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RECIPE: Nepalese Potato Salad

Nepalese Potato Salad
[1] Nepalese potato salad uses a yogurt binder and a number of South Asian spices (photo © Idaho Potato Commission).

Fingerling Potatoes
[2] Fingerling potatoes (photo © The Roasted Root, which used them to make these delicious Rosemary Roasted Fingerlings).

 

Nepalese potato salad? What’s that?

Potatoes, like chicken, provide a neutral canvas that can showcase the seasonings of any global cuisine.

While most of us can’t name a Nepalese* food, we are familiar with the cuisine’s seasonings: cayenne, coriander, cumin, fenugreek and turmeric.

So if you’re feeding a foodie crowd—or want to bring something different to a party—whip up a batch.

Potatoes are a staple all across Nepal, served daily in every home.

Buddhist monks in Nepal and Bhutan began to cultivate them in the 1700s, although it took another 150 years for them to move from the monasteries to the the general population.

Chukauni is a yogurt-based potato salad from the hilly region of Palpa in midwestern Nepal.

The layers of flavor include creaminess from the yogurt, assertive spices and a hint of heat from the cayenne.

The recipe is from the cookbook Smashed, Mashed, Boiled and Baked, by Raghavan Iyer, a continent-by-continent celebration of the versatile potato.
 
 
RECIPE: NEPALESE POTATO SALAD

Ingredients

  • 1 pound assorted fingerling potatoes
  • 1/2 cup freshly shelled green peas or frozen peas (no need to thaw)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil, mustard canola blended oil, or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SCRUB the potatoes under cold running water and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Place them in a small or medium-size saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pan, and gently boil until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork or knife but still firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Fish the pieces out of the water (do not discard the water) with a slotted spoon and place them in a medium-size bowl.

    2. DROP the peas into the potato cooking water and boil them just to warm them up, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain them in a colander, give them a good shake or two to remove any excess water. Add the peas to the potatoes along with the onion.

    3. HEAT the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil appears to shimmer and smells quite pungent, sprinkle in the coriander, cumin, and fenugreek seeds. Allow them to sizzle and turn reddish brown, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle in the cayenne and turmeric, staining the oil with their sunny dispositions. Pour most of the oil out over the potatoes and peas, holding back the seeds in the skillet as much as you can.

    4. SCRAPE the seeds into a mortar and pulverize them into a coarse powder with a pestle. If you don’t have a mortar, transfer the seeds to a spice grinder and grind them. Scrape the blend into the bowl with the potatoes.

    5. ADD the yogurt, cilantro and salt to the potatoes and give the mixture a good stir. Serve at room temperature.
     
     
    POTATO SALAD HISTORY

    Potatoes originated in Peru, where they were a dietary staple. They were brought to Europe in the 16th century by Spanish Explorers.

    In Europe, early potato salads were made by boiling potatoes in wine or a mixture of vinegar and spices. The first American potato salads were likely versions of the German potato salad, brought to the U.S. by German emigrants in the mid-19th century.

    In those recipes, cooked potatoes were dressed with oil, vinegar and herbs, often blended with coarse mustard and some sugar.

    Hot potato salad, made with bacon, onion and an oil and vinegar dressing, became known as German potato salad. Here’s the recipe.

    We don’t know the person who created what became the iconic American potato salad with mayonnaise.

    Commercial mayonnaise was available in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1920s and 1930s, with the introduction of brands such as Hellman’s and and Miracle Whip, that mayonnaise-based potato salads achieved popularity [source].

    Chopped celery and dried herbs were added to the mix. Our mom added diced red onion and mixed the mayo with a bit of Dijon mustard. Many cooks added their own twists along with the mayo, creating a sea of comfort food recipes.
     
     
    CHECK OUT:

  • More Potato Salad Recipes
  • The History Of The Potato
  • ________________

    *Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, and is the home of Mount Everest. The capital is Kathmandu. Nepal is popular for mountaineering, with some of the highest and most challenging mountains in the world. While many people think of Mount Everest as being in Tibet, it spans Nepal and China as well. The southeast ridge on the Nepali side of the mountain is easier to climb, so most climbers prefer to trek to Everest through Nepal. Here’s an overview of Nepalese cuisine.

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Mary’s Gone Crackers

    Mary’s Gone Crackers is a brilliantly-crafted line.

    Wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO, with no hydrogenated oils or trans-fats: These delicious crackers are the poster food for everything that is trending in specialty food today.

    Yet, the brand dates to 1994, when Mary Waldner discovered that she and her son were allergic to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and most oats.

    Eliminating those grains from their diet cured the condition.

    However, in the food store environment of 25 years ago, it left her with nothing to eat in the area of bread, crackers and baked goods.

    A lifelong baker, Mary began to experiment with the alternative gluten-free flours—corn, garbanzo bean, potato and rice flour, tapioca, potato starch and others.

    She ultimately created a satisfying gluten-free version of her conventional brownies, cookies, muffins, pancakes and waffles.

