Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today is March 17 - St Patrick's Day - A day for people to wear green clothing, eat green foods and drink green beverages. It is a day that everyone "claims" to be Irish and also to tell Irish jokes. Unfortunately, this is strictly a North American interpretation of the day. The Irish celebrate the life of the Patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick who lived in the fifth century and whom, among other deeds, was supposedly responsible for chasing all the snakes out of Ireland. This feat is debatable though, as there were no snakes in Ireland post-glacier. Oh well, Ireland is also well known for the disastrous potato famine (1845-1852).

"The year 2008 has been declared the International Year of the Potato by the United Nations, noting that the Potato is a staple food in the diet of the world’s population, and affirming the need to focus world attention on the role that the potato can play in providing food security and eradicating poverty." Quote from Wikipedia.

So in honour of St. Patrick's Day and an abundance of potatoes, I have chosen to share one of my favourite potato recipes.

Oven Fries Seasoning Mix
2 Tablespoons cumin
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons oregano
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper.

Stir well and store in a shaker style jar with a tight lid.

Note: This recipe will do for several batches of oven fries!!

Fat Free Dip
Combine 1 Tablespoon Ranch style seasoning mix (you can usually find these in the produce or spice section of your grocery store) and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder with 1/2 cup fat free sour cream. Mix well and store in fridge for at least an hour (preferably 3-4 hours) before serving to allow flavours to blend.

Oven Fries

Preheat oven to 400F and spray a large baking sheet generously with Pam Cooking spray. while oven is heating, scrub 2 large baker (white/russet) potatoes and remove any spots. Slice into fries about 1/4 inch or a bit thicker. Try to keep thickness as uniform as possible to prevent burning. Spread fries evenly over pan and spray generously with Pam. Sprinkle with seasoning mix (a little goes a long way) and bake for about 20 minutes or until starting to brown on bottom. Turn all of the fries and return to oven for an additional 20-25 minutes or to desired crispness.
Serve hot from the oven with fat free sour cream dip. Serves 2. Yummy!!

This recipe also works well using sweet potatoes or yams - but you have to peel the yams and they bake a little faster so watch them closely. They can burn easily.


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