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ew things in life are harder to resist than the delicious aroma of a backyard barbecue. There is just something about the sizzle and smells of grilled fare that brings folks together. The farm families who grow Wisconsin potatoes know how to please the palates of hungry crowds. The natural flavors found in the many varieties of Wisconsin potatoes are easy to enhance with the addition of a few fresh ingredients and a little bit of smoke. The Wisconsin russet potato makes for a great tasting baked potato, but its light and fluffy interior also holds up well when seared on the grill. Also great on the grill are Wisconsin yellow flesh potatoes, which have a just-buttered appearance. The appearance of the trendy new blue and purple potatoes will certainly get guests talking. They add color and a subtle nutty flavor to your favorite dish. Everyone’s favorite dish at an out - door bar becue is often the potato salad. Wisconsin round red or white potatoes are both well-suited for salads as well as roasting, boiling, and steaming.

Potatoes are an extremely versatile and hearty vegetable. But the one thing all potatoes have in common is nutrition. Just what can Wisconsin potatoes do for you? Well, potatoes are:  Nutritional powerhouses. In addition to being fat-free, choles terol-free, sodium free and gluten-free, a medium potato has just 110 calories.

 Rich in potassium. According to the USDA, diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. The potato is second only to the banana in the amount of potassium it contains.

 Packed with Vitamin C. A medium potato contains 45 per - cent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.

 Great source of fiber. The USDA reports that fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease. Potatoes can also help make you feel fuller with fewer calories.

Grilled, fried, baked, roasted or boiled, few ingredients get every guest asking for second helpings like the versatile potato. Find more health information, as well as recipes and purchas - ing tips, at

Potatoes Make Healthy Meals in Minutes Chicken and Potato Fiesta Grill

Servings: 4 Ready time: 60 Minutes

1/2 cup prepared Italian dressing 2 tablespoons lime juice 1 tablespoon chili powder 4 whole chicken legs with thighs, skin on

1 1/3 pounds (4 medium) red Wisconsin potatoes, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes

2 tablespoons water 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 2 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices

4 to 8 flour or corn tortillas, warmed (optional)

Prepared salsa (optional)

In small bowl, combine marinade ingredients; remove 1/4 cup and combine with chicken in reseal able plastic bag. Turn to coat; marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, in microwave-safe dish, combine potatoes and water. Cover and microwave on high 9 to 10 minutes or until just tender; cool. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, alternately thread with bell pepper and zucchini onto eight 10 to 12-inch skewers; brush with remaining marinade. Remove chicken from plastic bag; discard marinade from chicken.

Grill chicken over medium to medium-low coals 30 to 40 minutes or until juices run clear, turning occasionally. About 10 minutes before chicken is done, add vegetables to grid; reserve marinade. Grill until tender and lightly browned, turning and basting occasionally with reserved vegetable marinade. Serve chicken and vegetables with tortillas and salsa, if desired.

Roasted Red Potatoes with Pesto Servings: 8

Ready time: 40 Minutes

3 pounds medium-size red Wisconsin potatoes Olive oil cooking spray

1/3 cup white or golden balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 3 cloves garlic, minced Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup finely minced fresh basil

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

Place potatoes in a large microwave- safe bowl; cover with lid or plastic wrap. Note: If using plastic wrap, make sure plastic wrap is not touc - hing any ingredients and poke one small hole in cover to vent. Micro - wave on high for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender (cooking time may vary depending on micro - wave). Use oven mitts to carefully remove from microwave. When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half or quarters and spray liberally with olive oil spray. Grill over high heat for 5 to 7 min - utes, turning occasionally, until grill lines are apparent. Remove from grill and let cool.

Cut into bite-size pieces and place

in a large bowl. Whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and garlic; pour over potatoes and toss lightly to coat. Season with pepper, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss with Parme san cheese and basil, then sprinkle with pine nuts.

Grilled Red Potato Skewers Servings: 4

Ready time: 20 Minutes

2 medium russet or Yukon gold Wisconsin potatoes or 6 red Wisconsin potatoes

2 medium zucchini

1/2 smoked sausage rope 4 12-inch skewers

1/2 cup Italian dressing

Preheat grill. Cut potatoes in half. Cut zucchini and sausage the same width as potatoes. Place skewer through potato, zucchini and sausage. Repeat for each skewer. Place skewer in dish and pour Italian dressing over skewers. Mari - nate in dressing for 5 minutes. Place skewers on grill and cook 5 minutes each side, or until potatoes are done. Remove from grill and serve.

Little Havana Grilled Beef and Potato Salad Servings: 6

Ready time: 30 Minutes

2 pounds medium unpeeled Wisconsin potatoes (about 2 1/2-inch diameter), such as yellow flesh or round reds

2 teaspoons ground cumin Salt and pepper

1 beef top round steak, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)

3/4 cup prepared white wine vinaigrette 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed, drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cut potatoes crosswise in half; place in microwave- safe dish with 1 cup water. Cover and microwave on high 10 to 14 minutes or until almost tender, rearrang - ing once. Immediately rinse under cold running water; drain well.

Meanwhile, combine cumin and salt and pepper; press evenly onto beef steak. Place steak on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes for medium rare doneness, turning occasion - ally. Remove; let stand 5 minutes.

About 5 minutes before steak is done, brush potatoes with some of the vinaigrette. Place on grid around steak. Grill 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown, turn - ing occasionally.

Carve steak into thin slices. Combine beef, potatoes, beans, cilantro and remaining vinaigrette in large bowl; toss gently. Serve immediately.

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