In our last installment of our trip to Idaho for the potato harvest with the Idaho Potato Commission, we looked at potato farming and packing. This time, we’re focusing on the most fun part: the eating.
Whatever you think you know about the nutrition found in potatoes – you’re probably underestimating it. We learned from the Idaho Potato Commission that one potato provides 45 % of your daily Vitamin C needs, and 8 % of your daily fiber. There is more potassium per serving in a potato than in a banana. And it feels silly to have to say this, but potatoes are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and gluten-free (you’d be surprised – some people don’t know!).
On this particular trip to Idaho, we also learned lots of other potato-related factoids. For instance: Did you know that it’s better not to use a knife to break open your baked potato? Farmer James Hoff showed us that if you make a zig-zag pattern on top of a potato with a fork, then re-trace the zig-zag, then squeeze the potato open, you’ll get a fluffier potato. (Using a knife breaks important cell membranes.)
We also were thrilled and delighted with all the ways we saw potatoes being prepared, such as amazing potato salads (like the Mediterranean potato salad we enjoyed at Hoff Farm, pictured above), unbelievable potato soups, delectable potato drinks (OK, potato vodka), and even delicious potato desserts.
At the Teton Springs Lodge, Chef Rick Sordahl treated us to an entire potato-themed menu that was finger-licking good from start to finish. And oh, what a finish. The garnet (sweet) potato tarts with nutmeg Chantilly cream were out of this world.
Want to try them for yourself? Chef Sordahl shared with us the recipe, created by the resort’s pastry chef Dominique Piumarta, for Idaho Sweet Potato Tart. (Note: this recipe makes a large version but if you have individual baking cups you can make individual tarts as pictured above.)
- For the crust:
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ⅔ cup melted salted butter
- For the filling:
- 2½ cups sweet Idaho potatoes (we used Garnet potatoes)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 T. all purpose flour
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of ground clove
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Optional - whipped cream for garnish
- Add the melted butter the gram cracker crumbs until it resembles moist sand. Press into a springform pan and chill while making the filling.
- Dice and boil the potatoes until soft. Blend until smooth. Combine the potatoes with the sugar and flour. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing to avoid any lumps. Add the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream and vanilla, and continue mixing until smooth. Stir in the spices.
- Pour the filling over the prepared crust and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top.
- Bake covered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the center is set. Cool completely and serve chilled. Optional: Garnish with whipped cream.
Thank you again to the Idaho Potato Commission, especially Don Odiorne, all of the farmers who shared their knowledge with us, and the entire team at Teton Springs Lodge for an incredible visit.
Blogger disclosure: The Idaho Potato Commission paid for my trip to Idaho. I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.