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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The stuff of dreams and legends: Potato Flour

potato flour
I have been in the dark on an amazing gluten free secret. It’s a fact so simple, so perfectly natural, so logical, so obvious that it is impossible how obscure it seems. It’s unbelievable!  And I’m about to share that secret with all of you! Potato flour is not worthless. Yeah. I’m sure you didn’t know that (I apologize for all the unnecessary suspense and anticipation if you actually did know that). I definitely didn’t know that until a few short weeks ago.

I’ve had these gigantic jars of potato flour sitting around for years. A friend bought them and didn’t know what to do with them, so being recently gluten free, I appropriated them thinking I would find something to do with them in my culinary explorations through this strange, new gastronomical frontier. However, I found the flour to be impractical. I’d add it to my gluten free blends only to have baked goods come out dense and chewy or incredibly hard and with the flavor of dog biscuits. It was horrible. I stopped experimenting with it completely. So I’ve just been carrying this load of flour from place to place because I liked the big glass jars that contain it and I didn’t have anything else to fill them.

Well the other week I was down to my last little bit of rice flour and just a dash of millet and I was looking to do some deep frying. And there they were. Those two big, beautiful jars of potato flour. Finding myself in a pinch, I went ahead and threw potato flour into the mix.

I have discovered the single best purpose for potato flour. It makes me giddy, almost mad, how ridiculous it is. And It’s not throwing it away either. It’s flouring. Yeah. You use potato flour for flouring. Incredible, right? My new favorite thing to do with potato flour is to dredge a bunch of julienned potatoes in it and deep fry them. Potato floured fried potatoes. Redundant? Never! Ingenious! Delicious! It makes the perfect crust. It’s potato flavored. I can’t get over it. And it seems to resist burning. It just gets nice and golden brown. Even the bits of flour debris that get left in the oil don’t burn over several batches of fries. I’ll be posting plenty of recipes utilizing this amazing new discovery soon, including the official potato floured french fry recipe. Stay tuned for all the crazy potato flour worship!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Not so authentic: Potato Curry

vegan potato curry

It has been too long since I last posted a recipe. Let’s get back on track with something simple and satisfying. This is a vegan spin on curried potatoes. It’s not exactly the Aloo curry you’d find on most Indian restaurant menus. I know I’m going to offend someone. But well who cares if you don’t like carrots! Kidding! Those can totally be omitted if they don’t jive with your idea of the curry. And I understand if you think the peanut butter sounds like an odd addition. It’s mostly for the fat and to bring a slight nutty flavor to the dish as well as kind of round out the texture. It’s my attempt to imitate the ghee. Take it or leave it. The potatoes might still taste good without it.
Potato Curry
4 cloves garlic (minced)
4 large potatoes (cubed)
2 plum tomatoes (diced)
2 medium onions (roughly chopped)
2 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
4 tbs vegetable oil
½ tsp cayenne (optional)
2 tbs curry powder 
1 tbs peanut butter
2 cups vegetable broth
Salt or aminos to taste
In a large skillet or pot, heat your oil over medium and saute the garlic and onions until they start to soften and clarify. Add the tomatoes, curry and cayenne and continue to saute for a couple minutes (check that alliteration!). Now throw all those tuberous root vegetables in there (crazy diction!). I mean the potatoes and carrots, just to be clear. Peel or don’t peel at your own preference. Peeled potatoes and carrots tend to cook a little faster and absorb more of the flavors in my experience (alliterations galore!). Pour in your vegetable stock and drop that glop of peanut butter in there and stir everything up (sick internal rhymes!). And yes, glop is the technical term. Crank up the heat and bring that sucker to a bubbling boil (don’t even try to say onomatopeoia!), then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for about thirty minutes or until all the vegetables are very tender.
curry prep

Serve over rice or lentils. It generally works out to about one large potato per person, so this should be enough to feed three or four (I can't stop alliterating! No, seriously. I can't stop. Help me!). There’s liberation in approximation. It doesn't have to be exact calculation with no deviation (rhyming like a fiend!).
curry spice

And thus concludes the first edition of my new “Rhyme and Dine” series of recipes where I obnoxiously point out all the literary devices I’m intentionally using. Bonus! You’re welcome.

indian curry potatoes