Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Say Potato, I Say Hatch Chile Potato Salad for Summer Fest 2010

I sometimes wonder if one of the ways in which the world may be divided is between rice people and potato people. If so, and despite the fact that I love rice, I'd be hanging with the potato folks. To my mind, potatoes are about as close to being pure comfort food as you can get and as the world's fourth largest crop beind rice, wheat, and maize, they have a kind of peasant-like underdog quality to them I find appealing. As we head into fall, I'm so glad that they're this week's Summer Fest topic.

My favorite potatoes are a French heirloom that Specialty Produce introduced me to. They're a smallish tuber--maybe three to four inches in length--and very elegant with their pinkish red oblong shape that reveals a butter yellow interior. I'll slice these up and boil them until they're just soft, then toss with a garlicky vinaigrette and sliced Kalamata olives.

As the weather cools, I'm all over your basic baked potato--baked until the skin gets really crispy, of course. Or, perhaps I'll pick up some baby Yukon golds for a smoky cooking with coarse sea salt in my French diable.

And, come Chanukah, watch out for my latkes.

But, today is about combining potatoes with another favorite ingredient: Hatch chiles. I've now bought and roasted close to 10 pounds of chiles, which are bagged and in the freezer. I pulled out a couple this week to make Hatch Chile Potato Salad, which I served over the weekend with grilled chicken and broccoli. The potato salad has some heat but also the smoky flavor of the chiles combined with slow roasted tomatoes and garlic in a lemon-garlic dressing.

Hatch Chile Potato Salad
Serves four as a side dish

1 pound red potatoes (baby or regular size)
1 large shallot, finely minced
2 large roasted Hatch chiles (about 1.5 ounces), peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 large pieces of sun-dried or oven roasted tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 scallions, chopped
Lemon-Garlic Dressing (see below)

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add whole, unpeeled potatoes and cook until tender (about 15 to 20 minutes).
2. While potatoes are cooking, make the Lemon-Garlic Dressing and prep the other ingredients.
3. When potatoes are fork-tender, remove from heat and drain in a colander. When they're still warm but cool enough to handle, slice or quarter them into bite-sized pieces. Add to a large bowl with the shallots, chiles, tomatoes, parsley, and about 3/4 of the scallions. Reserve the rest for garnish.
4. Pour enough dressing over the potato mixture to moisten it, then toss to mix well. Let sit so the potatoes absorb the dressing. If necessary, add more dressing before serving. Top with the rest of the scallions.

Lemon-Garlic Dressing
Makes about 1/2 cup

1 clove garlic, finely minced
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 to 3 tablespoons)
A mix of herbs (I used chives, epazote, and parsley)
Kosher salt to taste
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine the first four ingredients, then slowly whisk in oil until the dressing thickens.

Now, let's see what the rest of my Summer Fest 2010 colleagues are doing with garlic:

Alison at Food2: Boil 'Em, Mash 'Em, Stick 'Em in a Stew
Kirsten at FN Dish: Twice-Baked Potatoes
Sara at Cooking Channel: Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes
A Day of Potatoes: Spuds for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Potato Taquitos, made with leftover mashed potatoes
Caroline at the Wright Recipes: Indian Spiced Potatoes with Chickpeas (Aloo Chole)
Cate at Sweetnicks: Bleu Cheese Potato Mashers
Alana at Eating From the Ground Up: The strange experience of growing potatoes
Margaret at A Way to Garden: Potato Growing, Curing and Storage Tips
Paige at The Sister Project: French Fries to soothe a burnt-out cook's soul
Marilyn of Simmer Till Done: Baked Potatoes: Cooking Can Be So Easy
Guilded Fork: Round-up of Favorite Potato Recipes
Food Network UK: We Like Spuds

Now It's Your Turn!
This collaborative effort won't be much fun without you! The more info we all give, the more we'll all enjoy summer's harvest. Have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes? You can contribute in various ways, big or small.
  • Contribute a whole post, or a comment—whatever you wish. It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. 
  • Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Summer Fest post on my blog any upcoming Wednesday, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same.
The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits, and then we're all cooking with some great ideas. Or go big: Publish entire posts of your own if you wish, and grab the big red tomato Summer Fest 2010 badge above (illustrated by Matt of Mattbites). We'll also be tweeting using #summerfood as our hashtag until Sept. 21, then we'll switch to #fallfood. Here's the schedule:
Sept. 1: Sweet and Spicy Peppers
Sept. 8: Garlic
Sept. 15: White (or colorful “white”…but not sweet) Potatoes
Sept. 22: Spinach
Sept. 29: Apples
Oct. 6: Fall Salads
Oct. 13: Pumpkin and Winter Squash
Oct. 20: Pears
Oct. 27: “Mad Stash” (as in what you’re freezing/canning/drying, etc.)
Nov. 3: Root veggies
Nov. 10: Brassicas: incl. Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage or other
Nov. 17: Sweet Potatoes
Nov. 24: Bounty to Be Grateful For

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  1. For Fall Fest:
    Curried Potatoes with Tomatoes and Peas

    The verdict on this dish at our house was, KEEPER!

  2. I haven't come across a more flavorful potato salad.You may be able to appreciate my "summer fest chaat' an indian flavored potato salad.

  3. Here's what I did with the theme ingredient a while back http://www.indiansimmer.com/2010/04/dum-aloo.html

  4. I see everyone topping there potatoes baked, roasted or boiled with spring onions. And that speaks volume of what that onion does to potatoes. I think it take it to whole new level!

    Here my contribution for the theme, a simple and easy Indian spiced potatoes with just 3 major spices!
    I'm wondering what adding spring onions to this would do!

  5. Rice people vs. potato people? Not sure where I would lie -- my favorite childhood dish was potatoes with rice (Indian-style)!
    This week I made a potato gratin:

  6. Wow, that looks good! Thank you!

    I went healthy with potatoes for this weeks Summer Fest. I focused on the surprising nutritional benefits of white potatoes and how we can get the most out of their nutrients. I also share a recipe for my Potato and Chorizo Tacos which are, believe it or not, healthy too!

    Thanks for another great week. Can't wait to read what everyone else has been making with potatoes!

  7. Sounds and looks delicious. I made a few things for potato Summer Fest week and still plan on making a few more.

  8. i love potatoes..and shared three recipes…our farmhouse potato salad, smashed potatoes and stuffed baked potatoes…yum!

  9. Wow, look at all these wonderful recipes - and so many from India! Love it!

  10. Love the idea of the Lemon-Garlic Dressing - what a delicious way to eek out what's left of the summer!

  11. French Heirloom , YES! they are the absolute best. I ate some last weekend with tarragon and butter...
    I did simple classic comfort food 101- MASHED

    ~Chef Louise