USPB Names National Contest Winners

Various potato recipes submitted

Published in the January 2009 Issue Published online: Jan 13, 2009
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Potato Poke Salad captured the Grand Prize in the 50 States of Potatoes Recipe Contest. The recipe was created by Ilona O’Brien, catering/restaurant manager of Island Gourmet at the Outrigger Hotel in Hawaii. The USPB is awarding Ilona a trip to the Culinary Institute of America Worlds of Flavors conference in Napa Valley. 

Entrants from across the United States reinvented the potato and showcased their state’s regional cuisine. Jason Apfelbaum placed second with his imaginative take on a classic, The “NY Reuben” Baked Potato.  Chef and owner of New York’s Totally Baked, Apfelbaum will receive $500. 

Earning the $250 prize for third place was Ohio’s chef Justin McArthur of Alluzion Catering. McArthur’s recipe for Ohio’s Favorite Potato Salad found a balance among Ohio maple syrup, wild ramps and potatoes.



Potato Poke Salad

Ilona O’brien, Hawaii


Prep. Time: 15 mins.

Cook Time: 15 mins.

Makes: 4 servings



1-1/4 pounds boiled potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes 
1/4 cup minced onion 
1/4 cup minced green onion 
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger 
2 tablespoons lightly crumbled seaweed 
1 tablespoon ground kukui (candle nuts )
2 teaspoons sesame oil 
1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes 
1 lemon
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
8 leaves iceberg lettuce 
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, for garnish


Mix together the boiled potatoes, minced onion, green onion, ginger, seaweed, kukui nuts, sesame oil, lemon, oyster sauce and red pepper in a mixing bowl.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour for the flavors to come together. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a serving platter, spoon the potato poke on top, and garnish with the cilantro.


The “NY Reuben” Baked Potato

Jason Apfelbaum, New York


Prep. Time: 15 mins.

Cook Time: 15 mins.

Makes: 4 servings



4 pc 14 to 16 oz Yukon gold chef’s potato

2 oz. pure olive oil

10 oz. shredded Corned beef

8 oz. mustard cream sauce

4 oz. Russian dressing

4 oz. Sauerkraut

4 oz. grated Comte Swiss cheese

1 dill pickle cut into 4 spears

Kosher salt

Butcher ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Braise corned beef for 2 ½ hours in water until tender and falling apart. Shred with forks into separate strands. Coat potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake potatoes in oven separated on sheet pan until cooked through, approximately 1 hour.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Using a very sharp knife, slice the top off the potato, exposing a round or oval of 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out 2/3 of the center of the potato. Take care to shave the sides to less than 1/2 inch thickness. Use a paring knife to cut shallow grid pattern 1/4 to ½ inches in the bottom. Crumble and place a tablespoon of the cooked potato in the bottoms of the scooped potatoes.

Heat sauerkraut and mustard separately to simmer in heavy-bottomed saucepans. Add corned beef to creamy mustard sauce and stir until well blended. Spoon mixture into each warm potato, dividing evenly.

Top with Swiss cheese, 1 oz. each. Place a tablespoon of sauerkraut on each.

Warm in oven approximately 5 minutes to heat potato and melt cheese.

Top each with generous dollop of Russian dressing and serve with pickle spear on the side.


Ohio’s Best Potato Salad

Justin McArthur


Prep. Time: 15 mins.

Cook Time: 15 mins.

Makes: 6 servings



1-1/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes

5 pieces (6 ounces) thick sliced bacon

10 each (2-1/4 ounce) ramps

4 oz. baby cucumbers

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup canola oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Wash, then boil potatoes in water until tender. Allow to thoroughly cool, reserve. Slice or dice potatoes into bite size pieces.
Slice baby cucumbers into 1/4 inch rounds and add to potatoes. Roughly mince ramps and reserve.
In a separate bowl combine maple syrup and cider vinegar. Whisk together. Continue to whisk the vinegar/maple mix and slowly stream in the canola oil to form an emulsified dressing, reserve.
Slice bacon into 1/4 inch strips. In a sauté pan render bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from fat and reserve. Discard all but three tablespoons of bacon grease. Place pan and bacon fat back on medium heat.
Add the minced ramp and sweat in bacon fat until aromatic (about 45 seconds to 1 minute). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the sweated ramps to the potato mixture.
Combine dressing, potato mixture and bacon strips. Toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. Serve immediately.