Saturday, March 19, 2011

Green & Gold Potatoes

I was looking around for a new potato recipe for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I found a recipe in my files from 1999 for Potato Spinach Casserole. There was no information about the origin of this recipe, so I looked it up on the WWW. It’s everywhere in some form or another.
First, I reduced the fat and salt. Then I had some Yukon Gold potatoes and spinach from Aldi’s. The potatoes had been half price and cheaper than regular. Their spinach is always inexpensive.
Any mashing type potato will do, but the gold gave a nice color with the green of the spinach and chives.
I prefer fresh spinach because it is so tender. Frozen tends to be tough and canned is mushy. I actually used chopped frozen chives, because that was the easiest way to preserve them from my yard.
These potatoes were not only pretty to look at, but very tasty to eat with my adaptation of West Cork Pork Chops posted next. I can’t wait for leftovers.
Serves 6 to 8
6 medium (3 lbs.) Yukon Gold potatoes
1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach, well washed
1 cup non-fat sour cream
1 Tablespoon dried chopped chives
1 cup (4 oz.) extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
dash of salt and ground white pepper

Put 1 quart of cold water in a 3 quart saucepan. Peel potatoes and immediately put in pan of cold water. Cut potatoes into 1 inch pieces and immediately return to pan of cold water. Fill pan with enough cold water to cover potatoes by about 1 inch. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Set cover off center to release steam, yet contain splashes. Turn heat to medium so that potatoes are just boiling. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until potatoes break easily when pierced with fork.
While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 350°F and coat a 10” x 6” (1 quart) glass baking dish with canola oil spray.
Put spinach in a 10” stainless skillet or 3 quart stainless saucepan with tight fitting lids. Just stuff it in there. Add ¼ cup water and cover tightly. Bring to boil over high heat. Stir it a bit, put cover back on and cook over low heat for 5 more minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
Drain potatoes when they are done and mash them with a potato masher right in the pan.
Drain the spinach in its pan by holding the lid just off center and tipping over the sink. Using a hand chopper or two knives, chop the spinach roughly in the pan. Dump the chopped spinach over the potatoes.
Add rest of ingredients to the potatoes and spinach and fold them in gently.
Spoon into prepared baking dish, mounding potatoes as needed.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until hot all through and just starting to brown on top. Check the interior temperature by sticking a fork or knife in the middle and touching it very carefully to your lips.

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