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Sunday, December 30, 2012

US Potatoes Dinner

Most of us consume potatoes at least once a week and its either part of a salad, appetizer or as part of our main dish. I had the opportunity to experience the wonder of potatoes and specifically US Potatoes. It certainly was an eye opener as it was meal that began with potatoes and ended with potatoes.

Interestingly, this was also an eye opener for me to the various kinds of US potatoes that are available in Malaysia. A quick run through and how many types of potatoes do you recognise?
US Russet Potatoes
US Yukon Gold Potatoes
US Red Potatoes
US Round White Potatoes
 US Blue and Purple Potatoes
 US Fingling Potatoes
The dinner kicked start on a very interesting note. I must admit that the potato is often a very misunderstood vegetable. Often regarded to be unhealthy and fattening. Amazingly we learnt from the Mr. Chris Rittgers the US Agricultural Trade Attaché and Miss Carina Lipold, a Health and Wellness Expert shared on the various types of potatoes and their nutrition values. Amazingly the humble potato is delicious and a very versatile vegetable. What makes it fattening as many think is the preparation. But on its own or prepared healthily e.g. steamed, boiled, mash, grilled, baked and cooked with its skin, , the potato actually retains its amazing nutritional values:
• Higher fiber content
• More B6, Vitamin A+C+E, Manganese and Potassium (potato has even higher potassium value than bananas)
• Pigment anthocyanins 
• Excellent antioxidants
Mr. Chris Rittgers the US Agricultural Trade Attaché
Miss Carina Lipold, a Health and Wellness Expert
Le Meredien Executive Chef Antoine
The slides from the presentation will be uploaded next week (a long post of over 30 slides!) with some of the recipes. But for now I will share my fave dish for the night US Potato Chawanmushi. Yeah...the usual chawanmushi that we all love with a touch of US Potato. 
US Potato Chawanmushi
US Potato Chawanmushi Recipe for 3 servings
Ingredients:
• 150g US Russet potato - 80g into the mix and 70g for topping
• 3 eggs  
• 400g Kombu and bonito stock  
• 5g sugar  
• 15g soya sauce  
• 3 pieces Kamaboko fish cake (sliced)
• 3 pieces prawns deveined and chopped
• 1 piece prawns 30/40 deveined for garnish
• Green onion chopped fine 
• Truffle oil

Instructions: 
• Steam and peel the US Russet potatoes.
• Add the salt to the potatoes and start mashing till smooth. The mix should be dry.
• Break the egg. Gently stir with a pair of chopsticks using cutting action.
• Add the Kombu and bonito stock, sugar and soy sauce and a little more than half of the mashed potato. Combine all ingredients together and strain to a fine sieve.
• Place fish cake and chopped prawns in a bottom of each cup and pour the mixture over - don't fill to the brim.
• Steam at high heat for about 12 minutes. To taste if the chawanmushi is cooked insert a bamboo stick into the mixture. If a little clear liquid comes out, it is cooked. Steam the whole prawn for 3 minutes.
• Spoon the remaining potato on top and place the whole steam prawn on top.
• Serve immediately with chopped green onion on top and drizzle with truffle oil.

# Kombu and Bonito stock are available at Asian / Japanese store.
## You can make Dashi easily on your own or buy powdered ones. Dashi is a seafood based stock usually made from Kombu (kelp), Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), iriko/niboshi (sardine) or a combination of all or two of them.

Dinner that night at Le Meredien of course included some cooking demos by Chef Antoine. I will share the recipes on another post. Meanwhile, here's our potato dinner from start to end:D
US Round Red Potato case with chicken rendang
3 Vichyssoises featuring 3 varieties of US colored potatoes
Roasted US fingerling potato, Provencal fresh herbs, garlic, chili flake, olive oil
US Blue Purple potato dumpling filled with spicy coconut and prawns
US Yukon Gold potato and cheese croquette with Chili tomato smoked dip
Potato bread
Chunky long white US potato and clam chowder served with sweet corn, grated cheddar cheese and ciabatta bread crouton
Seared sea scallop, truffle mashed US Round Red potato with parmesan wafer
US Russet potato and US Blue Purple potato cake with Garlic and Chives Cream Sauce
US Red potato cheese cake and US Blue purple potato chips with  compressed turkey terrine served with crawberry jelly, “jus tranche”
US Russet potato chocolate cake

A whole world of possibilities with potatoes. Amazing eh? For more information on US potatoes, hop by to www.potatoesusa-malaysia.com and www.potatogoodness.com

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More pics in the album US Potatoes Dinner