Mission Europe 2: An Ode to Potatoes

I am just going to say it.  Potatoes are my favorite vegetable.  I know, I know, technically potatoes are not a vegetable but rather tuberous crops or edible tubers…  My inner 5-year old disagrees wholeheartedly.  Potatoes, shmotatoes…call them what you want.  A potato by any other name is just as delicious.

I attended a workshop on mountain potatoes from the Abruzzo region of Italy.  The chef doing this humble ingredient justice was Peppino Tinari from Villa Maiella.  Chef Peppino has been married for 30 years and still reminisces about a certain day when he kissed his wife; so much so that he created a dish that reminds him of that day. *cue whimsical sighs for female readers*

Romanticism aside, the class was straightforward and to the point.  Potatoes were obviously discussed at length as was the background of our Chef du heure.  Two dishes were presented.  The first, aptly described by Chef Peppino Tinari was a “potato stuffed potato” accented with flavors of red garlic, cream, bacon and pistachios.  Definitely my kind of tater!  Take out the pistachios and I would have been back in lone star territory.

The second dish had a name that sounded like a sneeze… Subric.  This potato fritter is a traditional dish in northern Italy and it can be savory or sweet.  We were graced with a sweet Christmas version with nuances of orange peel, raisins and moscato.  Today is your lucky day, after you wipe the drool off your keyboard, you can copy down the recipe…

250g potatoes
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon moscato passito
1 egg
2 tablespoons refined sugar
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Peel and boil the potatoes until fork tender.  Puree and let cool.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well until the dough is uniform.  Let rise for 30 minutes.  Mix the ingredients for the topping in a bowl and set aside.  Heat oil in a heavy saucepan or deep pot.  Carefully drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil.  Allow to fry until golden brown.  Drain over a paper towel.  Sprinkle the fritters with the topping mixture and serve with a glass of chilled Moscato Passito or dessert wine of your choice.
Makes: 6 – 10 portions

If you make this, I would love to hear about it!


3 responses to “Mission Europe 2: An Ode to Potatoes

  1. You must have been absolutely ecstatic during that whole workshop 🙂

    • I was. I had a hard decision to make. I had a prior arrangement with my colleague that when we took separate classes we would save some of the samples so the other person could have an idea of the other classes…It was hard but I managed to save him a bit of each. 🙂

  2. I’m certain you colleague appreciated your noble sacrifice XD 🙂

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