LOS ANGELES, Calif., July 12, 2013 — In California, where perfect specimens of potato, from pink marbles to fist-sized russet tubers, are available year-round, cooks are inspired to experiment with the humble starch. The goal: to make the potato an object of desire.
On the aphrodisiac front, potatoes don’t really have the most alluring history. There was a brief moment when they were first introduced to European culture that caused an aphrodisiac rumor to spread. (Of course, much of Europe remained wary, insistent that this member of the Nightshade family must be poisonous. The French took a couple of centuries to truly embrace the tuber.)
From a nutritional perspective, potatoes are a decent source of magnesium and manganese, both vital to sexual performance. They’re also a better source than bananas for potassium. But overall, the potato is not a particularly sexy food, unless its presentation is distinctly sultry.
Roasting is a good place to start. It’s a method that gives the potato a crisp exterior and, particularly with French fingerlings, a decadently creamy interior without too much added fat. Generally, it’s better to cook potatoes in a neutral oil, like grape seed, with the addition of tons of fresh herbs and minced shallot.
Also consider the combination of olive oil and rosemary. You can even try duck fat, which seems to be all the rage. Simply, coat the pan with a non-stick canola spray, throw in the potatoes seasoned with sea salt and cook topped with a bone-in, skin on chicken breast that has been stuffed with garlic and lemon slices. Then toss the potatoes in the drippings before serving. Slightly more decadent than olive oil, perhaps, but this method of cooking produces the most juicy, flavor-packed, golden brown and crisp-edged potatoes of them all.
However, if it is a sexy potato you are after, you can marry it with the astounding benefits of coconut oil, an ingredient well-known for its properties supporting a healthy sex life. And see what happens
Coconut oil is fast becoming a darling of the culinary world for its rich, distinctive taste and butter-like behavior when used in baked goods. On a health front, there are claims that the saturated fat found in pure, virgin coconut oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial. There is also speculation that it can boost metabolism. Most interestingly, in a study experimenting with the use of coconut oil in cholesterol management, participants reported experiencing higher sex drive while taking the oil supplements.
The aroma wafting from the oven may not be so sexy the first time you experience it, possibly more like scent of suntan lotion rubbed into the dirt and baked in the heat for 35 minutes.
However, the results of potatoes roasted in coconut oil are alluring. The oil lends a sort of cashew and vanilla note to the potatoes. Coconut oil works particularly well with less earthy varieties of potatoes like fingerlings. The potatoes are sensational served with such tropical dishes as jerk chicken or white fish with a tropical salsa. The unique flavor dazzles all to to whom the dish is offered even if the aphrodisiac side effects go unmentioned.
Coconut Oil Roasted Potatoes
(serves 4 as a side)
6 French fingerling potatoes, diced (about 1 1/2 c diced)
1 tbsp coconut oil
generous pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a 9×9 or other small baking dish, toss diced potatoes with coconut oil until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Cook potatoes for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and toss. Return to oven and cook for an additional 15-25 minutes, depending on your preferred doneness (I like my potatoes dark golden and crispy).
4. Season with additional salt before serving, if desired.
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