This post is sponsored by Idaho® Potatoes, all opinions are mine!
Last month, I was invited to join Idaho® Potatoes on their Harvest Tour 2016. What a privilege! I had never been to Idaho before and to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I had arrived a few days before the rest of the bloggers to stay the weekend in Boise with L and her husband D. The 48 hours spent in Boise felt like twice as long because L had planned so many incredible things for us. We had the most incredible time in Boise and I seriously can’t wait to go back. If you’ve never been, GO. I know most people would think “Really?!” “Boise?!” Yes. Boise. The food was on par, we rode bikes everywhere we went and had some fantastic wines. I may have to do a follow up post on Boise, because I loved it so much. I’m sure that it had much to do with L, her outstanding itinerary and her wonderful husband who is such a love.
Onto the HARVEST TOUR!!!!
Right from the start, it was clear that we were in for some Very Special Treatment. The people at Idaho®Potatoes take care of their bloggers in a way I have NEVER seen before. We were treated to an amazing dinner cooked by the Hoff family at their farm and James let us dig potatoes in his field. He showed us around the property and told us a bit about what his family does and gave us a deeper understanding of what it means to be a potato farmer. He was knowledgeable and engaging when speaking with us and I found the topic quite interesting. He and his family were so warm and welcoming, the evening was unforgettable and I will forever have sweet memories of that night.
Did I mention there were plane rides?!
As we wrapped up our evening with the Hoff family, we headed back to our hotel to get some rest for the BIG day ahead. It was full of potato touring! We toured several potato facilities, and it was incredible to see the entire process of “The Life of a Potato”. We watched truck loads of spuds come in from the field and saw where they would be stored. Have you ever wondered what two football fields full of potatoes would look like? Spuds as far as the eye can see!!! Oh the deliciousness…We toured a facility making french fries for some of your favorite fast food joints and let me tell you – production for these places is MASSIVE. One of my favorite parts of the operation was watching the packaging of potatoes. I always wondered how they put those bags inside of a box so perfectly. I love when things are neat & tidy, so seeing everything lined up in perfect little rows made me happy!The last day of our trip, we went to Idahoan. If you have ever purchased dehydrated (instant) potatoes, odds are they were made here. We saw potatoes being processed for dehydrated products at the Idahoan facility. It was the best tour (in my opinion) that we had during the trip. The engineers who spoke to us were incredibly knowledgeable and also, hilarious. They explained the processes in a way that we were able to understand (which was helpful, as I do not have a degree in engineering). The coolest process to see at Idahoan was the sheets of dried potato (it looks like parchment paper) that will be turned into flakes or broken down even further to an almost flour like consistency.
I don’t use dehydrated potatoes for their intended purpose, which is instant mashed potatoes, but I love them for coating fish, for using in baking, for thickening soups, etc. In case you missed it, I made a potato dill biscuit with dehydrated potato that was pretty delicious!
After leaving Idahoan, we traveled to Teton Springs and Linn Canyon Ranch for horseback riding and dinner.
I went for a stroll with Don and we happened upon this scene… Well, because Don is the BEST and such a good sport, he encouraged me to live out my Little House on the Prairie fantasy and climb onto the wagon.
This experience was so wonderful and I can’t say enough about Don, Linda & Jamie. They worked so hard to make sure everyone was so well taken care of and had a great time on the trip. I have so much more to share and SO many more photos to show you! Yeah, I’m like your 80 year old aunt setting up the projector with all of her boring vacation pictures…
A most heartfelt THANK YOU to Idaho® Potatoes for the wonderful memories, for the opportunity to work together and the chance to meet so many wonderful bloggers, farmers and Idahoans!
Now… Onto the recipe!
I know some of you have never heard of shishito peppers. Shishito peppers are a small, sweet Asian pepper and are generally not hot. That being said, you will occasionally get one that has a little fire to it, so be forewarned. They are thin-skinned, which makes them perfect for charring and nibbling. The Asian spice blend used on the potatoes is shichimi togarashi and I’ve included both a link to purchase and a recipe to make it yourself. If shishito peppers are not available in your area, look for another mild pepper like a cubanelle. Let’s get cookin’!
- 2 lbs. Idaho® Fingerling Potatoes
- 4 oz. shishito peppers
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 tablespoons shichimi togarashi
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash potatoes and slice in half lengthwise. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with canola, togarashi, shishito peppers and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Lay potatoes on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast until easily pierced with a knife (30 minutes)
- Melt butter and add grated ginger to the butter. Let it sit to infuse the butter while the potatoes are roasting.
- When potatoes are done, remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. Toss in the ginger butter and serve warm.
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dried orange peel
- 1 tablespoon ground red chile pepper
- 1 teaspoon flaked nori
- 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Grind together to a coarse consistency, not too finely. There are variations of this recipe, but this is the one I use.