Tag Archives: potato

a squeaky breakfast

halloumi breakfast

Our local cafe, run by an affable Romanian named  Ricardo, does a splendid breakfast of halloumi, roasted veg, hash brown, a sausage patty, tomato (for those that want it – I certainly don’t!) and toast, for £4.99.  It’s delicious, but by the time you’ve bought coffee, you’re up to thirteen quid or so for two, so I decided to have a go at home.

  • two chipolatas from the local butcher, baked in the oven
  • One red and one green pepper sliced, four cloves of garlic, one sliced onion, a handful of mushrooms, cooked down slowly in some olive oil on the hob {1}
  • half a block of halloumi, sliced and dry fried
  • some left over cooked spuds, sautéd in some olive oil

Readers, it was delicious, and we shall do it again. And probably again. And there is enough vegetable left to do for tomorrow’s lunch – I shall sling in a can of chickpeas to boost it up

{1} The pepper mix was very liquid. I might actually roast the veg next time, but we live and learn.

slow cooked spuds and onions

This was by way of an experiment, and I didn’t photograph it. It was as cheap as, well, chips. and really nice. I made it to accompany some roast venison, a piece of which I found lurking in the bottom of the freezer. It did two days – one with red cabbage, and one with green.

Put a slug of olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker – I did this to stop it sticking.

Thinly slice potatoes and onions, and layer them up in the slow cooker – I think I did three and a half layers, starting and ending with potato. Season each potato layer as you go with salt and black pepper. I hurled some chopped garlic in part way through as well. Pour in some gravy (i used about half a mugful of Bisto granules*, which was about right for a small slow cooker).

Switch it on, walk away. It had about five hours, I think. Next time I’ll add carrot, I think, and possibly swede. Lovely with roasted meat, or sausages.

*Lets not pretend we don’t always use them from time to time, eh?

corned beef pie

What's for Dinner! - Corned Beef

Photo from Paul Townsend

This one is a real blast from the past. I used to make it quite often back in the 70s and 80s, but I’m not sure when I last made it. Years and years, for sure. I had a bowl of cooked potatoes in the fridge, and thought “why not?”.

So: cut an onion in half, and slice it thinly. Set it to soften in some olive oil, and when it has, add the contents of a tin of corned beef, cubed. The corned beef will make a sort of mush with the onion, and you could add some frozen mixed veg or something if you liked.

Make some cheese sauce – a packet would do, I guess. Put the corned beef in the bottom of an ovenproof dish*, pour the sauce over. Mash the potatoes with a little milk and butter, and put them on the top. Serve with frozen peas.

It’s surprisingly nice. Trust me.

*I used my little Remoska, but hardly anyone has one of those, as Lakeland stopped selling that size.

cauliflower and potatoes with mushroom rice

I’ve been a bit “meh” about cooking of late; trying to lose weight leaves me uninspired.

On Sunday, we had planned nothing foodwise. Pete had gone for a nap after garden-related exertions, and I went for a rummage in the fridge, to find:

one very tired field mushroom
half a lemon
a cauliflower that definitely needed eating
some cooked potatoes

So … cut up the cauliflower and put it on to simmer for about 8 minutes.

Put a piece of cinnamon stick and some cumin seeds in hot oliver oil, stirred them about a bit, then added the mushroom, chopped into smallish chunks, and a finely chopped shallot. Left that on a low heat till the mushroom was cooked, then added 80g of basmati rice (we don’t eat much rice – see above – wah), mixed it in, then 160g of cold water and half a teaspoon of salt. Brought to the boil, lid on, very low simmer for 13 minutes, then about 13 minutes standing (or 20 or 25 – it won’t hurt).

Very finely chopped quite a lot of garlic and ginger, and put it in a wide flat pan with some hot groundnut oil. Added crushed cumin and coriander seeds, then hurled in the cooked potato, cut into smallish dice. Cooked that off until the spuds started to crisp, then added the cauliflower.

Stood and looked at it for a bit, then opened a carton of passata, and added about half of it, with a splash of water. Simmered over a very low heat until the rice was ready.

Very nice, but it could have done with a little salt (I try not to salt food as a matter of course).

It did, of course, leave me with half a carton of passata …

indian style aubergines and potatoes

I bought a pack of baby aubergines at the weekend – I’m not normally seduced by such things, but they were so pretty …  We had about a third of them in the roast veg on Sunday, and I was left with not enough for moussaka, but some.  There were also some cold cooked new potatoes lurking in the fridge. So:

Heated some groundnut oil in a shallow pan, and put in some black mustard seeds. Added a chopped red onion, and cooked till translucent.  Lobbed in some standard Indian spices, ground (tumeric, cumin, coriander) and a fresh red chilli, sliced. Stirred it all round.

