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Archive for the ‘Potato’ Category

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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