Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski
Take a fresh bite out of the Heart of New York State with Julie Taboulie's "Salt-City" Stuffed Salt Potatoes! It's no secret that Syracuse (ahem) 'the CUSE is "Home of the Orange" and super fans claim they even bleed orange, so what better way to feel like a local than by eating a taste of the City of Syracuse. My original recipe starts with Central New York's iconic side dish, the salt potato, dating back to the late 1800s and by the early1900s Salt Potatoes had become a staple at the table for Central New Yorkers. I have selected perhaps the most prominent salt potato company that was established in the 1960s by a local entrepreneur, John Hinerwadel, and since then the Hinerwadel family has sold millions of bags of salt potatoes and still counting. Hinerwadel’s Famous Original Salt Potatoes are par-boiled in 1911 Hard Cider, I especially selected the HoneyCrisp Cider, as I absolutely love the refreshing taste and crunchy texture of the honeycrisp apple along with one of my all-time favorite Lebanese specialty ingredients that I hold close to my heart, orange blossom water, combine together to infuse a subtly sweet citrus essence into the boiling salt potatoes that truly creates a one-of-a-kind flavor.
I fill these small spud wonders with some of the city's most famous and favorite foods along with locally grown ingredients cultivated throughout this agriculturally rich region situated in the heart of Upstate New York. Gianelli Spicy Hot Italian Sausage stars in this specialty stuffing with cast-iron skillet cornbread, fresh sweet corn off-the-cob, hot and sweet peppers laced with aromatics, and baked until golden brown. Crispy on the outside with a salty skin, savory stuffing, and creamy potato center makes this dish undeniably delicious. These bite-size spicy and sweet stuffed salt potatoes are packed with a punch and perfectly prepared, drizzled with warm clarified butter and simply finished with fresh flat-leaf parsley makes for a multi-faceted flavor that celebrates the salt city like no other dish and deliciously says Syracuse!
MAKES 24 STUFFED SALT POTATOES
12 “Hinerwadels” salt potatoes, washed, well-scrubbed, with skins on
3 tablespoons salt potato salt (this salt is included in the bag of Hinderwadel’s salt potatoes)
1 16oz. can 1911 HoneyCrisp Hard Cider, (approximately 2 cups)
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 large yellow onion, minced
1/2 lb. “Gianelli” hot Italian pork sausage patties (approximately 2 sausage patties or 2 sausage links, casing removed)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 hot Hungarian pepper, diced
1/2 green long hot pepper, diced
1/2 red long hot pepper, diced
1 ear of fresh sweet corn-off-the-cob, cooked and cut kernels
1 16oz. slice of cornbread or 1 cornbread muffin, crumbled
4 tablespoons clarified butter or unsalted butter, melted
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
Put the potatoes in a large pot with cold water to cover, add the salt, cider and orange blossom water, thoroughly stir this liquid mixture and place over high heat, leaving the pot uncovered. Bring to a rolling boil, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are par-boiled and barley fork tender; do not overcook!
Immediately remove the potatoes from the hot liquid and drain. Once they are drained, transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan, place in a single layer, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the sausage-cornbread stuffing: In a large, cast iron skillet or sauté pan over low-medium heat, pour the olive oil into the pan. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic, shallots and onions, and cook until the onions are softened and translucent in color, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage, and cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and stirring continuously. Add the peppers, corn and crumbled cornbread and cook for 5 minutes, stir to completely incorporate all the ingredients, blending them in with the sausage and until the mixture combines together. Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Using a small sharp paring knife, slice the salt potatoes in half lengthwise and slightly trim the skin on the bottom of each potato half so that they do not roll over. Scoop out the potato flesh in the center of each potato using a mellon baller or a teaspoon. You can reserve the potato flesh for home fries. Stuff 1 tablespoon of the sausage-cornbread filling into each potato and, using your fingers, gently press the filling into the bottom until the stuffing slightly flows over the top of each potato.
Grease an 18 x 13 inch. sheet pan with 2 tablespoons of clarified butter and place the potatoes in one single layer closely next to each other. Place the sheet pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Turn off heat, remove the potatoes from the oven, and set aside for a couple minutes before serving. Transfer the stuffed salt potatoes onto a large serving platter. Drizzle the remaining clarified butter on top of the stuffed salt potatoes, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.
NOTE: There are approximately thirty (30) salt potatoes in each 5lb bag of Hinerwadel’s. If you are not able to find Hinwerwadel’s Famous Original Salt Potatoes, you may use small white new potatoes or creamer potatoes or baby Dutch yellow potatoes and fine sea salt.
VARIATION: For a vegetarian version simply omit the sausage.
VARIATION: For a gluten-free version simply substitute the cornbread for gluten-free cornbread.
VARIATION: For a non-alcohol version use fresh apple cider.
TABOULIE TIP! For bite size portions select smaller salt potatoes in uniform in size and shape as possible.
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RECIPE BY JULIE ANN SAGEER (JULIE TABOULIE)
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