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Archive for the ‘Potato’ Category

Don’t pack the barbecue away yet, you really should make this first. The smoky potato salad is good even if the fish is not your thing.

Wine Suggestion: a new find from Portugal: the Companhia de Vinhos Invencival “Natural Mystic”. An Alvarinho, Arinto, Loureiro blend from the far north, this is light and fresh and yet rounded and full flavoured standing up to the barbecued fish flavours and adding it’s own extra bit of pizzazz for a great combo.

BBQ Bream with Smoked Potato Salad – serves 2 (with salad leftover)

  • 2 whole bream, gutted and fins and other sharp bits removed
  • 1 lemon, halved

SPICE RUB FOR THE FISH:

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly ground
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder

FOR THE SMOKED POTATO SALAD:

  • 800g cooked new potatoes
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 6 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 50g cornichons, sliced
  • 2 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

You will need to get a charcoal barbecue nice and hot to cook on.

Prep the fish first by placing on a board and slashing through the skin a few times on both sides.

Put all of the spice rub ingredients into a shallow dish, big enough to hold the fish, and mix together. Put the fish on top and rub the spice rub all over the fish and and into the cuts you made.

Lay the fish onto a hot barbecue and leave for 5-6 minutes to allow the skin to crisp up. Turn carefully and repeat on the other side.

Carefully remove the fish from the barbecue and leave to rest for a few minutes. Squeeze over the lemon halves.

Put the potatoes directly onto the cooling embers. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the potato salad ingredients together in a a large bowl and season. Add the smoked potatoes and toss to coat.

Serve the fish with the warm potato salad.

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

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Barbecue season is coming (hopefully!) and potato salad is the perfect accompaniment. The dressing will make far more than you need but you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks and dress all your salads with it, so worth making.

Potato Salad – serves 4

  • 900g small new potatoes
  • 2 tbsp French dressing (see below)
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • a large bunch of mint, chopped

FOR THE FRENCH DRESSING:

  • 100ml red or white wine vinegar
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • ½ a clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey

To make the French dressing, put all the ingredients into a food processor, season with salt and pepper, and whizz to combine (or you can do like us and shove it all in a jar and give it a good shake!).

Put the potatoes into a pan of salty water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until completely tender, then drain and put into a bowl. Mix in 2 tbsp of French dressing and leave to cool.

Mix the mayonnaise, yoghurt and mint together and toss with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to serve.

(Original recipe from Avoca Salads, edited by Hugo Arnold, Avoca Ltd, 2007.)

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We don’t think we’ve ever cooked halibut at home before; it’s such a luxurious and meaty fish. It’s pricey but worth it we think for this Korean dish. You can of course substitute with cod or another white fish.

Braised halibut in seasoned soy – sengson jjim – serves 2

  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp soju (or sake or 1½ tbsp vodka mixed with 1½ tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru red pepper powder
  • 250g baby new potatoes, halved
  • 400g halibut, cut into large bite-sized chunks
  • 100g shitake mushrooms
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • cooked sticky rice, to serve

Mix the soy sauce, soju, mirin, honey, garlic and gochugaru red pepper powder, together in a bowl with 220ml of water.

Put the potatoes into a medium saucepan, then pour over the sauce. Cover and bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes or until almost cooked through. Stir in the mushrooms, then gently add the fish, taking care not to break it up. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes and mushrooms are just cooked.

Spoon into a large serving bowl and sprinkle over chilli. Serve with some sticky rice.

(Original recipe from My Korean Kitchen by Jordan Bourke & Rejina Pyo, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015.)

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We served this tasty potato dish with feather blade steaks braised in port and it would be good with other roast or braised beef dishes.

Potato, Onion & Horseradish Gratin – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g butter
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • a bunch of fresh thyme, remove the leaves from half
  • about 900g of large floury potatoes, sliced very thinly (a mandolin or food processor is best for this)
  • 4 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 300ml beef stock

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Heat the oil and 25g of the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onions and season well with salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly.

Meanwhile, put the stock into a saucepan with a small bunch of thyme and bring to the boil. Cook for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a clean pan and keep warm.

Put the sliced potatoes into a large bowl with the thyme leaves. Melt the remaining 75g of butter and pour this over the potatoes and season well. Toss with your hands to coat the potatoes in the butter.