    But at parties, there wasn’t a cracker or bread stick that she could eat with the cheeses and dips. Mary went back to work using brown rice as a base for crackers.
     
     
    MARY’S CRACKER VARIETIES

    You don’t have to be gluten-free to become a fan. These whole food, organic crackers are so crunchy and delicious that almost everyone will find them irresistible.

    The line is Certified Certified Gluten Free, Certified USDA Organic, Certified Vegan, Certified Whole Grain. It is also Non-GMO and Certified Kosher by OU.

    The original four flavors of crackers have expanded to 16:
     
    Original Seed Crackers

    Original Seed Crackers combine organic, gluten free, whole grain brown rice, quinoa, flax seeds and sesame seeds. The result: a rich, earthy flavor with a great crunch in:

  • Black Pepper
  • Caraway
  • Herb and Onion
  • Original
  •  
    Super Seed Crackers

    Mary’s Super Seed Crackers are packed with poppy, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. More seeds means more protein—enough to provide an energy boost (5 grams of protein per serving.

  • Basil & Garlic
  • Chia
  • Chili Lime
  • Classic
  • Everything
  • Lemon Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Seaweed & Black Sesame
  •  
    Real Thin Crackers

    Mary’s Real Thin Crackers are made with sustainably sourced palm oil. It helps to create a buttery, toasty-tasting vegan cracker in:

  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic Rosemary
  • Sea Salt
  • Sweet Onion
  •  
    Now you have all the crackers you need for cheeses, dips, and what-you-will.

    If you have friends who eat gluten-free, surprise them with some boxes of Mary’s. It could be the best gift they get all year.

    And now…

    It’s time to go crackers!
     
     
    Discover more at MarysGoneCrackers.com.

     

    Mary's Gone Crackers
    [1] A healthful spread with Mary’s Real Think Crackers (all photos © Mary’s Gone Crackers).

    Mary's Gone Crackers
    [2] Whatever your favorite dip, Mary’s crackers are at the ready.

    Mary's Gone Crackers
    [3] The seeds used to make the crackers.


    [4] A selection of Super Seed flavors.

    Mary's Gone Crackers
    [5] You can have it all, with these Everything crackers.

     

      

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    RECIPE: Banana Cake Blast-Off & Many More Banana Recipes

    Banana Cake A La Mode
    [1] Banana Trio: banana cake, banana ice cream and caramelized fresh banana (photo © Good Food On Montford | Charlotte).

    Grilled Bananas
    [2] Deconstructed Banana Split with grilled bananas at Sushi Samba (photo © Sushi Samba).

     

    Today is National Banana Lover’s Day.

    You won’t believe what the original banana looked like: nothing you’d want to eat! Check out the history of bananas and see the photos.

    So how should you celebrate today?

    Consider this idea from Good Food On Montfort in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  • Top a square of banana bread with banana ice cream (Good Food used homemade macadamia ice cream).
  • Garnish with a piece of caramelized banana, looking like it’s about to blast off.
  • Use a mint leaf as an optional garnish.
  •  
     
    MORE BANANA RECIPES

  • Banana Bread
  • Banana Coconut Cream Pie
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • Banana Daiquiri
  • Bananas Foster
  • Banana Ice Cream
  • Banana Pudding
  • Banana Split Sushi
  • Banana Split Waffles
  • Banana Stuffed French Toast
  • Chilled Blueberry Banana Soup
  • Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
  • Chocolate Chip Banana Bread With Cocoa Glaze
  • Deconstructed Banana Split
  • Grilled Banana Split
  • Peanut Butter & Banana Quesadilla</li>
  • Peanut Butter, Banana & Bacon Sandwich
  • Peanut Butter Banana Dessert Cocktail
  • Red, White & Blue Banana Smoothie
  • Sautéed Bananas
  •  

      

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    PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK: Diestel Turkey Bacon, Jarlsberg Slices, Perinaise

    Add a burger, lettuce and tomato to this week’s products and you can make a different type of bacon cheeseburger.

    Vive la différence!
     
     
    1. DIESTEL UNCURED TURKEY BACON

    Diestel Family Ranch sells turkey in every form imaginable, from the whole turkeys and cuts to ground turkey, hot dogs and sausages.

    The birds are sustainably raised with care on family farms, with no antibiotics, growth stimulants, hormones or nitrates.

    They eat a wholesome vegetarian diet, get plenty of fresh air, and have room to roam.

    The latest in the product line is Uncured Turkey Bacon. Just crisp it in a pan or microwave, to serve with breakfast or to quickly add to a burger or sandwich.

  • Use Diestel’s sliced turkey breast to make a yummy TBLT (turkey bacon, lettuce and tomato, of course—guacamole optional).
  • Or, switch the turkey breast for a turkey burger (or other burger of choice) for a bacon cheeseburger.
  •  
    Every Diestel product we’ve had has provided juicy turkey goodness, but switching to turkey bacon make us feel good about eating a healthy, lean meat alternative to conventional bacon.

