Few things in life are harder to resist than the delicious aroma of a backyard barbecue. There is just something about the sizzle and smells of grilled fare that brings folks together.
The farm families who grow Wisconsin potatoes know how to please the palates of hungry crowds. The natural flavors found in the many varieties of Wisconsin potatoes are easy to enhance with the addition of a few fresh ingredients and a little bit of smoke.
The Wisconsin russet potato makes for a great tasting baked potato, but its light and fluffy interior also holds up well when seared on the grill. Also great on the grill are Wisconsin yellow flesh potatoes, which have a just-buttered appearance.
The appearance of the trendy new blue and purple potatoes will certainly get guests talking. They add color and a subtle nutty flavor to your favorite dish. Everyone’s favorite dish at an out- door barbecue is often the potato salad. Wisconsin round red or white potatoes are both well-suited for salads as well as roasting, boiling, and steaming.
Potatoes are an extremely versatile and hearty vegetable. But the one thing all potatoes have in common is nutrition. Just what can Wisconsin potatoes do for you? Well, potatoes are: ffi Nutritional powerhouses. In addition to being fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodium free and gluten-free, a medium potato has just 110 calories. ffi Rich in potassium. According to the USDA, diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
The potato is second only to the banana in the amount of potassium it contains. ffi Packed with Vitamin C. A medium potato contains 45 per- cent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. ffi Great source of fiber. The USDA reports that fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease. Potatoes can also help make you feel fuller with fewer calories.
Grilled, fried, baked, roasted or boiled, few ingredients get every guest asking for second helpings like the versatile potato.
Find more health information, as well as recipes and purchas- ing tips, at www.EatWisconsinPotatoes.com.
Chicken and Potato Fiesta Grill
Ready time: 60 Minutes
1/2 cup prepared Italian dressing
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 whole chicken legs with thighs, skin on
1 1/3 pounds (4 medium) red Wisconsin
potatoes, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons water
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch-thick
4 to 8 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
Prepared salsa (optional)
In small bowl, combine marinade ingredients; remove 1/4 cup and combine with chicken in resealable plastic bag. Turn to coat; marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Meanwhile, in microwave-safe dish, combine potatoes and water. Cover and microwave on high 9 to 10 minutes or until just tender; cool. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, alternately thread with bell pepper and zucchini onto eight 10 to 12-inch skewers; brush with remaining marinade. Remove chicken from plastic bag; discard marinade from chicken.
Grill chicken over medium to medium-low coals 30 to 40 minutes or until juices run clear, turning occasionally. About 10 minutes before chicken is done, add vegetables to grid; reserve marinade. Grill until tender and lightly browned, turning and basting occasionally with reserved vegetable marinade. Serve chicken and vegetables with tortillas and salsa, if desired.
Roasted Red Potatoes with Pesto
Ready time: 40 Minutes
3 pounds medium-size red
Olive oil cooking spray
1/3 cup white or golden
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup finely minced fresh
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Place potatoes in a large microwavesafe bowl; cover with lid or plastic wrap. Note: If using plastic wrap, make sure plastic wrap is not touc- hing any ingredients and poke one small hole in cover to vent. Micro- wave on high for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender (cooking time may vary depending on micro- wave). Use oven mitts to carefully remove from microwave.
When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half or quarters and spray liberally with olive oil spray. Grill over high heat for 5 to 7 min- utes, turning occasionally, until grill lines are apparent. Remove from grill and let cool.
Cut into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and garlic; pour over potatoes and toss lightly to coat. Season with pepper, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss with Parmesan cheese and basil, then sprinkle with pine nuts.
Grilled Red Potato Skewers
Ready time: 20 Minutes
2 medium russet or Yukon
gold Wisconsin potatoes
or 6 red Wisconsin
2 medium zucchini
1/2 smoked sausage rope
4 12-inch skewers
1/2 cup Italian dressing
Preheat grill. Cut potatoes in half. Cut zucchini and sausage the same width as potatoes. Place skewer through potato, zucchini and sausage. Repeat for each skewer.
Place skewer in dish and pour Italian dressing over skewers. Mari- nate in dressing for 5 minutes.
Place skewers on grill and cook 5 minutes each side, or until potatoes are done. Remove from grill and serve.
Little Havana Grilled Beef and Potato Salad
Ready time: 30 Minutes
2 pounds medium unpeeled Wisconsin
potatoes (about 2 1/2-inch diameter),
such as yellow flesh or round reds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 beef top round steak, cut 1 inch thick
(about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup prepared white wine vinaigrette
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed,
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Cut potatoes crosswise in half; place in microwavesafe dish with 1 cup water. Cover and microwave on high 10 to 14 minutes or until almost tender, rearrang- ing once. Immediately rinse under cold running water; drain well.
Meanwhile, combine cumin and salt and pepper; press evenly onto beef steak. Place steak on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes for medium rare doneness, turning occasion- ally. Remove; let stand 5 minutes.
About 5 minutes before steak is done, brush potatoes with some of the vinaigrette. Place on grid around steak. Grill 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown, turn- ing occasionally.
Carve steak into thin slices. Combine beef, potatoes, beans, cilantro and remaining vinaigrette in large bowl; toss gently. Serve immediately.