When the onions are cooked, stir in the horseradish sauce. Spread a third of the potatoes over the base of an ovenproof dish (20cm square is about right). Spread over half the onions and a third of the beef stock. Cover with another third of the potatoes, followed by the rest of the onions and a final layer of potatoes on top. Pour over the remaining stock, then cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes or until golden.

(Original recipe from Marcus Everyday by Marcus Wareing, HarperCollins Publishing, 2019.)

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Spicy Roasted New Potatoes with Lemon & Herbs

This dish bursts with flavour. We’ve been entertaining in our garden (in small groups and at a distance) and it’s been so nice to cook dishes to feed more than 2! Another triumph from Falastin and great with some grilled meat; this will be done many atime again we suspect. You can prep up to the point before you put the potatoes in the oven. Cook and dress when you’re ready to eat.

Spicy roasted new potatoes with lemon & herbs  – serves 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 7 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 750g baby new potatoes, quartered
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1 large lemon, finely grate the zest to get 2 tsp and juice to get 2 tbsp
  • 10g coriander, roughly chopped
  • 5g dill, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C fan.

Lightly crush the cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar.

Put the olive oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add the cumin and coriander seed and cook for a minute, stirring. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or until it starts to colour.

Add the chilli and tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, until the tomatoes start to soften. Add the potatoes, sugar, 1 tsp of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Stir and transfer to a large baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Roast for 40 minutes, tossing once, until the potatoes are crispy and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes before adding the lemon zest & juice, coriander & dill. Toss gently & serve.

(Original recipe from Falastin by Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley, Ebury Press, 2020.)

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Spicy potatoes

We loved these Indian spiced potatoes and they were great for bulking out some leftover saag paneer that definitely would not have satisfied our hungry bellies.

Spicy Potatoes – serves 4

  • 800g potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 140g frozen peas

Cover the potatoes in cold salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 mins or until just tender, then drain and allow to steam dry for a few mins.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the spices for a minute until fragrant. Throw in the potatoes and toss well so they are coated in the spices. Gently fry for 5-10 mins until golden, then add peas, mix well and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Season well before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Bandari fishcakes

These Persian fishcakes are full of herbs and make a delicious starter or light lunch. They can be made up in advance and cooked when you need them.

Wine Suggestion: the only option here is a youthful, light, off-dry Riesling where the aromatics, herbs, date and tamarind all play with each other. Tonight we drank the Dr Loosen Estate Riesling, his entry level wine made with his own fruit in the Mosel and it was an excellent match. Along with the Mosel we’d recommend the fruity styles (Kabinett & Spätlese) from other German regions such as the Nahe and Rheingau. Further afield the Aussie Rieslings tend to be too dry for a dish like this but there are some excellent NZ examples, Forrest Estate and Felton Rd spring to mind.

Bandari fishcakes with a tamarind and date sauce (Kuku-ye mahi) – serves 4

  • 300g potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
  • 200g white fish fillets e.g. cod/haddock
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 50g coriander, finely chopped
  • 25g parsley, finely chopped – plus extra to garnish
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaf (menthi)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 medium egg
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 3 tbsp sunflower or olive oil

FOR THE TAMARIND & DATE SAUCE:

  • 50g tamarind pulp soaked in 100ml just boiled water for 10 minutes
  • 75g Iranian or Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 150ml hot water

Put the potatoes into a large pan and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil, then simmer until tender. Drain, mash the potatoes, and put into a large mixing bowl.

Add the fish to the potatoes. Dry fry the cumin seeds in a small frying pan for a minute or until fragrant. Grind the seeds with a pestle and mortar, then add to the bowl along with the fresh herbs, fenugreek leaf, garlic, cayenne, turmeric, lemon zest, egg, 1¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper.

Mix well with your hands, then shape into eight round patties. Dust with a little flour and place on a plate, cover with cling film and chill.

To make the sauce, put the tamarind and its soaking liquid, the dates, brown sugar, cayenne, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Add the hot water and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat until the dates are very soft.

Take the sauce off the heat and sieve into a bowl, use the back of a spoon to rub as much through as possible.

To finish the fishcakes, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the cakes on a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes, turning every few minutes, until golden brown and crusted. Garnish with parsley and serve with the sauce.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

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Cheesy broccoli baked potatoes

These are great for a mid-week dinner with a salad or you could serve alongside a meat dish. Absolute comfort food.

Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes – serves 4

  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 300g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 tbsp grain mustard
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 140g grated Cheddar
  • a generous lump of butter

Heat the oven to 220ºC.