  • Diestel’s Uncured Turkey Bacon is is made from whole-muscle cuts of turkey, without the fat (and messy clean-up) of pork bacon (photo #1).
  • Slow smoked over natural hardwood, the bacon is delicious baked or fried. Spiced to please, you’ll enjoy every bacon-y bite.
  • And it’s low in fat, sugar-free and only 35 calories a slice.
  •  
    Learn more at DiestelTurkey.com, and check out the recipes.
     
     
    2. JARLSBERG SLICES

    Many people who are lactose-intolerant have given up dairy cheeses for vegan cheeses—or no cheese at all.

    But there are two cow’s milk cheeses that are 100% lactose free: Cheddar and Jarlsberg.

    The total freedom from lactose—as opposed to other cheeses that have low lactose—is a function of the ripening process, where the remaining lactose is consumed by lactic acid bacteria.

    Both are available in slices, ready for your burger.

  • People who like American cheese slices will go for Cheddar.
  • People with a penchant for Swiss cheese will want the Jarlsberg.
  •  
    Learn more about this delicious, nutty cheese at Jarlsberg.com.
     
     
    3. NANDO’S HOT PERINAISE

    Nando’s famous hot Peri-Peri Sauce has been subtly blended with creamy mayonnaise.

    The result: fiery mayo for everyone who likes a hit of heat.

    Use it:

  • As a slightly spicy dip for chips and crudité s.
  • As a spread for burgers and sandwiches and salads.
  • As the base for salad dressing.
  •  
    Nando’s adds the fire and flavor of the peri-peri chile pepper to a range of sauces, marinades, spices, rubs and snacks.

    The line is all natural, preservative- and MSG-free.

    See the entire product line at Nandos.com.

     

    Turkey Burger
    [1] A turkey bacon cheeseburger with Diestel turkey bacon and burger, and slices of Jarlsberg cheese (photo © Diestel).

    Diestel Turkey Bacon
    [2] Diestel Uncured Turkey Bacon is ready for eggs, a burger or other sandwich (photo © Good Eggs).

    Jarlsberg Cheese Snacks
    [3] We’ve long enjoyed Jarlsberg slices on burgers. Now Jarlsberg Cheese Snacks hit the spot for noshing (photo © Creative Pool).

    Nando's Hot Perinaise
    [4] Hot Perinaise will spice up sandwiches, burgers, and much more (photo © Nando’s).

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Baked Beans

    Homemade Baked Beans
    [1] Canned baked beans can’t compare to the homemade version (recipe and photo © DeLallo).

    Beanpots
    [2] In New England and elsewhere in the U.S., beans were baked in a dedicated beanpot (photo © Five Rings | Wikipedia).

     

    Sorry, Bush’s, but commercial baked beans are a sorry lot. They should be called “candied beans” for the amount of sugar in them.

    While baked beans are supposed to have a savory-sweet flavor, the canned varieties we’ve tried really overdo the sweet part.

    So eschew the canned beans. For Labor Day Weekend or any other festive occasion, bake your own.

    Unlike one-dimensional canned baked beans, this recipe from DeLallo is layered with flavor from balsamic vinegar, beer and pancetta.
     
     
    RECIPE: HOMEMADE BAKED BEANS

    Ingredients

  • 6 ounces pancetta, diced (substitute bacon)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 1 cup tomato purée
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons light/mild flavored molasses
  • 6 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.

    2. COOK the pancetta in a heavy, large, oven-safe pot over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.

    3. ADD the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

     
    4. MIX in the beer, tomato purée, brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the beans and bring to a simmer.

    5. TRANSFER the pot to the oven and bake uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the bean mixture bubbles and thickens slightly, about 45 minutes.
     
     
    BAKED BEANS HISTORY

    While beans have been cultivated worldwide since ancient times, the different types of beans used to make baked beans are native to South America, brought to Europe by Spanish explorers around 1528.

    What Americans call baked beans traces the recipe to different regions, each of which had its own twist on the recipe.

    While many recipes today are actually stewed, rather than baked, beans, traditionally the beans are slow-baked in a ceramic or cast-iron pot.

    In New England and elsewhere, a beanpot was used to bake the beans (photo #2).

    A beanpot is a deep, wide-bellied, short-necked ceramic pots. The relatively narrow mouth of the beanpot minimizes evaporation and heat loss, while its deep, wide, thick-walled body facilitates long, slow cooking times.

    Boston is called Beantown by outsiders (sailors and traders), referring to the popular dish, Boston baked beans. Originating in Colonial days, the dish was made with molasses or maple syrup, and flavored with salt pork or bacon.

    With the advent of canned food in the mid-1800s, canned baked beans were among the first convenience foods, called “pork and beans” or “beans with pork.”

    Then as now, the pork component is typically a piece of salt pork fat[source].

    Check out the history of beans.

      

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