These are a childhood classic – we used to get these about once a week, often served with bacon. I’ve no idea whose idea it is, but I made them this afternoon for Cedar, who is three today. He helped me make them, mixing the egg in and stirring in the milk. He ate three and a half before he was full.
Sieve the flour into a bowl, with the pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and put the beaten egg in, mixing together.
Stir the milk in gradually, until the batter is the consistency of cream.
Add the sweetcorn, and mix again.
Fry in an oiled pan over a medium heat. Drop in dessert-spoonfuls of batter, and when the bottom is cooked, you should be able to see bubbles setting on the surface of the batter. Turn them over and cook on the other side.
Serve with bacon, and if you like it, tomato ketchup.
OK, so nobody admits to growing teeny tiny potatoes. I was given a bag of mixed potatoes by a friend, their first go at home-grown spuds. I think the plants had had a hot dry time of it, and were probably harvested too early as well. At the bottom of the bag was a selection of potatoes about the size of a marble. This is what I did with them.
Teeny tiny potatoes.
Salt and pepper
I boiled the teeny tiny potatoes in salted water for ten minutes, and then drained them.
I melted the butter in the pan, and fried the garlic until it was golden, then added the tiny potatoes along with seasoning and continued to cook until the potato skins were beginning to colour and crisp up a bit.
Then I added the chopped parsley, and served
I added some very fresh cooked carrots the second time I made this.
I have no idea where I found this recipe, I think it dates back to student days in the 1980s. There are lots of notes and at least two totally different versions in my old recipe book. It works well with or without the potatoes.
5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions finely chopped
8 cloves of garlic, finely chipped
1 tbsp coriander seed, ground
1 tsp cumin seed, ground
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
6 tbsp tomato paste
2 tins of chickpeas (do not drain)
1 tbsp amchoor or juice of half a lemon
2 tsp sweet paprika
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1cm cubes, and put into cold water
Salt to taste
2 fresh green chillies, very finely chopped
2 tsp grated ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger)
Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat, until beginning to brown, around 10 minutes
Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne and turmeric, stir, and reduce the heat
Add the tomato paste, stir to combine and then add the chickpeas with their liquid from the tin, and around 200ml water, and the amchoor, and paprika. Bring to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes.
At this point, it may be wise to set the pan aside for a day or too, for the flavour to develop.
To serve, drain and pat dry the potato cubes. Fry in oil for 10 minutes over a medium to high heat, stirring.
Stir in the ginger and chillies, and then the fried potatoes, and serve.
We have a lot of potatoes at the moment, so I’m digging around in the recipe books for new things to do. This is a recipe from ‘Nightingales and Roses’ by Maryam Sinaiee. This is quite filling, and is good cold the next day as well.
6 tbsp oil
2 potatoes, peeled and diced (around 1 cm cubes)
3 packs of green beans (around 600g)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
a large pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp plain flour
6 large eggs, lightly beaten.
Heat about 3-4 tbsp oil in a deep frying pan and cook the potato cubes for around 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and put in a bowl lined with kitchen paper.
Fry the beans and carrots in the same oil for around 10 minutes, and then add them to the potatoes.
Set the oven to 200C. Mix the salt, flour, baking powder and spices.
Beat the eggs, add the vegetables and flour/spice mix and stir to combine.
My frying pan has an oven-safe handle so it is perfect. Otherwise use a shallow casserole dish. Put 2 tbsp oil in the pan and heat it in the oven for four minutes so it is hot. Pour in the mixture, and bake for 30 minutes, so the top is golden.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little, and cut into wedges.
Start by cooking the polenta. Set the water to boil, and when it starts to bubble, swirl it and pour in the polenta flour in a thin stream, stirring the mixture as you pour to mix it well with the water. As it becomes like the caldera in a volcano, season with salt and pepper, and cook for around 8 minutes.
Pour the polenta into a large dish and let it cool. If you are adding Talegio or Fontina cheese, melt this into the polenta before pouring it out.
Make a white cheese sauce. Melt 50g butter in a pan, and then add the flour.
When the flour is beginning to brown, and the butter is foaming, add the milk, pouring in steadily and mixing to make a smooth white sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and add the bayleaf, and simmer for 15 minutes, before adding the grated cheese.
Next, slice the mushrooms and fry in butter for 5 minutes. Elizabeth David suggests using white truffles, which are in short supply in South Uist.
Slice the polenta. In the bottom of a buttered lasagne dish or similar, layer 1/3 of the polenta, then 1/3 of the bechamel and 1/2 of the mushrooms. Then 1/3 polenta, 1/3 sauce, 1/2 mushrooms, then 1/3 polenta, 1/3 bechamel, topped with parmesan.
Bake in a hot oven, 180C, for 30 minutes.
This is delicious, and very filling. We had 2 servings each and there is loads left. We had a side dish of steamed kale with pepper.
You know how it is: You go to the shops to buy a green pepper, and they are only available as a pack of three mixed peppers. I ended up with a couple of red peppers, and then found this recipe in Moro. I adapted a little to locally available ingredients.
1 large aubergine
2 red peppers (I had one red and one yellow pepper, which made for an attractive dish)
1 clove of garlic
a squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
100g Greek-style yoghurt, seasoned with salt and pepper
25g caramelised butter
fresh coriander leaves
Turn the oven to 220C. Pierce the skins of the aubergine and peppers, and put them in the oven on a tray for 40 to 45 minutes. I turned them a couple of times, and took the peppers out earlier than the aubergine.
When the skins of the peppers and aubergine are cooked, cool the vegetables until you can handle them, and peel off the skin.
Chop the aubergine coarsely, and mix in the crushed garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, and season to taste. Spread the mixture over the base of a serving plate
Remove the seeds from the peppers, and chop them coarsely, season lightly and strew artistically over the aubergines.
Pour the yoghurt in blobs over the dish, and spoon over with caramelised butter. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with pitta bread or other flatbread.
To make caramelised butter, melt butter in a small pan, and heat gently until the milk solids turn a golden brown. Watch carefully, or it will all go wrong.
This is totally delicious, much more than you’d think. I made this tonight, because of a constellation of ingredients in my fridge that inspired me to try. The trick with the egg and yoghurt really works for keeping the soup smooth.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks
1/2 tsp Turkish chilli flakes (pul biber) or paprika
1/2 tsp dried miint
1 egg yolk
1 tsp plain flour
150ml greek yoghurt
250ml vegetable or chicken stock
20g/person caramelised butter
salt and pepper
Chop the leeks: slice them in half lengthways, rinse and slice finely.
Heat the olive oil and butter together until the butter starts to foam, and then fry the leeks over a low heat for ten minutes.
Add the chilli and dried mint, cover and continue to cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes, checking regularly to ensure that the leeks don’t stick or burn.
Meanwhile, mix the egg yolk with the flour, to a smooth paste, and then beat in the yoghurt and stock. I used a soup wand to do this.
When the leeks are cooked, sweet and soft, pour on the yoghurt and stock, and heat gently, do not allow to boil. Keep stirring as the soup thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To make browned butter, put around 20g per person in a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. The white milk solids will sink to the bottom. Keep cooking until the milk solids start to turn a gentle brown. Remove from the heat.
Pour a little browned butter into each bowl before serving.