Potatoes are grown throughout the UK and as such are one of the most obvious choices for a locally produce meal. Rice and pasta are so often our “go to” carb of choice these days, but don’t overlook the humble spud… its more versatile than you think. I try to leave skins on where I can, as that’s where a lot of the fibre and goodness is (and because I am pretty lazy)
Boxty – an Irish potato cake that uses mashed and grated raw potato. The raw potato means the cake stays together beautifully, goes really well with breakfast too.
Take half your potatoes, peel and boil in salted water until soft (or use that bit of leftover mash that isn’t enough for a whole meal). Grate the rest raw onto a clean tea towel and squeeze out excess water. Mash boiled potatoes adding some butter and mixing in grated potato, an egg and seasoning. Form into patties and fry in a little oil for 5 minutes each side until golden.
Perfect wedges– a simple way to cook any kind of potato, and the nearest you get to a chip without a deep fryer. With my no fail trick for not ending up with a tray full of mash…
Preheat your oven and a baking tray to 200°c. Slice your clean potatoes into wedges (the wedges should be no more than about 1.5 cm wide). Place in a bowl, and toss with some oil and seasoning to fully coat. Tip your wedges onto the hot tray (a silicon sheet is helpful if you have one) and take a minute to lay each wedge on its back/skin. Roast for 10 -15 minutes like this then turn and cook for another 10 minutes until golden brown.
Herby roast potatoes– works well with any hardy herb like Rosemary or Thyme depending what suits your dish. Best to use thin skinned main crop or new potatoes for this one.
Chop clean potatoes (skin on) into small chunks (2cm ish) and add to a bowl with oil, chopped garlic and rosemary (or whatever herb you are using) and seasoning. Toss to cover the potatoes in oil. Spread out on a pre heated oven tray (don’t crowd them or they won’t go crispy) and roast at 200°c. Ten minutes in turn, scraping any bits that are stuck on the tray up to go crispy (rather than weld themselves to the tray)
Hassleback potatoes – a bit of work required but these hedgehog-like potatoes are the perfect combination of roast and baked.
Slice your clean potatoes across the middle in even slices not quite reaching the base. Rub potatoes with oil and seasoning and place in a hot oven (200°c). After ten minutes the slices will start to fan out, take them out and drizzle a little oil over (or place a smear of butter on) each potato to get into the cracks. Depending on the size of your potatoes, they should be done 20 or 30 minutes later
Smashed potatoes with herbs – again choose any soft herb (like chives or dill) to complement your main dish for this rustic side. As you incorporate the skins red skinned potatoes work really well here.
Chunk your clean skin-on potatoes and boil for 20 minutes until soft, drain and crush lightly with a wooden spoon. Add a dollop of crème fraîche , some chives and seasoning and combine.
Quick boulangère potatoes – a bit of a contradiction as traditionally this dish was cooked long and slow in the cooling bakers oven, but a few short-cuts mean you can have this on the table in hardly any time at all.
Preheat the oven to 200°c. Parboil your whole potatoes for 10 minutes and slice thinly when cool enough to handle. Meanwhile sauté your onion in butter and add garlic when onions are translucent. Add herbs (thyme or rosemary) and season. Lay a third of the potatoes in a small greased metal baking tray (must have a lip) and then half the onion mixture, repeat and then add a final layer of potato. Add some stock and dot some butter on the top. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes until golden on the top.
Rösti– a Swiss potato cake using grated parboiled potatoes, cooked in butter. I like to add onion and herbs as well (don’t tell the Swiss)
Parboil the peeled potatoes and grate when cool enough to handle. Grate some onion into the same bowl and mix together with some chopped herbs and seasoning. Melt some butter and add some oil into a frying pan. Spoon the mixture into the pan and press down with a fish slice. Don’t move the mixture for at least 8 minutes and check it is nice and golden underneath. When it is, flip it (as best you can) sneaking a bit more oil into the pan as you go. Cook for another 8 minutes on the other side and serve.