Yesterday we featured murasaki, Japanese purple sweet potatoes.
Today, it’s a completely different view of potatoes: Fried or roasted peels!
We knew that we could freeze potato peels (and all vegetable peels) to make stock. We never thought to cook them as a standalone food.
But, in that time-honored tradition of letting nothing go to waste, the Idaho Potato Commission has turned what would have been tossed, into a crunchy garnish [photo #1] or snack [photo #2].
So serve the fried/roasted peels with dipping sauces; or use them as a garnish on lunch or dinner plates, salads and soups.
While this recipe uses just the peels, you can cook the flesh separately and make mashed potatoes, or use them in another recipe.
You can also roast the peels instead of frying. The recipe is below.
Note that the raw peels will discolor if not cooked promptly.
 Potato peels as a garnish; here, on top of a bed of mashed potatoes and sliced steak (photo courtesy Idaho Potato.
1. SCRUB and wash the potatoes. Peel in long strips, and keep the peeled potatoes for another recipe uses).
2. FRY the potato skins in a sauté pan until crispy, about 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the skins. Or, place in a basket and fry at 365°F for 2-3 minutes. Take the potatoes from the pan or fryer while hot and season with kosher salt and black cracked pepper.
3. MAKE dipping sauce(s).
1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat for easier clean-up.
2. TOSS the peels until thoroughly coated with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Consider using a flavored salt.
3. ROAST for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir halfway through roasting.
4. REMOVE from the oven and sprinkle with your choice of toppings: chopped scallions, crumbled bacon, grated cheese, etc. Serve immediately with ketchup, one of the dips above, or sour cream.
Russet potatoes are a particular breed that is grown in many states, a large, oblong shape. However, only those russet potatoes that are grown in Idaho can be called Idaho® potatoes; the name is trademarked.
Idaho’s ideal growing conditions—the rich volcanic soil, climate and irrigation—are what differentiate Idaho potatoes from those grown in other states. It’s the concept of terroir (tur-WAH), a French agricultural term that describes the growing area—the soil, land or terrain.
The term is used to convey the larger concept “of the land,” i.e., how the specific place where an agricultural product is produced bears the taste of that particular piece of land, its specific soil composition and microclimate.
While the russet is the most well-known potato grown in Idaho, more than 25 other potato varieties are grown in Idaho including Yukon golds, reds and fingerlings.
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