
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 1/3 cups (350g) plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1/2 qty hot roasted-tomato sugo (see related recipe)
- Parmesan, to serve
- Basil leaves, to serve
- Place potatoes in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, then cook for 15 minutes until tender. Drain, return to pan over low heat and toss for 1 minute to remove moisture.
- Cool slightly, then peel and pass through a potato ricer (from kitchenware shops) into a large bowl. Add nutmeg, eggs and 1 tablespoon salt, then sift in flour. Using hands, gently mix to a soft dough, adding a little extra flour if too sticky - don't overwork or gnocchi will be tough. Turn onto a floured bench and dust hands with flour. Take a cupful of dough, form into a log, then use a rolling pin to gently roll into a 2cm-thick rectangle. Use a sharp knife to cut into 2cm-wide strips, then cut strips into 2cm lengths. Place gnocchi on a flour-dusted tray in a single layer, then repeat with remaining dough. At this stage, you can set gnocchi aside, covered with a tea towel, for 2-3 hours until ready to cook.
- Cook gnocchi, in 2 batches, in a large pan of boiling salted water. As soon as they rise to the surface (30-60 seconds), remove to a tray with a slotted spoon. Toss briefly in a deep frypan with sugo. Serve immediately with parmesan and basil.
PEI Potato Chilli
- 3 medium Round White PEI Potatoes, diced
- 2 cups (500 ml) Tomato Juice
- 2 cups (500 ml) Vegetable Stock
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 2 small Carrots, chopped
- 1 Celery Stalk, chopped
- 1 Green or Red Pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 14 oz (398 ml) Kidney Beans
- 1 cup (250 ml) Dried Green or Brown Lentils
- 19 oz (540 ml) Chickpeas
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) Chili Powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) Oregano, dried
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) Basil, dried
- 1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) Pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) Yogurt, plain low fat (optional)
- 19 oz (540 ml) Tomatoes, chopped
- Wash lentils. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
- Combine all ingredients, except yogurt, in a heavy saucepan, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender.
- Dish into serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.