The potato is a versatile vegetable that can grow in any type of soil, and can easily be prepared and served as a quick snack or main dish with the right dressing of some fine herbs and garnishing.
With this in mind, the United States Potato Board (USPB), in collaboration with renowned culinary artist, Chef Sau del Rosario, published a compilation of recipes called Tasteful Taters, featuring various US frozen potato products that the local market enjoy.
Del Rosario prepared selected dishes from the book at an intimate brunch at the Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay City, which showcased the skill needed to create palatable meals using everyday potatoes.
According to the USPB, the book answers the growing demand of hotel and high-end restaurateurs to expand and refine the use of this versatile crop that they could offer to the growing number of food enthusiasts in the country.
Del Rosario, on the other hand, is an innovative and in-demand chef tapped by the USPB in 2008 after tasting his dishes at the Museum Café in Makati, of which he was once a co-owner.
“I owned M Café at one time. They went there and they liked the food, so they asked me to do something with the potatoes and make agronomic recipes. It was love at first sight and we’ve been partners ever since,” del Rosario said.
The potato experience
Tasteful Taters consists of 10 recipes created by Del Rosario, all using US frozen potato products that are served in about 85 to 90 percent of restaurants and food chains in the country. The typical curly fries, hash brown, or French fries were incorporated to artistically create unique dishes that delight the palate.
The first demonstration was for Potato Eggs Benedict, served with US Frozen Potato Hashbrown topped with ham, sautéed spinach, and poached eggs drizzled with cream sauce. Each ingredient stood out, and their flavors blended together making this classic dish compose beautiful music inside the mouth.
Believe it or not, the next dish was “Spaghetti” Carbonara, using US Frozen Curly Potatoes. The smell of frying bacon had guests at the edge of their seats, awaiting the cream sauce that del Rosario whipped up, using a hint of white wine, which heighten the flavors to blend with the curly potatoes.
The last dish for the demo was Potato Macaroons made with US Frozen Potato Rounds. The dessert was easy to make with fried tater tots cooled and dipped in chocolate and jam, and finally topped with strawberry. It was a dessert that was both beautiful and delicious. Chef Anthony who caters for Discovery group of hotels and in-house culinarian, Chef Jonas worked with del Rosario for the truly unique meal.
Besides the demo, a buffet table was laid out on the veranda, where guests feasted on other featured dishes in Tasteful Taters such as Free-range Roasted Chicken and Potatoes Tuscan Style, Potato Okoy, Potato Pizza and pana cotta.
The menu was delicious, heavy and what potato heaven must taste like.
Since potato production in the Philippines is small and few varieties of potatoes are currently available locally, US frozen potatoes give chefs, caterers and restaurants the taters they need for their dishes. The USPB aims to further encourage the trade of US Frozen Potatoes in the Philippines by providing several programs that offer support to establishments that use their products.