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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Preparing Potatoes a bit differently

Potatoes are the world’s 4th largest food crop, following maize(corn), wheat and rice. The United States is the world’s 5th largest producer of potatoes, following China, India, Russia and Ukraine. It’s abundance, along with its versatility, makes it a staple food in many parts of the world.

Without delivering a Bubba Gump list of ways a potato can be served, there are many different ways to prepare potatoes. We are often introduced to potatoes at an early age, either by soft mashed potatoes or French fries from a quick service restaurant. They are one of the most popular snack foods as potato chips. No matter how you serve them, potatoes are the most popular vegetable choice. So today, I will share with you 2 different potato recipes, Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes and Andouille Potato Salad.

Back in the early 1980’s, the New Orleans restaurant scene had a few restaurants featuring stuffed baked potatoes. On BBQ menus here in Arkansas, you can find baked potatoes stuffed with smoked meats. This recipe, however, is really a twice baked potato, making it an excellent side dish to any meal. Feel free to substitute your favorite cheese.

Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes

4 large Baking Potatoes

1/2 cup Butter, softened

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

1/4 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced

1 cup Grated Pepper Jack Cheese, grated

1 1/4 teaspoons Creole Seasoning

1 pound cooked and peeled small Shrimp

Smoked Paprika

Chopped Parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400℉.

Bake potatoes for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool to the touch, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a firm shell about 1/4-inch thick. Combine potato, butter, heavy cream, green onions, cheese and Creole seasoning. Whip until smooth. Mix in the shrimp. Stuff the potato shells with the shrimp mixture and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Bake at 425℉. For 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Potato salad is a wonderful summertime dish. It is great for picnics since it is often served cold. Here is a twist on the traditional potato salad. It is not made with mayonnaise or mustard, which makes it a lighter dish. It is also served warm. I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes in this dish due to the creaminess of the potato once it is cooked. Yukon Golds are also my choice for making mashed potatoes.

Andouille Potato Salad

4 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt

1/2 cup White Wine Vinegar

1 tablespoon Sugar

1 pound Andouille Sausage, cut in a 1-inch dice

2 small Onions, diced

2 cups Beef Stock

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Peel potatoes, and place in a large pot with enough cold water to cover by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

While potatoes cook, combine the vinegar, sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt in a small saucepan and place over moderate heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Drain the potatoes. Using gloves or paper towels to protect your hands, cut the potatoes into large chunks. Drizzle with the hot vinegar mixture, gently stir, and set aside.

Cook andouille in a large skillet over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain excess fat from the skillet, leaving a thin coating on the bottom. Add onions and sauté until translucent but not browned. Add stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Pour over reserved warm potato mixture and sprinkle with cooked andouille and parsley. Gently stir and serve immediately.

Potatoes are an easy way to work vegetables into your diet. To paraphrase a popular slogan, bet you can’t eat them just one way.

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