Southern Illinois is a place of diversity and many secrets. I am sure that there are many places that may have a history that is not spoken well about. My friend stands here by the sign the describes the work of the salt mines. Yes, there are many that know about the salt industry it just does not come up in every day talk. It was full of so much good, bad and yes even evil.
Recently while doing a bit of research for our history I came upon a page about salt mines in other places. As a foodie as I read I was intrigued about the food in other areas as well. It seems that in NY there was a salt mine and the industry was as vast and full of history as that in southern Illinois. I want to share the history of the "salt potatoes" here with you today
Hearing about these wonderful "Salt Potatoes" and the story about the salt mine under western NY reminded me of our Southern Illinois rich history as well. In NY you would find the Irish working the mine in the 1800s they would make a lunch of potatoes by boiling the salt water. The salt water would make the potatoes come out creamy, salty and yummy Salt Potatoes are still available in NY ready to boil. For all of you not in NY here is the recipe just for you
New York Salt Potatoes
8 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of kosher salt (add another cup if using the Diamond Crystal brand)
3 pounds well-scrubbed small red or white potatoes, as uniform in size as possible and with skins on
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1. Bring salt and water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes in a strainer and place pot back on stove over medium heat and add butter. When just melted, after about a minute, add potatoes and, if desired, herbs and black pepper. Toss and serve immediately.
Go for it this weekend. Grill yourself a nice steak and boil up some corn. And try these potatoes. Then come back and tell me what you thought.
Have a good weekend, all. And thanks Ca-Joh for reminding me that I need to make these before the summers out!