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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Potato Pals

I recently wrote about visiting the local Hillsboro Saturday Market, and about our friend, that presents the Chef Live demonstrations.  Recently, adjacent to the Chef Live booth was a booth representing the Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program: Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).  At the WIC booth, there were discussions and recipes on how to make nutritious yet inexpensive meals.

I picked up a few of the recipes and decided to cook a few of them and see how they turned out.  I was planning to prepare steak for dinner (your basic top sirloin), and wanted a side dishes to accompany the steak, so I chose the recipe for Potato Pals that was supplied to WIC by the Oregon State University Extension Service. 

This recipe is very easy to make, it calls for 1 pound of red potatoes, 1 tablespoon of oil, salt, pepper, and some garlic powder.  Wash and peel the potatoes, cut into one-inch cubes.  Place cubes in a bowl, add the oil, and toss.  Place on cookies sheet, sprinkle on the spices and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

I didn’t have any red potatoes, so I used one large sweet potato and two russet potatoes.  I washed and peeled the potatoes.  I cut them into (roughly) 3/4 inch cubes so I would be sure they would fully cook in the allotted time.  I placed the cubes in a large mixing bowl, poured in some olive oil, and stirred with a slotted spoon.  I dumped the oiled cubes onto my cookie sheet and sprinkled the sweet potato pieces with just a little salt, and sprinkled the salt, pepper and garlic powder on the russet potatoes.

The oven was already hot because I was trying to crack open a coconut (I finally used a hammer), so I put the cookie sheet with potatoes in the center of the oven to bake for twenty minutes.  While the potatoes baked, I went outside and cooked the steak on our camp stove using the grill that belongs to our indoor range.  I didn’t want to make a mess in the house, and our air conditioning unit is the perfect height for me to use as a grill stand.

The potatoes finished baking just after I returned to the kitchen from grilling the steak.  I turned off the oven and placed the Pyrex pan containing the steak into the oven to keep the steak warm while I prepared the Brussels sprouts.

We enjoyed our dinner of steak, Potato Pals, and Brussels sprouts and finished with ice cream with some of the left over raspberry sauce from the lemonade pie.  Both the sweet potato and the russet potato pieces were fully cooked and the tops had just the start of some browning.  The olive oil kept the cubes from drying out, but next time I would stir the cubes half way through the baking because some of them started to get a little dark on the bottom.

This was a fast and simple way to make a side dish for a meal.  The cubes were bite sized and easy as well as fun to eat.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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