Added the aubergine and potatoes, cut into largish dice. Stirred round some more. Added about 1/2 mug of water, put lid on, left for 15 minutes.  Stirred in a load of fresh coriander at the end.

It was utterly lovely – we shall be eating *that* again!

We used up the last of the button mushrooms in a poor man’s mushroom pilau – shallot, cinnamon, mushrooms, rice.

Irish potato scones

This is a classic Irish recipe – we used to eat them a lot, but sort of forgot about them; I made some for breakfast this morning, and thought I’d share.  It’s an ideal way to use up leftover boiled potato, too!

In a food processor, blitz 6oz cold cooked potato, 4oz flour (I always use plain, but self raising would do), and 2oz of butter or marg.  Once you have a dough, remove it from the processor and knead a little on a floured work surface.

Now, you can be diligent, roll it out with a rolling pin, and cut the dough into rounds – or you can do what I do, which is to divide the dough into 8, and pat it into rough roundish shapes.

Also, the recipe recommends frying in a little butter on a griddle, but I’m afraid I stick them on a greased baking tray at gas 6 for 15 minutes.  And I don’t peel the spuds either 🙂

These are just utterly delicious straight out of the oven, spread with butter, and also work really well as part of a great British fry up.

If you don’t have a food process, mash the potatoes as is (no milk or butter), rub the fat into the flour and add the spud, then continue with the rolling (or not).

cauliflower and potato, indian style

using up: cauliflower.

This didn’t go quite to plan, but turned out utterly delicious.  I don’t suppose we’ll ever be able to recreate it, though.

I set a pan of potatoes to parboil, intending to deep fry them later, and put a cut up cauli in the steamer on top.  Pete did Indian spices – coriander, cumin, tumeric, fenugreek, cardamon seeds and allspice – and whizzed up ginger and garlic and a green chilli.  The timer went, and I put the steamer on the draining board while I finished emptying the dishwasher.  And forgot all about it!

When I remembered, the potatoes were pretty mushy.  I turfed them into a wok with some groundnut oil, but they were very soft, and wouldn’t take a crispy edge.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Pete fried off the ginger and garlic, while I added the spices to the potato mush, and then the cauliflower.

We then put a small tin of tomato purée in with the ginger garlic, cooked it down a little, then tipped that into the vegetable mess.  Served it with rice, and it really was lovely – just the sort of texture I like from comfort food!

It made a second tub for the freezer too!

another potato bake

potato bake with chicken, mozzarella and spinach

using up: cold roast chicken, half a bag of spinach, a mozzarella past its sell-by date

A proper Reactive meal – first for a while.  We are still ploughing through Sunday’s chicken, and had some other stuff that needed eating up.  This worked really well, although next time I would poach the chicken in the cream for a few minutes – it somehow didn’t meld in properly.

Grease an ovenproof dish (I use an olive oil spray for this).  Ideally, get someone else to slice some potatoes very thinly, or otherwise you’ll have to do it yourself, and it’s a bit tedious without a mandoline (which I don’t have, unaccountably).

Wash some spinach, and chop up the cold chicken into small pieces.  Chop a couple of cloves of garlic finely.  Layer half the potatoes in the dish, then add the spinach, the chicken, the garlic and some double cream.  Grate some nutmeg over it.  Add the rest of the potatoes, and add some more cream. Dot the mozzarella, torn into chunks, over the top.

Bake at Gas 5 for about an hour – it will take longer than you think.  Worked really well.

courgette and fennel "cottage pie"

courgette, fennel and potato

Using up: fennel, courgette, potato

Chopped a courgette into chunks, and the other half of the fennel into thin slices, and chopped an onion.  All into a frying pan with some olive oil, and left to sauté down.  I left it for 20 minutes, but I think it would have been better to either put a lid on it, or left it another ten – the end result was quite crunchy.

While this is going on, I boiled some spuds for mash,

Added a tin of tomatoes to the vegetable mix, a dash of salt and a good grinding of black pepper, and cooked for another 6-7 minutes.

The spuds were mashed with a combination of Red Leicester and gruyere cheeses (that’s odd – why did I capitalise the red leicester and not the Gruyere?), with some reserved for the topping. With hindsight, I thought it was too much cheese – either in, or on – but Pete thought it was just right.  We also added some chopped chives to the mash.

Veg/tomato mix into an ovenproof dish, top with mash, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook at gas 6 for about 20 minutes.