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Sun-Dried POTATOES? - labradors - 01-27-2014

Yes, that's right: I did NOT say "sun-dried tomatoes," but rather "sun-dried POTATOES."

Last week, I notice something in the new supermarket and made a note to look into it.

It was a packaged mix for making something called Carapulcra.

Well, I Googled around and found that Carapulcra is a Peruvian dish (arguably, according to many sources, THE most popular dish in Peru, next to Ceviche).

It is a stew of pork and/or chicken with garlic, a couple different kinds of chiles, peanuts and sun-dried potatoes. To be fair, I would imagine that the pre-packaged mix uses freeze-dried potatoes (and some sources would seem to indicate this), but it's still different, since these aren't "potato flakes" for making mashed potatoes, but actual chunks of potato.

Here's a photo I found on the Web:

[Image: cxP2onJ.jpg]

Today, I bought the mix and some pork and had this for dinner and it was delicious!

Of course, being the obsessive-compulsive cook that I am, now I want not only to make the dish from scratch, but also to make my own sun-dried potatoes. Obviously, this isn't something I'll be doing in just the next couple of days (especially with all the rain we've been getting), but I do hope to try it sometime.

Hmmm... Maybe I should start a blog with that title: "The Obsessive-Compulsive Chef." LOL!

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - DFen911 - 01-28-2014

Labs could you share the recipe, and since you've made it, would it be it good without the peanuts. Derek has a deadly peanut allergy so can't use those

And yes you should do a blog!! I think it would so wonderfully informative and a tasty read

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - Gourmet_Mom - 01-28-2014

But don't potatoes turn dark? This is confusing and interesting.

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - Mare749 - 01-28-2014

Since we are in a deep freeze up north, there is no way to sun-dry anything at the moment, but I was wondering if drying slices of potatoes in the food dehydrator would work as well as sun-drying.

I think a blog is a great idea, Labs.

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - labradors - 01-28-2014

Denise, I haven't made it from scratch, yet - only from the packet. I imagine it would be okay without the peanuts. With this packet, I WAS able to detect them, but they were not overly strong. Also, they are not present as large chunks, but ground up very finely so you'd only know they're in there by taste, not by texture.

From what I have read, the potatoes are cut, then cooked, THEN dried. Maybe the initial cooking stops them from turning brown during the drying.

As usual, recipes from the Internet may vary and there are a couple different versions of the dish. For now, HERE is an English-language site with one version. For a different version, I'll translate one of the recipes from a Peruvian website and post it tomorrow (Tuesday).

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - cjs - 01-28-2014

Hmmmm, yes I'm ready to play with this also!! I was just asking Roy if I'd kept the dehydrator we used to have and he doesn't remember either. Good reason to look for it.

So now, two things to try with potatoes - dried and pickled.

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - DFen911 - 01-28-2014

I really do need to get a dehydrator, if nothing else to make jerky. Oh and now potatoes...maybe a few tomatoes too...fine fine I'll do some apricots for Derek but that's where I draw the line...unless I get some fresh green beans.... **walks over to Amazon**

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - cjs - 01-28-2014

You won't be sorry, Denise!

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - Mare749 - 01-28-2014

We have American Harvest by Nesco and still use it all the time. Here is what they say about drying vegetables:

Most vegetables must be blanched, either by steaming over boiling water or in the microwave to slow the enzyme action which will continue during drying and storage. Water blanching is not recommended because of the loss of water soluble vitamins and minerals.

Note: Blanching softens the cell structure, allowing the moisture to escape more easily and also allows vegetables to rehydrate faster. There is no need to blanch onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms. Herbs also are not blanched.

For steam blanching: Use a commercial steamer or a pan with a tight fitting lid and a steaming rack. Bring about 1 inch of water to a brisk boil and drop in sliced vegetables. Cover. Steam until vegetables are heated completely through, but not cooked. This is usually about 1/3 of the time required to cook the vegetable. Vegetables should still be crunchy. Drain in steamer rack and place immediately on dryer trays.

Microwave blanching: A microwave is ideal for blanching vegetables. Prepare them in the same manner as for steam blanching. Place them in a microwave-safe dish, cover, and cook on high for about 1/2 of the time required to completely cook the fresh vegetable. Depending on the age and design of your microwave, you may want to stop the cooking half way through and stir the vegetables to achieve a more even blanching.

For potatoes: Use white potatoes. Peel and slice 3/8" thick. Blanch, rinse and dry** 6-12 hrs.

**Steam blanch for 5 minutes or until translucent but still firm. If not steamed long enough, they will turn black during drying and storage. Rinse well in cold water.

Re: Sun-Dried POTATOES? - cjs - 01-28-2014