Rub a little bit of oil over the potato skins and place in the oven on a baking tray for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 200ºC and continue to bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for a few minutes and drain well.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and scoop the insides into a bowl or pot. Mash the cooked potatoes with a fork, then stir in a generous lump of butter, the mustard, egg, most of the cheese and broccoli. Season, then pile back into the shells. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are crisp and golden. Serve with salad.

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Crispy new potato bake

This is a bit different and perfect when you’ve got over the initial excitement of new potatoes and feel like doing something other than steaming them and covering them with butter. Jersey Royals are nice if you can find them. We served these with some salmon and herby mayonnaise.

Crispy new potatoes with olives, capers & herbs – serves 4

  • 1kg Jersey Royal potatoes or other small new potatoes
  • handful small capers
  • 2 handfuls stoned black olives
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • small bunch rosemary, broken into sprigs
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat oven to 240C/Fan 220C/Gas 9.

Boil the potatoes until almost cooked – about 12 minutes. Drain, then slice and put into a large bowl. Tip in the capers, olives and herbs, then add most of the olive oil and season. Gently mix together, lightly crushing the potatoes as you go.

Line a medium Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, leaving some overhanging. Tip the potatoes into the tray and spread to flatten. Mix the vinegar with the rest of the oil and drizzle over. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp and golden.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spiced yoghurt roast chicken

Our local butcher, Brady’s, stocks excellent free-range chickens which are juicier and have more flavour than most super-market offerings. Being a very cheap meat overall we think it is worth spending a bit more as the benefits far outweigh the cost difference.

We never tire of roast chicken recipes as they’re usually straight forward and provide lots of leftovers. We challenge you to resist the skin on this one!

Wine Suggestion: we felt like a red so went for the Chateau de Beauregard Fleurie as it has a lighter body and a lower acidity than a Pinot Noir which matched this dish really well. The chicken was moist, but not fatty so the medium acidity was a perfect foil and neither wine nor food overwhelmed the other.

Spiced-yoghurt Roast Chicken with Potatoes – serves 4

  • 1 whole chicken, approximately 1.5kg
  • salad potatoes e.g. Charlotte
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the marinade:

  • small chunk of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced, keep the squeezed out halves to put inside the chicken
  • 100g natural yoghurt

Heat the oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas 5.

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and season with some salt and pepper.

Put the chicken into a large roasting tray and rub the marinade all over the skin with your hands. Put the squeezed lemon halves inside the cavity and roast for 1 hour 30 minutes, then rest for 20 minutes under some foil before carving.

Cut the potatoes in half and toss with the cumin seeds, chilli flakes, 2 tbsp olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Tip into a shallow roasting tray and put in the oven above the chicken for the last 20 minutes. Turn over once during cooking and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes while the chicken is resting.

Delicious served with some coleslaw on the side.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, December 2016.)

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Chive Mash

Everyone loves mash in our house especially with lots of cream and butter added. Chives from the garden are also a popular addition.

Chive Mash – serves 6 generously

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 8 tbsp double cream
  • 50g butter
  • 6 tbsp snipped chives

Cover the potatoes with cold water and a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender, then drain in a colander and return to the warm pan to dry.

Gently heat the cream in a small saucepan, then add the butter and pour over the potatoes. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Add the chives and beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy.

 

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Crispy potato skins

These super tasty bacon & blue cheese stuffed potato skins work well as a starter or a side dish. Probably best not to count the calories!

Cheesy Baked Potato Skins – serves 4

  • 4 baking potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 8 rashers of thick-cut pancetta
  • 2 cos lettuces, leaves separated and roughly chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • smoked paprika for dusting (optional)

FOR THE CHEESY DRESSING:

  • 250g crème fraîche
  • 200g Roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • 100g mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • few splashes of Tabasco sauce

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.

Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for around 1 hour 15 minutes or until soft in the middle and nice and crispy on the outside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh but be careful not to break the skins. Keep the scooped out potato to make something else with.

Put the potato skins back onto the baking tray, drizzle with oil and put back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until really crisp and brown.

Meanwhile, gently fold the crème fraîche, Roquefort and mayonnaise together for the dressing. Stir in the mustard and Tabasco and season.

Cook the pancetta slices under a hot grill until crispy.

