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International Year of the Potato - 2008

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Red Cooking Pork and Potatoes
Irish Potato Bread
Kootu Curry

(Family Features) - Think potatoes are only America's favorite vegetable? - Think again! - The potato is such an important food globally that the United Nations declared 2008 the "International Year of the Potato." Citing the potato's strong nutrition profile, versatility and ability to feed the masses, the year has noble goals. Jacques Diouf, the Director-General of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), stated that the "potato is on the front line in the fight against world hunger and poverty."

According to the FAO, the world will need to increase food production by about 60 percent to meet the needs of its rapidly growing population. The potato is crucial to meeting this challenge because it's fast-growing and nutritious. One medium (5.3 ounces) potato contains 110 calories, 45 percent of the daily value of vitamin C, essential B vitamins and 2 grams of fiber. Potatoes contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium, and skin-on potatoes are a good source of potassium.

Potatoes are grown in all 50 United States and have historical significance in the Peruvian mountains, the plains of Northern Europe, China's Yunnan plateau, Rwanda's equatorial highlands and the subtropical lowlands in India. Try preparing a potato dish from another country to see how other cultures include this vegetable in their cuisines.

For additional potato recipes, visit www.potatogoodness.com. Better yet, have seasonal recipes sent to you throughout the year by signing up to receive postings from the U.S. Potato Board's blog, www.potatounderground.com.

Potatoes Goodness Unearthed

  • Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant stabilizing free radicals, thus helping prevent cellular damage.

  • Potatoes with skins contain 18 percent of the DV of potassium (while broccoli and bananas each contain 13 percent), topping the list of the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables.

  • Potatoes are 100% fat free.

Recipes created by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, authors of "The Ultimate Potato Book."

Red Cooking Pork and Potatoes

"Red cooking" is a traditional Chinese braise, a stew that used to be made with unfiltered soy sauce, which can take on a reddish cast when long-stewed.
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  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into
  • 1-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds very small yellow-fleshed potatoes, halved
  • 9 medium scallions, cut into
  • 2-inch strips
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 3 4-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, mustard greens or turnip greens, rinsed (but not dried) and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

    1. Stir broth, soy sauce, ginger, sherry, orange zest and honey in large pot until honey dissolves. Add pork, potatoes, scallions, chiles, garlic, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer slowly until pork is meltingly tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. (Alternatively, stir all these ingredients in slow cooker, cover and cook on low about 8 to 9 hours.)
    2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add greens and vinegar. Cover, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cover and keep warm on stove.
    3. To serve, first discard star anise pods and cinnamon sticks. Divide greens among serving bowls, then ladle stew over greens.

Calories: 424g     Total Fat: 10g
Cholesterol: 110mg     Protein: 44g
Carbohydrates: 40g     Sodium: 1239mg

Makes 6 servings

Irish Potato Bread

Boxty is practically a national dish in Ireland. It can be served as a potato pancake, a dumpling or, as here, in a crunchy soda bread.

  • 2 3/4-pound russet potatoes
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup canola oil, plus additional for greasing the baking sheet
  • 3/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives (or the green part of a scallion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting and kneading
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

    1. Bring 1 inch water to a boil over high heat in vegetable steamer or large saucepan fitted with portable vegetable steamer. Peel 1 potato and cut into eighths; steam pieces until tender when pierced with fork, about 15 minutes. Rice or mash pieces in large bowl; set aside to cool 15 minutes.
    2. Position rack in center of oven; preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil large baking sheet with canola oil dabbed on paper towel.
    3. Peel other potato and grate it through large holes of box grater. Squeeze out any excess moisture; add to riced or mashed potatoes.
    4. Stir in egg, egg white, oil, milk, chives and caraway seeds until fairly smooth. Add 3 1/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt; stir with wooden spoon until mixture forms soft but sticky dough.
    5. Lightly flour clean work surface as well as your cleaned and dried hands. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead 1 minute, adding flour in 1-tablespoon increments to keep dough from turning too sticky. Too much flour and dough turns tough; it should remain a little tacky but workable. Shape into 8-inch circle, flatten slightly keeping loaf mounded at its center and place on prepared baking sheet. Use sharp knife to slash X in top of dough, cutting into dough about 1/2 inch.
    6. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch , about 55 minutes. Cool 1 hour on wire rack before slicing and serving.
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Calories: 183g     Total Fat: 5g
Cholesterol: 14mg     Protein: 5g
Carbohydrates: 30g     Sodium: 298mg

Makes 1 large loaf (16 slices)
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Kootu Curry

Here's a traditional curry from Kerala, the gorgeous southwestern strip of India, where the spice-laden land meets the Arabian Sea.
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  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsweetened coconut (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pound plus 2 ounces red-skinned potatoes, cut into
  • 1-inch cubes (3 cups)
  • 2 1/4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 1/4 cups peeled, diced eggplant
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green beans
  • 3/4 cup canned chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
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    1. Place 1/2 cup coconut, ginger, coriander, cumin, salt, dry mustard, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne in spice grinder or mini food processor; grind or process until about the consistency of coarse sand.
    2. Stir potatoes and broth with spice mixture in large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer slowly 10 minutes.
    3. Add eggplant, green beans and chick peas. Cover and continue simmering slowly until vegetables are quite tender, about 30 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, toast remaining 6 tablespoons coconut in dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Pour into bowl and set aside.
    5. Heat oil in same skillet now set over medium-low heat. Add shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, soft, and very sweet, about 12 minutes.
    6. Stir lemon juice into stew. Serve stew in bowls, topped with toasted coconut and frizzled shallots.
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Makes 6 servings
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Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Note: Unsweetened coconut, sometimes called "desiccated coconut," is simply dried, shaved coconut flakes. It's found in gourmet markets, East Indian markets and health food stores. Do not substitute sweetened coconut, found in baking aisles of most supermarkets.

SOURCE: US Potato Board

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