25 June 2008

You say "potato," I say "potato"

As a run-up to Mmm...Canada, this week's posts will feature Canadian foods and food products. Today's post uses Yukon Gold potatoes.

I can't remember who included Lets Call The Whole Thing Off in his stand-up routine, but I still smile when I think of it. Instead of the usual "You say potato, I say potaeto/You say tomato, I say tomaeto," he sang "You say potato, I say potato/you say tomato, I say tomato"...tee hee...okay...maybe you had to be there.

I'm a bit of a potato freak. As someone who grew up with rice at every evening meal, I saw potatoes as something wonderful and special. I know there are others who see things exactly opposite to me and yawn at potatoes but are very pleased to see a little mound of rice on their plate. That's fine...you can have your rice, I'll have my potatoes, please.

Mashed, boiled, roasted, fried, baked, rosti...I love it all. And for me, Yukon gold is king. Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder for me to find my favourite potato in the bigscarymegamart or even the mediumscarymegamart. In fact, I'm finding it difficult to find varietals at all. It seems as if the store's (or maybe the potato marketing board, if there is a beast) marketers see fit to just call them white potatoes, red potatoes, or this newfangled "yellow flesh" potatoes.

On the weekend a friend asked about Yukon golds and the stock boy told him that yellow flesh are the same as Yukon gold and he had no idea why the name change.

My guess is they're going to be switching over to a cheaper, less harmoniously sounding spud so it's easier to call them by a generic name, but still charge YGP prices

Smarmketers. (Oh wait, was that me being snarky? Just a tad...it's been a day).


When I made the lamb curry I decided to forego the rice and make Aloo Gobi--a potato and cauliflower dish spiced with cumin and coriander. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough cauliflower on hand. A quick check of the fridge proffered the last leaves of my Chinese cabbage, but not enough to substitute for the caulifower in my recipe....so used up the Chinese leaf and topped up on cauliflower.

The flavours and textures work well together--the potatoes are soft and yielding and the cauliflower has a bit of crunch and the cabbage...well...the cabbage is cabbagey. The dish itself is cumminy and slightly zingy from the pepper. Plus the turmeric tinges the potatoes and the cauliflower with happy. What more could you want?

I don't have a name for this dish...so for now I'm going to be more than a tad boring...and obvious. If you can come up with a better name, let me know...

Potatoes, Cabbage and Cauliflower
¾ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ onion, sliced

400g potatoes, in 1cm cubes and boiled until tender in salty water
2c julienned cabbage
2c cauliflower florets
1½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp tumeric
¼ chilli pepper powder
1½ tsp salt

Putting it together
  1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds and toast until the mustard seeds begin to pop (you might want to lid the pot...or you could just live dangerously...it's up to you). Add the onions and fry until golden and soft.

  2. Add cauliflower and stiry for a few minutes--basically heat it through. Tip in the cabbage shreds and then the potatoes. Add the coriander, turmeric, chilli pepper and salt. Stir again and add a spoonful of water and give everything a good stir so that the potatoes and cauliflower take on the tumeric's yellow. Season to taste.

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K and S said...

that concoction sounds delicious. I think you should call it "yum" :)

Anonymous said...

I want that! If I give you a bed, will come and cook?

Fitness Foodie said...

Indeed potato salad is a Canadian classic. What would cottaging, picnics and camping be without it.
Looks great!

glamah16 said...

I normally find potatoes boring except whenthen are done in tasty dishes like this. I bet your house was smelling loveely.Im a weird one, was always sick of rice too. The father had to have it with his Nigerian stews everyday!

Patricia Scarpin said...

And I say delicious!

I love the veggies you combined here, Jasmine. Love! I would never have place them together.

And potatoes are good with everything, I agree.

Deborah said...

I'll take potatoes in any way, shape or form, and these sound delicious!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Yukon Gold became my favorite potato from the moment it hit the markets here in the US. What I love is that now it is such a recognized "brand" that restaurants are quick to write menus that feature Yukon Golds, not just any old potato. Mmmm..... Canada.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

The only reason it needs a name is so people can ask for it again!
We're sisters Jasmine: Potato Freak Sisters!!

jasmine said...

Hello all

Gave this to My Dear Little Cardamummy...she gave her approval...even though it had cumin (apparently she doesn't like it)...oh well...