Grilled Potatoes (Teeny)
Not your typical potato
These grape-sized potatoes are marketed as "teeny" potatoes. They are not your usual potato, of course, and being so small offer themselves to the possibility of grilling in a quick and easy manner. That happens to be ust what we are looking for.
Teeny potatoes usually come in a handy little mesh bag which contains a pound or two of them.
They look attractive. They take well to grilling (do not be put off by the slight blackening of their thin skins in some places). And after their stay on the grill they can be eaten as is or combined with other items such as grilled leeks -- even with grilled sausages. Read on!
On a preheated grill.
Mix them up and stir them around.
Technically, it is possible to put them directly on the grill, particularly if the spaces between the bars of the grill's grid are small enough to prevent any of them from falling through. Turning them over, one by one, would perhaps ensure a greater uniformity of doneness, but would of course be somewhat tedious. If that's what you want, however, go for it!
Here we have chosen to put these tiny spuds into a grilling basket, a most useful piece of equipment to add to your grill. Useful, for example for Grilling Blueberries.
The cover to the grill has been closed all this time, of course, except for some stirring now and then.
None of the other vegetables (or fruits) in this series takes as long as this on the grill, but on the other hand none of the others are quite as sturdy as potatoes, even small ones. (For others in this series, see below "Part of a Series").
Done at fifteen, after several mixing and stirrings.
As noted, they can now be simply served with some butter, coarse ground salt and coarse ground black pepper. They taste more like a Yukon than a Russet, and are delicious.
Or they can be combined with other ingredients.
See grilled leeks.
Grilled leeks are the perfect accompaniment. The combination of the two is famous for good reason, and our use of teeny potatoes and of grilling gives us a new way to take advantage of this classic combination. The classic is a soup, Potage Parmentier. See The Potato -- Its Story, Its Glory.
We could eat these now, just like this, maybe with some melted butter. But we are going to go further and add some very tasty complements to what we have here.
Topping the potatoes and leeks with melted butter and a generous helping of grated Parmesan cheese makes a grand side dish to just about anything: grilled beef steak, grilled chicken breasts, grilled swordfish, for example.
Topping them with EVOO, instead of butter, but also with that generous helping of grated Parmesan creates something that can be used in a salad, a salad which can stand as a main course. To the olive oil we might even add a squeeze or two of lime juice.
For EVOO, click here.
Topped now with grilled Italian sausages, as well as the EVOO and Parmesan, we really have a very substantial main course for dinner.
It is a visual treat, for starters. Beautiful, earthy colors, appropriate for something like a potato which grows under the surface. We've used a plate here that basically has the same color as the sausages, but a contrasting color like dark purple or black would be visually interesting as well.
This very substantial main course for dinner is a mighty delicious one, too. Actually, until I first prepared and ate this dish, I had not realized how well grilled sausages and grilled potatoes go together. Made in Heaven, the one for the other, it would appear.
All hail The Potato Museum. "The Potato Museum is not a product of the potato industry. We are a non-profit educational organization dedicated to exploring the potato's fascinating past, controversial present and promising future." See www.potatomuseum.com
Further: "The Potato Museum, started (1975) in Brussels, Belgium, is the world's first museum about the potato and features the planet's largest collection about this valuable vegetable."
As explained in our own hub in this series, The Potato -- Its Story, Its Glory, the humble spud has a fascinating history, linking New World and Old, science and politics, culture and culinary. Some people become possessed by the potato, and it is not hard to see why: its history, its role in emigration-immigration, even its role in plain old survival -- to say nothing of its most important role, the one in our kitchens and on our plates.
There are over one hundred varieties (cultivars) of the potato to tickle our taste buds, from the Adirondack Blue to the Yukon Gold. But rather than exploring that wonderful subject here, let's go down a different path.
The potato chip, the potato crisp -- this universally known food item is worth something like $20 billion a year. Among the total market for what are called savory snack foods, it represents the largest single chunk, about 35%. Pretty big accomplishments for thin slices of what is generally thought of as the most lowly of vegetables.
Potato chips/crisps were originally prepared as a side dish to a meal, but during the last century became a snack food item produced in large quantity. The invention of cellophane bags contributed significantly to this development. The addition of salt to chips/crisps goes right to the beginning of the chip/crisp itself. Flavorings came later, particularly during the morphing from side dish to snack. Vinegar is a popular addition as a flavoring, but there is no end to the possibilities.
Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal --- a Real Meal.