Recipe for Success

The delicious diversity of Idaho potatoes

Published in the April 2015 Issue Published online: Apr 30, 2015 Frank Muir, IPC President and CEO
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We know that the No. 1 reason folks visit the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) website is for the recipes. In fact, 49 percent of all people who go to the website visit this section and stay for an average of 3 minutes, 28 seconds. The average website visit across the entire internet lasts just 2 minutes, 3 seconds.

We’re extremely proud of making www.idahopotato.com the go-to site for all things potato. However, our challenge now is making sure consumers come back and stay even longer. The recipe database currently has 1,076 recipes, and it’s imperative that we creatively showcase each and every one and, most importantly, continue to add new recipes.

The website homepage has four “hero” slides that change every month, and three always feature a unique recipe concept, enticing visitors to stay longer and learn more about the famous Idaho potato brand.

One slide is seasonally themed. Recipes that are ideal for summer picnics, Halloween or National Heart Month in February, for instance, are selected and featured. A food blogger and his/her latest Idaho potato dish are always showcased.

Dr. Potato, the IPC’s in-house potato expert, highlights a helpful cooking tip or technique. 

Another way to engage and attract visitors is to add new recipes. These recipes are sourced from food  bloggers, chefs, experienced recipe developers and recipe contests. Every year we launch a contest and no two are ever the same. We’ve partnered with household names such as fitness guru Denise Austin and the popular Mr. Food Test Kitchen; we’ve even launched several contests on our own.

Recently we announced the winner of perhaps our most sophisticated recipe contest ever with Food52, an online community of hundreds of thousands of dedicated and enthusiastic foodies.

If you would like to try this recipe and others, visit www.idahopotato.com

During the month of February, which is also Potato Lover’s Month, Food52 members were asked to submit their favorite potato recipe. The contest, one of the most successful in Food52’s history, generated hundreds of entries from across the country. A total of 10 finalists were selected and the Food52 community voted for its favorite.

I’m happy to report that Kate Suletzki from Cambridge, Mass., the blogger behind A Cup of Sugar, a Pinch of Spice, is the winner of Food52’s Best Potato Recipe 2.0 Contest for her Hasselback Potato Skillet Bake recipe, which calls for baby Idaho Yukon Gold potatoes. She received a $500 gift certificate to the Food52 Shop.

Our partnership with Food52 generated immeasurable brand awareness among a very influential group of foodies comprised of journalists, chefs and home cooks. The winning recipe demonstrated yet another unique way to showcase the versatility of Idaho potatoes.

If you haven’t already, we invite you to visit our recipe database and look at all the compelling ways we are encouraging folks to purchase potatoes grown in Idaho.

Hasselback Potato Skillet Bake

Courtesy of Food52.com community member Kate Suletzki

 

Ingredients:

6 to 8 baby Idaho Yukon Gold potatoes, depending on skillet size

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons finely minced herbs

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 425º F. Scrub  potatoes thoroughly and remove all the hard bits from the skin, as the skins will be left on. Slice one thin layer off each potato, along the length, then set aside. This serves as a solid base to rest on while you slice them. Place a potato flat side-down and use a sharp knife to make slices about 1/8-inch apart; slice into potato but not completely through it; slices should stay connected at the bottom. (Tip: Place a chopstick on either side of potato so that you hit  chopstick before slicing all the way through.) Carefully fan out the sliced pieces without breaking them apart. Repeat with each potato.

In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, garlic and  herbs. Set aside. Using a pastry brush, brush  bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet and each potato with  garlic-herb butter mixture. Brush potatoes generously, making sure to get in between each slice. Reserve one-third of garlic-herb butter for basting.

Nestle potatoes into skillet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if using) and salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 1 hour, basting  potatoes every 15 minutes with remaining garlic-herb butter, or until tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.