Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our First New Potatoes & Bread Day - OMG

When I first met Bev, she introduced me to several foods, such as peas and dumplings and boiled new potatoes fried in butter. My mom often boiled small potatoes to hand mash on your plate with butter, but I’d never had them fried whole in butter.

Before I continue let’s discuss small vs. new potatoes - I think I’ve covered this before, but I believe it’s worth repeating. Small potatoes are not necessarily new potatoes and large potatoes can be new. I had a veggie customer one time who had ordered new potatoes from me but was disappointed when they were a variety of sizes up to tennis ball. When potatoes are harvested by digging up the plant, there are tubers of all sizes including some small ones and they all come out of the ground at the same time and all cure over a short period of time.

When you go into the store and there is a display of large red potatoes beside a display of small ones label “new potatoes”, they likely came out of the ground about the same time, so they're unlikely to be new - this is what confused my customer.

There are two ways to tell if it’s a new potato – first it taste different – sweeter to me as the sugar hasn’t all turned to starch. Secondly, a new potato can hardly be washed without rubbing off some of the skin – especially if brand new like these - less than 30 minutes out of the ground. 

These were harvested by digging under the plant with my hand to find the right size then pulling them out and putting back the soil.  This is known as graveling and doesn't disturb the plant or the other potatoes and since I grow potatoes mostly for the new ones with the better flavor, many will be harvested this way - I got one too small by mistake and the largest one was smaller than a tennis ball.

Bev’s normal process was to boil the potatoes until tender then fry in butter to crisp the skin, but we’ve been seeing the smashed process on TV lately and had to try it. So after boiling, she smashed them down with her hand into a flatter shape, then fried them in the butter.

After turning and noticing the extra butter in the skillet, she decided to toss in some thick slices of Vidalia onion – just bought our first ones.

After plating she added some chopped green onion.

I love the smashed version as it provides much more surface area to be crisped by the butter without continuous turning and the onions were a nice addition. This was my lunch for the day and it was outstanding - makes the gardening labor well worth it.

Bev baked bread this day and made a pan of pecan cinnamon rolls. 

She normally makes a glaze for them, but this time used maple butter - it's not maple flavored butter.  We'd never heard of it before our stop at Bisson's Sugar House during our New England trip.  What it is is pure maple syrup that has more of the water cooked out of it to make it thicker - they also have taffy which has more water cooked out to make it even thicker and we bought his last one.  I wondered what we'd use it for when Bev bought it, but a new standard has been set for these babies - they were awesome.

Wende came by for a visit and we served her this for dinner - kind of leftovers of potatoes, oysters, and smoked chicken breast - plus grilled romaine and a sweet roll.

Pretty darn good meal for a throw together.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  Tortellini and Italian Sausage



  1. You've got new potatoes already???? There's nothing better. I bought a sack of small red potatoes yesterday that I thought looked pretty newish. And yes they were good, but not anywhere near what you're having. I've also got a basemeent full of Vidalias and found some Texas 1015's yesterday. I'm in onion heaven right now.

  2. Thanks for the lesson on new potatoes. Here in the south we always called the "fresh out of the ground, very small" new potatoes. I love them and have been having some now with dinner all week. I dug mine up because I like them little and new. It makes sense that any potato freshly dug would be considered a new potato!

  3. Thanks for the lesson about new potatoes, Larry. I'll pay attention to the thickness of the skin when I go to the farmers' market next week. My mother used to make a spring dish of boiled new potatoes and fresh peas that I'm dying to make.

    I would love to have one of those cinnamon rolls with my coffee this morning.

  4. What a feast! Bev's rolls look other worldly good and I can only imagine how they taste with that maple butter. I'm a bit envious here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. Coming from a large Irish family, I love my potatoes! You can come by my home anyday and throw together a meal - I won't complain! Everything looks delicious!

    Have a wonderful day!

  6. Love those little red taters, Larry.. I've never tried mashing them and then frying them with Vidalias... Sounds wonderful... We bought some Vidalias also recently... I love them on my big tossed salads. Now I'm hungry... That cereal wasn't quite the same. ha

  7. Wow those spuds look great. I will have to remember that technique. Your meal is perfect.

  8. I saw a comment somewhere that reads, "all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them" I'm looking for the button that offers the smell as well.

    there is nothing like fresh potatoes out of the ground, unless you have had them, you just don't understand. This is new to me, grilling Romain, hum never had that before. The buns look awesome.

  9. I love red potatoes smashed and fried like that. I remember having a chuckle when everybody had a fit over PW's Crash Potatoes as if it were a whole new concept! We've always called the larger ones red and the smaller ones new. Love them both!

  10. Wow!! I'm pretty sure there's nothing better than fried potatoes and onion. Okay, well maybe, but not much. :)

  11. Everything looks amazing! I'm amazed that you have potatoes already but I see you are in West Virginia and I'm in Wisconsin. There is nothing better than fried potatoes and onions and I'm going to give Bev's way a try - they look delicious. I've had grilled romaine in a restaurant but haven't tried it at home yet - another 'to do'.

  12. We probably had our first "real" new potatoes last year from our CSA, they were amazing!

  13. Those fried new potatoes look fantastic! My favorite potatoes are yellow.

  14. Larry, Smashed fried new potatoes plus homemade bread and sweet rolls by Bev... It can't get much better than that! I could eat that and actually skip the meat course... We tried to compensate tonight with BLT's. Lettuce & heirloom tomatoes from the Menonite Farm Market in Delano, Bacon from Benton's and english muffin bread from VG's bakery. Still can't equal Bev's baking! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave & Laurie

  15. Larry, you just had to rob those plants, didn't you? :) Those smashed and fried potatoes look absolutely delicious. We will have to try that... and grilled, I've never done that. You can still teach an ole dog new tricks... laughing.

  16. I'm glad that you enjoyed those smashed, fried new potatoes. I made a recipe from one of the tv chefs and like the way Bev revved them up a bit with the onions. They really are good! Those pecan rolls look mighty sweet too!


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