It’s autumn, it’s chilly and my thoughts are turning less towards mellow fruitfulness than to spuds. They’re possibly the ultimate British comfort food and come in many incarnations. Buttery soft mash, roasties, chips, jacket potatoes with soft innards and crisp, salty skins, potato pancakes. And as we’re a multi-cultural nation, potato gnocchi, home fries, hash browns, or spiced up South Asian style.
We eat a lot of spuds in our house. My husband’s devotion to them exceeds even his love of pies and that’s really saying something. He’s tepid about rice and actively dislikes most pasta ( I know, I love him anyway, he has many redeeming features) so potatoes are often our carb of choice.
A few tips
Searching Mrs P’s archives I’m faintly surprised, in the circumstances, that there aren’t more potato recipes but I thought I’d share some of my favourites. I’m guessing you know how to make mash (a ricer, a splash of warm milk and obscene amounts of butter) and roasties (parboiled, drained, given a shake in the lidded pan to ruffle their edges and then tossed in hot fat before roasting at 200C/180 fan for an hour).
So here are a few ideas if you want to ring the changes. If you have a mandoline it will speed things up for some recipes but a sharp knife will suffice.
Spiced Stacked Potatoes are a bit of a faff but they are well worth the effort and will get you lots of oohs and aahs. I spice up the dish with gochujang, the Korean paste made from chillies, fermented soybeans and glutinous rice and which I love so much I always have on standby, but any good chilli paste will work here.
Potato, Apple and Sage Gratin: so good with roast pork but also works with pheasant and other game birds. Vegetarians might enjoy it with something cheesy. Can be scaled up or down depending on numbers.
Confit Duck Potato Cakes are seriously good and work as a starter or a main course. I made my own confit duck but you can use the stuff that comes in tins or jars and save yourself a world of work.
It’s a lovely autumnal recipe and one I’m quite proud of. If you give it a go, let me know!
Potato Stacks: I really like these, they’re easy to make and have a good a balance between softness and crunch. Nothing will ever replace the roast potato in my husband’s heart but these run a close second.
Double Whammy Salmon Fishcakes: the happy result of a bit of freezer diving, these mix fresh and smoked salmon. Excuse the picture in the original post, it was an early one, but the recipe’s a cracker.
Eggs in Potato Nests: a rare outing for my spiraliser, which otherwise gathers dust in the utility room. This is a good little brunch dish, though, and if you didn’t fall for the spiraliser schtick when they first went on sale a while back (smarty pants) you can use a standard box grater.
I hope you enjoy some of these spud recipes as much as we do. Happy cooking and have a great weekend.