Mix the lettuce and celery together in a large bowl then add the cheesy dressing. Put the bacon rashers into the baked potato skins and spoon the cheesy stuffing over the top. Garnish each one with some of the chopped celery leaves and chives and dust with paprika.

(Original recipe from Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes, Absolute Press, 2014.)

 

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Gnocchi with peas

Gnocchi – where have you been all our lives? So much easier than we anticipated!

Wine suggestion: We tried a delicious Langhe Nebbiolo by Luigi Pira from Piedmont in Italy which had a great balance between light weight, depth of flavour, dancing acidity and a characterful earthiness. Gnocchi is refined and elegant but also earthy and rustic and the food-wine combo matched really well.

Gnocchi – serves 4

  • 2 large floury potatoes
  • 50g ricotta cheese
  • 90g plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Grated Parmesan – to serve

For the Sauce: 

  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 150g frozen peas, defrosted
  • butter
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Bake the potatoes for 1-1¼ hours until tender. While the potatoes are still warm, remove the flesh from the skin and mash until smooth (use a potato ricer if you have one).

Mix in the ricotta, a pinch of salt and white pepper and the flour. Make a well in the middle, add the beaten egg and start to combine the mixture with floured hands. Work in the thyme leaves and continue until you have a smooth dough but don’t overwork or it will become too dense .

Cut the dough in half and shape each piece into a long cigar shape about 1.5 cm thick. Use the back of a floured table knife to cut each length into 2cm pieces to make ‘pillows’ of gnocchi.

Gently press each gnocchi in the middle with a floured finger.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the gnocchi, tilting the pan from side to side briefly to stop them sticking together, them simmer for just 1½-2 minutes or until they start to float.

Drain the gnocchi and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a bit of olive oil. Add the gnocchi to the hot pan with a pinch of salt and black pepper and sauté for a minute or two on each side until coloured.

Add the peas to the pan with a knob of butter and the thyme leaves. Toss to heat through, then add the lemon zest. Serve with the grated Parmesan.

(Original recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012.)

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This recipe is rich with a natural gravy and very flavoursome and filling. Despite this it is very low in calories so perfect if you’re watching your weight or for a midweek dinner. We ate this over two nights (instead of three) as we were both a little greedy, and also because it was so moreish.

Gardener’s Pie – to serve 6

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, trimmed & chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled & diced
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled & diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 150g puy lentils, rinsed & drained
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500g floury potatoes, like Maris Piper, peeled & cut into small chunks
  • 15g butter
  • 2 tsp plain flour

Heat the sunflower oil in a deep, large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots, celery, carrots & parsnip for 8-12 minutes and until brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Stir in the lentils, stock, tomato purée and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes and until tender.

Put the potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes and until tender. Drain and add the butter and some seasoning. Mash until smooth. Add a little extra butter if you’d like for a bit more richness.

Heat the grill.

Sprinkle flour over the simmered lentil mix and stir in. Cook for another 2 minutes until thickened. Spoon into a warmed, heatproof pie dish.

Top with the mashed potato and grill for 5 minutes , until golden. You’ll need to keep an eye on this as the time needed will depend on the griller.

Serve with: try a Beaujolais Cru, like a Régnié, which will have a both lightness and depth, plus a bit of earthiness to match the lentils. Beaujolais is never too heavy, and the Cru’s add depth and personality that is harder to find in a basic wine.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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We made this with red onions as we had no Spanish onions to hand which worked well; if you have the Spanish onions it works even better!

New potatoes Lyonnaise – to serve 6 as a side dish

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large Spanish onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1kg large new potatoes, halved

Heat the butter in a large pan until foaming. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the onions and cook on a fairly low heat until soft and golden, about 30 minutes. When the onions have softened, stir in the garlic and thyme and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and boil for 5 minutes, then drain well.

Mix the potatoes with the rest of the oil and some seasoning in a large roasting tin. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway, until golden. Stir in the onion mixture and roast for a further 10 minutes.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This really is the easiest beef stew ever and can be made successfully by anyone. It’s also very tasty and great for feeding a crowd. Just fling everything together and chuck it in the oven.

The Easiest Ever Beef Stew – to serve 6

  • 1.5g stewing steak, cut into chunks
  • 60g plain flour
  • 2 tsp good-quality paprika
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 1 glass of wine (red or white will do)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, finely sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 potatoes, cut into chunks

Heat the oven to 180ºC.

