Wisconsin Potato Grower’s Favorite Grilling Tips and Recipes

There are three basic techniques for grilling potatoes that take advantage of
the delicious taste of Wisconsin potatoes, so make your choice based on the
time you have available and your own preference.  It’s easy to remember
easy potato grilling styles as the three ‘Ps:’

1. Place directly on the grill – you cook the potatoes from “raw to
ready.”
2. Par-cook (boil or microwave) – you partially cook the potatoes
before grilling them.  This can be done in advance, and reduces the cooking
time on the grill.
3. Packet cooking – in effect, you create an aluminum foil “oven” on
the grill.

All three techniques are easy, but each requires some basic know-how to
ensure that you grill the potatoes to take full advantage of their great taste
and texture.  And be sure to cut the potatoes in slices, quarters, wedges or
chunks – the larger the size, the longer it takes to grill.  Small potatoes, such
as round Wisconsin Red-Skinned Potatoes and fingerlings, can be left whole.

Here’s a quick description of what you should know about each grilling
technique:

Place directly on the grill:  For complete, even cooking use a combination of

direct heat and indirect heat – keep the coals banked, so that one side of
the grill is cooler and one side is hotter. With a gas grill, keep the heat on one
side higher than the heat on the opposite side.  You may want to cover the
grill for a while, to ensure the potatoes cook all the way through.  Coat the
potatoes with a little oil and herbs to add flavor and seal the moisture inside.
An advantage of this method is that, although it takes a little more cooking
time, it is super easy.

Par cook:  To partially cook the potatoes, simmer them in water and drain
well.  Or microwave them.  The key is to pre-cook potatoes until they are
just tender.  If you pre-cook them too long they’ll fall apart or overcook on
the grill.  You can pre-cook the potatoes in advance and refrigerate them
until you’re ready to grill.  Coat the potatoes with a little olive oil and herbs
to add flavor and seal the moisture inside as they cook on the grill.  The big
advantage of this method:  Since you only need to finish the potatoes on the
grill, you can add them as you finish grilling meat, fish or other dishes.

Packet cooking:  Simple foil packets actually create a steam oven that cooks
the potatoes up moist yet firm.  For extra flavor, add herbs, spices or oils, as
well as other ingredients, such as onions or peppers, to the packets.  Before
sealing the potatoes in foil, spread them out so that the pile is an even
thickness for even cooking.  The advantages of this technique are that it’s
easy, clean-up is a snap, and when the potatoes are cooked, they can be
held off the grill, unopened, for up to 15 minutes, while you finish up the
other dishes you’re grilling.

Sample different varieties of Wisconsin potatoes to learn which you like best
with the meats, poultry, fish and other vegetables that you grill.  There are
myriad choices in size, texture, flavor, skin color and flesh color.  For
example:  Wisconsin Red-Skinned Potatoes have creamy-smooth flesh, while
Wisconsin Blue potatoes have distinctive purple/blue skin and flesh.  The
always-popular, buff-colored Wisconsin Russet potatoes are great for grilling,
and you’ll get raves when you serve buttery-smooth yellow Wisconsin Yukon
Gold potatoes.

Wisconsin Potato Grower’s Favorite Grilling Recipes
Compliments of Chef Jerry Garcia, Coast – A Zili Restaurant, Milwaukee, WI

Twice-Baked Potato Bombs

4-large Yukon gold potatoes
1- cup chopped bacon
1- cup cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter

Start by baking the potatoes until cooked through. Cool and set aside. Cut
the top off each potato and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Take the
scooped mixture and add the bacon bits, cheese and butter. Mix until smooth
and stuff the potatoes. Add the potato top back on and wrap with foil. Heat
on the grill for 15-20 minutes under indirect heat.

Grilled Potato Salad

8 Medium Red Potatoes
2 Large Red Onions
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
Salt & Pepper

Microwave the potatoes until they are half cooked. Remove and cut into
halves or quarters if they are large. Cut the onions into 1-inch slices, using
wooden skewers or large toothpicks to hold them together. Grill both the
onions and potatoes over medium heat until they are fork tender and
browned. To prepare the dressing, mix the oil, mustard, vinegar, salt and
pepper in a small bowl. Chop the onions and potatoes into bite-sized pieces,
and place in a serving bowl. Add enough dressing to coat well, and mix
thoroughly. Save the extra dressing for another purpose. Add the fresh
chopped parsley and mix again. Serve warm.

Grilled Potato Steak & Vegetable Sandwich

4 medium Japanese eggplants (or small regular eggplants), sliced lengthwise
1/2-inch thick
1 medium Zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
1 medium Yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
1 medium Sweet red or orange pepper, seeded and quartered
1/3 cup Olive oil
1 small Onion, sliced ½-inch thick
To taste Salt, black pepper
1/4 to 1/3 cup bottled vinaigrette salad dressing
1 recipe Grilled Wisconsin Potato Steaks (from previous recipe)
4 Tbsp. Grated Gruyere, Aged Gouda, Homestead-style cheese or shredded
Fontina, optional

Brush eggplant, zucchini, squash and sweet peppers with some of the olive
oil. Skewer onion slices through the sides onto a long metal skewer; brush
with some olive oil. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. On uncovered
grill, grill vegetables over medium coals for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn; cook another
4 to 5 minutes. [If some of vegetables cook faster than others, move to a
cooler corner of the grill while completing the recipe.] Place prepared Grilled
Wisconsin Potato Steaks on grill; cook “steaks” and vegetables for 2 to 2-1/2
minutes or until all are tender. Drizzle the eight largest Grilled Wisconsin
Potato Steaks with vinaigrette; top with the grilled vegetables. If desired, top
each with ½ Tbsp. of the grated cheese. Serve two open-faced sandwiches
per person, using smaller “steaks” on the side. Or, serve one open-faced
sandwich as a side to grilled meat or poultry. Yield: 4 open-faced sandwiches
or 8 side dish servings.

For more information and great recipes, visit  www.wisconsinpotatoes.com