Sunday, July 17, 2016

Purple Potatoes

Have seen these in the produce department of Berkeley Bowl, but usually avoid potatoes, and have never tried it.  We have been using some Yukon Golds in soups, and they hold up well for almost everything.  Different than Russets.

This week, the price of purples was less than golds, and since we have been on a soup roll, I picked three of them up.  I am posting about these because the outcome was phenomenal, and I learned from Mr. Google's encyclopedia that they are healthier.  As would be expected based on color, they are rich in anthocyanins/antioxidants; they also possess twice the protein of a Russet (if 2 grams as opposed to two, of proteins makes any difference).  Potatoes do have a reasonable amount of Vitamin C anyway; with the antioxidant count, the purples make sense.  If they are affordable.

The intrepid Mr. Google led to a longer story about Purples: they originated in Peru and Bolivia, so are not GMO.  I'm waffling about GMOs, but not because of any physiological effect (at least I don't know of any right off, but nothing can ever be counted out), but the practice of planting GMO seeds has some ecological side effects---such as btCorn pollen on milkweed killing Monarch Butterflies) and some horrendous socio-economic ramifications, due to the unconscionable patenting and egregious marketing and intermingling of  so called "Intellectual Property Rights" in prosecution of farmers who practice the frugal and time honored practice of saving their seed.

 Ok, I've been on a pretty serious anti carbohydrate campaign, but I cooked breakfast today, and thought I'd try these (to go along with corn and blueberry pancakes).  Lots of carbs today.  Here's how I cooked these purples:

  1. microwaved at 70% for 4 or 5 min, in two bursts.
  2. peeled 
  3. sliced thick slabs about 3-4 mm thick.  
  4. fried in butter and oil on heat just below the smoke point for butter.
I cooked these slabs until the bottom started browning, then flipped.  This was labor intensive, for fried potatoes, but worth it!  Proceeded to flip and reflip until the slices were brown on both sides.

I think the "tipping point" is at the point where steam is overwhelmed by oil smoke.  Steam in frying potatoes is important, in keeping the oil out of the potatoes.  At least this is the story I've embraced: I think, in this case, the rate of disappearance of the oil from the pan indicates that the temp was not high enough.  Butter is a nonstick item that works incredibly  well---especially for fried eggs; I am tempted to use far more butter than my better sense tells me is sustainable, by this quality.  I used more oil than butter, and the potatoes were raved about today by other members of the family.

They loved the corn and blueberry pancakes too.  Mission accomplished.  For the rest of the day I am on carbohydrate and calorie watch.  Next recipe for purple potatoes?  Back to the minestrone-like soups we all are crazy about.