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Tag: potato

Potato Salad

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I don’t know how you like your potato salads, but this is how we have ours. You should try it.

 

Potato Salad

Serves 4 as a side

 

1 kg waxy potatoes

salt

100ml hot vegetable stock

6 Tbsp mayonnaise

6 Tbsp sunflower oil

5 Tbsp white balsamic

1 ½ tsp vegetable stock powder

1 tsp curry powder

1tsp maple syrup, or failing that, raw sugar

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 bunch chives, snipped

15 cornichons, finely sliced

parsley, to garnish (if you can be bothered)

I do this the lazy way because I can’t be bothered to peel hot potatoes or wait till they’re cool – so instead, I peel and slice them thinly before boiling them. So smart and efficient, I know. So once they’re all sliced, they go into a big pot with some water. Bring to the boil and add a bit of salt, about as much as you’d add to a pot of pasta – it’s got to taste salty. Let the potato slices boil until just soft – check every few minutes by nipping some off with a spoon and tasting it: firm but cooked is what we’re going for. When they’re ready  a few will have decided to break apart already, which is fine. Drain them and put them in a big bowl. Add the veggie stock and let it sit until cooled down a bit. Hot potatoes tend to be thirsty, so we want to minimise the possibility of them soaking up too much dressing. You can give it a stir here and there, but don’t go too crazy because otherwise you’ll end up with mash.

In the meantime, mix the mayo, oil, balsamic, stock powder, maple syrup, onion and chives in a separate bowl. Pour over the potatoes, add the cornichons and gently stir. The dressing will become quite liquid because of the residual heat of the potatoes, but do not fear! It will all thicken again once it’s reached room temperature. Cover it and transfer to the fridge for at least half an hour. Give it a quick taste – you might need to add some more salt – then throw some parsley on top and dig in.

Rösti

brunch rösti

I feel like I owe you something pretty. And I think this image pretty much fulfills the absence of pretty pretty well, yeah?

Listen I don’t want to go on about my Swiss heritage and about how obsessively frequent we like to eat rösti (we don’t), but I would like to say this. Rösti is awesome, and it makes the world a better place. I’m particularly partial to the smaller, bite – sized version, not only because of its visual appeal, but also because of the crunchy exterior to inner softness –ratio. And because they look incredibly cute with stuff stacked on top of them, for brunch or indeed some shmancy themed dinner party. Just recently a friend of mine was so kind as to give me a couple of his quails’ eggs. As a result, these decadent brunch röstis came to be.

Brunch Rösti

Makes 12

2 medium potatoes

1 leek (250g), sliced into 2cm rounds

2 heaped Tbsp butter

80ml crème fraîche or sour cream

1 Tbsp seeded mustard or to taste

salt

6 quail’s eggs

a few sprigs flowering thyme, or some other tiny herb you like

cracked black pepper

You’ve got to start making these a little in advance, because you’ve got to boil the potatoes and make the leek confit first.

Pierce the potatoes with a knife all around to speed up the cooking process, then place them in a saucepan and top with water from a recently boiled kettle. Cook until soft, then drain. Cool.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat and spread the rounds of leek out so the bottom is covered. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt.  Cover with a lid and on the smallest flame possible, let the leek simmer in the buttery goodness until soft. Stir as seldom as possible, because you want the leek to keep its shape. Once it’s done, remove from the heat and transfer to a jar. You know what you’ve just made? Leek confit. Pretty nifty, eh? This will keep for a week or so in the fridge. But I honestly don’t know who would wait that long.

Get your potatoes and grate them. Don’t bother with removing the skin, it’ll come off while you’re grating it. Divide the potato into 12 portions and shape into rounds. Heat a large fry pan with the bottom covered with olive oil and add the potato rösti. You might have to do this in batches okay? Don’t move them too early or they’ll fall apart. Once they’re golden on one side, flip them to get the other side done. Line a plate with some paper and transfer the rösti onto it to cool.

Next, combine your crème fraîche with the mustard and season with some salt, then set aside while you boil the quail’s eggs. I usually place them in the bottom of a pan and pour over some boiling water to cover them, then set the timer. The egg in the picture was in there for 3 ½ minutes, but I reckon 2 ½ would probably be even better, for a still slightly gooey yolk. When done, pour off the water and top with cold tap water. Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and slice them in half.

Now, assembly time. Start with one rösti, top with a dollop of crème fraîche, leek and half an egg. Get your pretty herbs out and sprinkle that and a bit of cracked pepper on top. Repeat with the rest, then eat.

Just looking back over the recipe, it looks incredibly long, doesn’t it. It’s not complicated though. I just thought I’d throw in some extra detail there, just in case you forgot how to boil a potato or peel an egg. I just care about you kitten, that’s all.

Potato and Pea Samosas

samosasYeah. Samosas. Right up there on my list of favourite snack food. But then again, anything coming from the beautiful country of India gets top marks in my book. In my oh-so-short life I have been there three times already, and you can take my word I’ll be going back there again.

Top three random memories of India:

Playing hide and seek as a nine year old in the hotel’s 5-day old algae-tinged pool. Endless hours of fun. Other experiences included pools almost opaque with chlorine your eyes stung just by looking at it. These did not include hide and seek, or me, for that matter.

The after effects of my first sips of my mum’s gin and tonic making a 12-year old me walk dizzily into a rubbish bin next to our tiny hotel room situated right on the beach in Goa. Don’t laugh. That’s just mean.

A cook in the green hills of Kumili showing my 16-year old self how he made his beetroot malai kofta. They were insane guys. Served in a coconut cashew sauce spiced with star anise. You know you’re jealous.

a bite of samosa

I don’t think I have to tell you how much I love these little guys. I mean, deliciousness wrapped in pastry? Right? Give ‘em a go please. Right now.

Potato and Pea Samosas

 

4 medium (floury) potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes

2 Tbsp each of vegetable oil and butter

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 fat garlic cloves, crushed

1 knob of ginger, grated, giving you about 1 Tbsp of grated ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 ½ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp chili flakes

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp lemon juice

splash of soy sauce

salt

1/2 cup (65g) frozen peas

½ bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped

4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

Place your cubed potatoes into a pot and cover with water from a recently boiled kettle. Boil until soft, but still holding their shape. Drain.

In the meantime, melt the oil and butter in a wide fry pan. Add your onions and gently cook over low heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and turn up the heat a little. Stir until everything takes on a little colour. Add the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, chili, cinnamon and lemon juice, give it a stir, then add the potatoes. Let them hang out together for about 10 minutes. Season with a little soy sauce and salt. Remember, the potatoes will soak up quite a bit of flavor i.e. salt, so you may need to adjust your seasoning later again. Once the potatoes have gone a little mushy, remove from the heat. Stir in the peas and coriander, and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 220°C. To make the triangles, cut each sheet into 9 squares. Place a scant tablespoon of filling on each and fold over a corner. Pinch the edges together – if you can get a fancy twist going all the better – and lay them on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Serve hot with coriander and coconut chutney.

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