Au Gratin Potatoes Top List of Most Requested Recipes on Idaho Potato Commission Website

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EAGLE, ID, October 8, 2007 - Au Gratin Potatoes is the most requested recipe this year among the 500+ recipes posted on the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) website, and has long been a favorite of the nearly 100,000 monthly visitors to www.idahopotato.com. According to the IPC, which has been tracking recipe requests from home and professional cooks visiting its website since 1997, Baked Mashed Potatoes and As Good as Mashed Potatoes (But Fat Free!) - traditional and savory variations of traditional mashed potato recipes - round-out the top three recipes for 2007, followed by directions for preparing the time-honored Baked Potato. Conversely, the least requested recipe, likely due to the high cost of ingredients, is for potato chips dressed with herbs, balsamic syrup and white truffle oil.

"When you consider the ease and versatility of Au Gratin Potatoes as a side dish that compliments just about any meat and poultry, it's easy to understand why this recipe takes top honors among visitors to our website," said IPC President/CEO, Frank Muir. "Our version of Au Gratin Potatoes is conventional but may be adapted to suit every taste with popular additions including broccoli, ham, garlic, and even Porcini mushrooms," explained Muir. "We hope this delicious casserole graces American tables for many years to come!"

The IPC's recipe for Au Gratin Potatoes is based on the traditional Gratin, which refers to a type of casserole from French cuisine that is covered with cheese or B?chamel sauce, topped with buttered breadcrumbs and either baked or broiled. Midwesterners commonly refer to the same dish as scalloped potatoes.

Delmonico's Restaurant claims to have introduced potatoes au gratin to American diners when it opened in New York City in 1827 as the first "fine dining" establishment in the United States. Famous patrons, many of whom likely enjoyed Au Gratin Potatoes, included: Jenny Lind, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, "Diamond Jim" Brady, Lillian Russell, Charles Dickens, J.P. Morgan, and Napoleon III.

Au Gratin Potatoes - #1 Most Popular Recipe
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:


  • 2 pounds Idaho Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs


Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a shallow 1-1/2 quart casserole with butter. Arrange sliced potatoes in layers.

  2. Sprinkle with melted butter, salt and pepper. Top with grated cheese and bread crumbs.

  3. Bake 30 minutes, covered.

  4. Uncover and bake and additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.


Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 378 calories, 15 grams fat, 9 grams protein, 50 grams carbohydrate, 50 mg cholesterol, 865 mg sodium

Note: For a healthier version, try Enlightened Au Gratin Potatoes, see recipe below.

Enlightened Au Gratin Potatoes - NEW version of #1 Most Popular Recipe
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:


  • Cooking spray

  • 2 pounds Idaho Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (4 ounces)


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Coat a shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole with cooking spray. Arrange half of sliced potatoes over bottom of casserole.

  2. Dot potatoes with half of the butter pieces, and sprinkle with half the garlic salt, salt and pepper. Top with the remaining potato slices, butter, salts and pepper.

  3. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. Cover casserole with a lid or piece of foil. Bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.


Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 200 calories, 8 grams fat, 7 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate, 24 mg cholesterol, 384 mg sodium

As Good As Mashed Potatoes (But Fat Free!) - #2 Most Popular Recipe
(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:


  • 4 medium Idaho Potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds), scrubbed

  • 1-1/4 cups water

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 tbsp. parsley, chopped

  • 3 dashes Tabasco® pepper sauce

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard

  • 2 tsp. grainy mustard

  • 2 tsp. prepared horseradish

  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream


Directions:

  1. Pare the potatoes or leave skin on, according to taste. Cut into 1-inch cubes, and place in heavy medium saucepan. Add water, garlic, parsley, Tabasco and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  2. Reduce heat, cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring and breaking potatoes up with a fork. Add more hot water if potatoes seem too dry.

  3. Continue stirring and mashing potatoes for about 5 minutes until the water is absorbed and the potatoes are soft and lumpy.

  4. Remove from heat, stir in the mustards, horseradish and sour cream.


Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 110 calories, 0 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 447 mg sodium

Note: For a great potato salad, add chopped onion, celery, pickles, hard cooked eggs and some fat-free mayonnaise or sour cream to your leftovers.

Baked Mashed Potatoes - #3 Most Popular Recipe
(Serves 10)

Ingredients:


  • cooking spray

  • 8 cups Idaho mashed potatoes (leftover homemade potatoes work great)

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese

  • 5 green onions, finely chopped

  • 8 butter crackers, crushed (or 1/2 cup shredded cheese)


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 1-1/2 qt. casserole dish with cooking spray.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all ingredients except for crushed crackers (or shredded cheese). Mix on medium speed until well combined. Spoon mixture into the casserole dish.

  3. Sprinkle with crushed crackers (or shredded cheese) over the top. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.


Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 270 calories, 14 grams fat, 7 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrate, 54 mg cholesterol, 621 mg sodium

Note: For a healthier version, try Enlightened Baked Mashed Potatoes, see recipe below.

Baked Mashed Potatoes - NEW version of #3 Most Popular Recipe
(Serves 10)

Ingredients:


  • Cooking spray

  • 8 cups Idaho mashed potatoes (leftover homemade potatoes work great)

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

  • 1 cup 1% lowfat small curd cottage cheese

  • 5 green onions, finely chopped

  • 8 reduced-fat round butter crackers, crushed (low sodium crackers could also be used)


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 1-1/2 qt. casserole dish with cooking spray.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all ingredients except for crushed crackers. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Spoon mixture into the casserole dish.

  3. Sprinkle with crushed crackers over the top. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 198 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 8 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrate, 38 mg cholesterol, 647 mg sodium


Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don't realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the 'Grown in Idaho' seal. Both Idaho® Potatoes and the 'Grown in Idaho®' seal are federally registered certification marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.

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