Most people have lovely pieces of jewelry or sweet and sentimental old letters to remind them of past loves; I have foods to remind me of mine.
Tomato sauce reminds me of one of my favorite high school boyfriends (his mother made a really good one), there is the high school boyfriend I think of whenever I pass a McDonalds (we flipped burgers there together), or there was the boyfriend who introduced me to Lobster Bisque (the only thing he was good for). When shopping in a BJ's warehouse club the other day I saw (and promptly purchased) a food I hadn't seen since splitting with a college boyfriend from the Syracuse area of New York: Hinerwadel's salt potatoes.
Surprisingly this tasty treat seems exclusive to the Central New York region; they're small, white new potatoes boiled in about a pound of salt and then served in melted butter. In Central New York the potatoes are a mainstay at festivals and fairs and I fondly remember eating them at local pubs with an icy cold glass of beer.
I had previously never seen the potatoes here in New England-I hope they stay, they are so good. The Hinerwadel's potatoes come complete with a 12 ounce bag of salt.
I cooked the whole bag and with the tasty leftovers made a quick Potato Leek Soup. Who needs jewelry, when there are tasty foods to remember people by?
2 quarts water
4 1/4 pounds white new potatoes, unpeeled
12 ounces salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
Bring the water, potatoes and salt to a boil; cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Serve potatoes with the melted butter.
Quick Potato Leek Soup
1 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped leeks (green and white parts)
4 cups diced cooked salt potatoes
32 ounces reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup half and half
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-3 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese, optional
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the carrot and the leeks; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of the potatoes and the chicken broth and cook for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to smooth out a bit (or transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until almost smooth). Stir in the remaining potatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the half and half and cayenne pepper and cook until heated through. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the grated cheddar.