So a question came up, what do you do with red potatoes? The questioner had only previously bought Yukon gold potatoes and russet, but a sale prompted the new purchase. The ensuing discussion provided some favorite recipes, including this one for “Cuban Potaotes” from one of my favorite cookbooks, Mary McDougall’s Quick and Easy Cookbook.
I’m not sure exactly what picadillo refers to, but in the recipes I have seen, it seems to be a Spanish dish that has definite North African influences. Variations exist throughout Latin America, and it probably has some origin in a meat dish that I don’t care about. The commonality appears to be using some dried fruit, usually raisins, green olives, and some vinegar or wine to get a sweet and sour and salty flavor. These are Old World ingredients that were brought to the Americas.
This dish uses those elements to flavor potatoes in a yummy casserole.
The linked recipe is here.
While the blog used the recipe as a “lesson” in carbs, it was really a lesson in nutritional ignorance. Starches do not turn to fat, they need never be feared, and they are never to be lowered. Unless you want to make your food less satisfying. Ranting aside, while the blog’s suggestion to add beans is done for no real nutritional reason, black beans make a nice addition, so I added them. For fun, not because the potatoes need “improving.” They don’t. Potatoes are entirely adequate all by themselves.
So I modified the dish somewhat. I used two cans of tomatoes instead of three because that’s all I had, and one can had chopped green chilies in it for a little heat. I went heavy on the green olives and raisins for flavor. I added about a TB of cider vinegar to get that sweet and sour taste. I should have added some capers too. Did I add a pinch of red pepper flakes? Probably, it would be a good idea. And maybe a dash of smoked paprika just because.
I’ve been hungry for Cuban Black Beans and rice, but for now, these will have to do.
And they do nicely.