This year I grew some massive potatoes, and they are great baked. I am working through a list of possible recipes. I came across one that involved making a mayonnaise with tuna as one of the base ingredients.
Now, I haven’t bought tuna since the early 1980s. Not knowingly eaten it, so I looked into whether the tuna fishing industry has improved its practices. Well, only just, in that tuna stocks have recovered a little. However, within the tuna-fishing industry there are problems with sustainable fishing, by-catches, and human rights.
The recipe looked delicious, but it is off the menu.
We have lots of delicious potatoes, so when my daughter came over, we cooked this curry. It uses coconut milk along with spices to make a fragrant curry. We served this with a salad of grated beetroot, flavoured with toasted cumin, and dressed with lemon juice and salt.
3 tbsp rapeseed oil, or other vegetable oil
1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
1 tsp yellow split peas
2 whole dried birds-eye chillies
10 basil leaves
1/2 can chopped tomatoes, or a couple of medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
a small pinch of cayenne
1 tsp garam masala
400g potatoes (we used charlotte) and 100g carrots (we used yellow carrots) – cut into 2cm large chunks
1 tsp salt
1/2 can coconut milk
Chopped coriander leaves
In a medium saucepan, heat up the oil and then add the mustard seeds, yellow split peas and chillies. After a minute or so, they’ll start popping. Add the onions and basil leaves as soon as this happens. Turn the heat down a bit and cook until the onion has softened.
Add the coriander, cayenne, tomatoes and garam masala, and stir to mix. Add the potatoes and carrots along with around 250ml water and the salt, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 15+ minutes
When the potatoes are cooked, add the coconut milk and fresh coriander leaves, and heat through, stirring.
Serve with other dishes, for example a salad, or dal, or a kale dish.
My potatoes are getting harvested, and I am trying out potato recipes. The first lot that I lifted were Arran Pilot, with white flesh that mashes very well. I made this from a recipe in Elizabeth David’s ‘Italian Food’. I also used some local free-range eggs.
1 Kg of potatoes that mash well
100g Gruyere or Emmental cheese, sliced
75g cooked ham or Italian sausage (I used Fonteluna sausage from Valvona and Crolla), sliced
2 eggs, boiled for around 7 minutes and peeled
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
4 tbsp milk
salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste
Peel and boil the potatoes until cooked, around 16 minutes. Mash them with about 40g butter and the milk, and put them through a mouli or potato ricer to make a very soft smooth mash. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Grease a dish with butter (I used a small lasagne dish) and then coat the bottom and sides with 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
Put half the mashed potatoes in the bottom of the dish, then add the cheese, ham and chopped boiled eggs in a layer. Cover this with the rest of the mashed potato. Sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs over the top and dot with butter.
Cook the pie in a hot oven (around 200C) for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden.
I served this with shredded kale. It is good with any green vegetable, or with a green salad.
The trick with this dish is to stew the peppers and potatoes slowly in olive oil. We had this with grilled pork chops.
250ml good olive oil
3 onions, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 green peppers, roughly chopped
1kg firm potatoes, peeled, halved lengthways and then sliced
salt and pepper
a pinch of fennel seeds, optional.
4 bay leaves, optional
In a large pan or casserole dish, heat the oil over a lowish heat.
Start cooking the potatoes in the oil, and when they start to cook and soften a bit, add the onions, peppers, garlic, fennel seeds, bay leaves, grated black pepper and a good pinch of salt. Simmer for around 15 minutes.
Drain off the oil using a sieve, set the oil aside for further use.
I’m home alone this week, Mr Bolton is checking up on family members in the south, sleeping in his van and stocking up on essentials. I have a lot of eggs, and a lot of potatoes, so frittata was inevitable. I also had a box of Salar off-cuts from a local supermarket, so I made this. I had half last night and half tonight.
2 medium potatoes, cooked with the skins on and cooled. (left-over potatoes are the best)
4 eggs, beaten
flaky smoked salmon
Garnish – choose from chive flowers, chopped parsley, or dukkha spice mix
Heat the grill
Cut the potatoes into thick slices, and fry in the olive oil until crisp and golden brown on both sides
Season the eggs with the pepper, and pour over the potatoes, and scatter the salmon and garnish over the top. Stir a little to allow raw egg to the bottom of the pan.
When it is nearly cooked, pop it under the grill so that the top begins to set.
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.
Our fridge went on the blink, so we are making our way through a selection of ingredients that need eaten up. At the same time, we have got a lot of vegetables, mostly home-grown. Tonight’s triumph sorted out the massive bit of smoked salmon, a jar of capers and a lemon that needed used, plus some of the potatoes.
500g potatoes (a variety good for mashing)
500g sliced leeks
250g shredded cabbage
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp capers
500g smoked salmon (or a mixture of salmon, prawns and scallops)
Salt and pepper
Peel the potatoes, and boil in salted water for 15 minutes until cooked. Drain when cooked.
Meanwhile chop the leeks and boil in salted water for 10 minutes.
After around 5 minutes, add the shredded cabbage to the leeks, so that the cabbage cooks as well, and is ready at the same time.
Melt half the butter in a pan, and roughly mask the potatoes. Add the cabbage and leeks, salt and pepper.
Quickly fry any raw shellfish in the rest of the butter, if you are using these. Add the lemon juice, capers and the salmon, and season with salt and pepper, heat until warm.
Serve each scoop of mashed potato with a scoop of the salmon, garnished with chopped parsley