Put the flour and paprika into a large plastic bag. Add the beef and shake to coat.

Put the beef into a cast-iron casserole.

Whizz the tomatoes and their juice in a food processor, or roughly crush with a wooden spoon, and add to the meat.

Add all of the other ingredients and stir.

Press a piece of baking paper over the stew and cover the casserole with a lid.

Cook in the oven for 2 hours. Taste for seasoning. Check if the meet is tender and cook for a bit longer if necessary.

Wine Suggestion: A rustic red is all that’s needed here and you may as well finish the bottle you opened for this recipe. Something from the Languedoc should fit the bill.

(Original recipe from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander, Penguin Books, 2004.)

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Colcannon

A very Irish side dish but good enough to eat a big bowlful on its own. If you want to restrain yourselves a bit you could balance this with a nicely barbecued sausage. The diet starts after Christmas!

When seasoning make sure you use white pepper as it makes all the difference. The pink pepper mill in the photo is our “white pepper mill”.

Colcannon – to serve 6 as a side

  • 1kg potatoes, scrubbed (cut the bigger ones in half)
  • 100g butter
  • ½ a small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 150ml double cream

Put the potatoes into a large pan of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer goes through without resistance.

Heat about 25g of the butter in another saucepan and fry half the cabbage for about 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and peel while they are hot, then mash until smooth.

Heat the cream with the rest of the butter and, when almost boiling, beat into the potato. Add the cabbage to the potato, mix well and season (with salt and white pepper).

Heaven!

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We’ve made plenty of variations on Spanish potato omelettes or tortilla but it’s hard to know when the centre is cooked. We’ve also found grilling the surface under the grill much less daunting than trying to flip a semi-liquid pan full of hot ingredients! So we were relieved to read that Claudia Roden has had similar issues and this time followed the advice she got from a Spanish friend and recounts in her fabulous book The Food of Spain. The trick is to use a smaller non-stick pan and a slightly concave saucepan lid, larger than the pan, to catch the liquid when you turn the omelette upside down. It worked for us!

Tortilla de patatas – to serve 4

  • 250g new or waxy potatoes, peeled and cut in 1.5cm cubes
  • 300ml olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • salt
  • 6 large eggs
Dry the potatoes with some kitchen roll as soon as you dice them.

Heat the oil in a smallish non-stick frying pan that will hold all the ingredients over a medium heat and add the potatoes and onions. Cook and cook over a low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Give them a gentle shake now and again and don’t let them colour. Drain in a colander and keep the oil which you can use again. Spread the potatoes out on kitchen roll and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Beat the eggs lightly and add a little salt. Add the potatoes and onions and gently mix together.

Pour 1 tbsp of your reserved oil back into the frying pan and heat until almost smoking. Pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat to low. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the eggs set at the bottom, shaking now and then with a circular motion to stop it sticking. Put a slightly concave lid larger than the pan on top and flip the pan over quickly to leave the omelette on the lid of the pan. Pour another tbsp of the reserved oil into the pan and gently slide the omelette back in, uncooked side down, and lower the heat. Cook for 2 minutes more until just set. Run a wooden spoon round the edge of the omelette to make it neat before turning out.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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These are yummy and give a totally different texture to new potatoes. Keep turning them regularly so you get them nice and brown all over.

Stoved potatoes – to serve 6

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 500g baby new potatoes

Melt the butter in a large frying pan with a lid. Wait until it foams before adding the potatoes. Turn the potatoes and make sure they all get coated in butter and are in a single layer. Sprinkle over some salt.

Cover and cook gently for about 30 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until the potatoes are tender. Leave them in the hot butter until you’re ready to serve them and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

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Wholesome and heart warming lunch when family drop by. We like to only partially blend or soups sometimes as it gives a great smooth consistency and keeps some of the flavoursome lumps.

Leek and potato soup – serves 6-8

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 400g leeks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 400g potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes

Peel and roughly chop the carrots and onions and slice the celery and garlic. Quarter the leeks lengthways and cut into 1cm slices.

Put a large pot over a high heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add all the chopped and sliced ingredients and mix well, then cook for 10 to 15 minutes, partially covered, until the carrots have softened and the onions have started to turn golden.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 cm dice. Add 1.8 litres of boiling water to the stock cubes, then add to the vegetables along with the potatoes.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.

Season and serve or blend until smooth, or give it a half-hearted whizz like we did.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver, Penguin 2008.)

 

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