July 25, 2021

Kitchen Diva: A patriotic potato dish

Do you love potatoes, but think they’re fattening? Potatoes are good for you and have one of the highest nutritional values in the produce department. At just 25 cents per serving, a medium potato, 5.3 ounces, eaten with its skin on, has just 110 calories.

Potatoes provide nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and are one of the best sources of potassium, which helps to maintain normal blood pressure. Potatoes also are naturally fat- and sodium-free and contain many of the nutrients that are recommended as part of a healthy diet.

To create a festive dish in honor of Flag Day or Independence Day, try using red, white and blue potatoes. Here’s some more information about these colorful tubers.

Red Potatoes: Rosy-red skin and white flesh. Firm, smooth, moist texture; well-suited for salads, roasting, boiling and steaming. Round reds are often referred to as “new potatoes,” but the term “new” technically refers to any variety of potato that is harvested before reaching maturity.

Tip: Roast Reds for Salads — Instead of boiling red potatoes for salads, try roasting them, whole or cut up, to intensify their flavor and bring out their sweetness. Then add vinaigrette or a mayo-based dressing.

White Potatoes: Round and long, whites are medium in starch level with a creamy texture. They hold their shape well after cooking. The ultra-versatile round white can be used in most potato preparations.

Tip: Potato Salads — To create signature potato salads, just toss cooked white potatoes with dressings and ingredients “borrowed” from other salads, for example, Caesar dressing and grated Parmesan, or Ranch dressing, chopped egg and bacon crumbles.

Blue/Purple Potatoes: Blue/purple potatoes originated in South America and have now become popular in the United States. They have a subtle, nutty flavor and flesh ranging from dark blue or lavender to white. Microwaving best preserves color, but steaming and baking also are recommended.

Tip: Red, White and Blues — Combine blue potatoes with whites and reds in salads or roasted medleys to make all three colors “pop.”

Grilled Potato Kabobs With Lemon-Herb Drizzle

Red, white and blue potatoes add flavor and eye-appeal to these delicious kabobs. You also might substitute your favorite protein for the chicken sausage or try an all-vegetarian version of this dish.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the Lemon-Herb Drizzle:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, rosemary, marjoram and sage)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Juice of 1 fresh lemon

Freshly ground pepper to taste

12 to 16 wooden or metal skewers

For the Potato Kabobs:

1 pound (total) red, white and blue potatoes, scrubbed

1 (12-ounce) package pre-cooked chicken sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal

2 ears fresh corn, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal

Procedure

If using wooden skewers, soak them in a pan of cold water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan until very hot; remove from heat and stir in garlic. Let cool, then stir in herbs, salt, lemon juice and pepper; set aside.

Place potatoes in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Note: If using plastic wrap, make sure wrap is not touching any ingredients, and poke one small hole in cover to vent.

Microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes or until the potatoes are tender; cooking time may vary depending on microwave. Use oven mitts to carefully remove the potatoes from the microwave.

When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into large chunks. Thread potatoes, sausage and vegetables onto skewers. Wrap the exposed ends of the skewers with foil to prevent them from burning.

Grill over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with a little of the herb mixture during the last few minutes of cooking. Remove from grill, discard the foil and place the skewers on a platter; drizzle with remaining herb mixture.

Angela Shelf Medearis

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her website is www.divapro.com. © 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.