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Florida Produce: Potatoes

December 22, 2009

Florida has many varieties of potatoes, from russet to red creamer, and there is sure to be one to meet your needs.  Potatoes grow in all parts of Florida but most are grown in the northwest part of the state.  They are available from January through June, with peak months of March, April and May.

How to buy
Avoid potatoes that feel soft or spongy or have any discoloration, bruises or blemishes. Do not buy potatoes that are showing signs of sprouting.

Tips for storage
Light and humidity are the two main factors to stay away from when storing potatoes. Fresh whole potatoes should never be kept in the refrigerator or in a plastic bag. Only freeze potatoes after they are cooked.

Cooking tips
Any green or sprouted areas of a potato need to be cut away and discarded. To keep potatoes from discoloring after they have been peeled or cut, place them in a bowl of cold water with a few drops of white vinegar. Always warm up your milk before adding it to mashed potatoes; cold milk will change the taste of the starch. Never overmix or overcook potatoes because they can quickly become sticky and too starchy. Cooking a potato in its skin will help it retain most of its nutrients.

Flavors well with
Bacon, horseradish, milk, sour cream, butter, dill, rosemary, sage

Here’s another great recipe from our Chef Justin. I’ve had it and trust me, it is good. And pretty healthy for you!

Potato Salad with Honey and Dijon
Yield 4 to 6 Servings

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds Florida potatoes, evenly cut into bite-size peaces
1/2 bunch fresh Florida parsley, rinsed, dried and chopped fine
1 bunch green onion, rinsed, dried and sliced small
1/4 cup Florida honey
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Hot sauce to taste
5 slices bacon, cooked crispy, crumbled
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation

Add cut potatoes to a medium-sized pot of room temperature lightly salted water. Heat pot on medium-high until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook.  While the potatoes are cooking, mix the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard and hot sauce in a small bowl. When the potatoes are almost all the way tender, drain them in a colander. At this point you can either cool the potatoes all the way down under running water or you can chose to serve them hot. In a large bowl, add bacon, parsley, green onions and honey mixture to the potatoes. Lightly mix all ingredients. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold.

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