in praise of potatoes

Potatoes are often overlooked as being either unhealthy or boring. I beg to differ. Potatoes have always played a prominent role in our family meals, probably because my father is Irish and also because they are delicious and easy. Here are a couple of my favourite ways to cook/eat them:

 

SUMMER POTATO SALAD

 

Inspired by one they used to serve at Amisfeild in Queenstown a few years ago. It is wonderfully light and fresh - perfect for a summer picnic!

 

Ready in 20 minutes

Serves 8

 

INGREDIENTS

1kg new season potatoes

1 tsp butter

4 boiled eggs (1 prefer 6 minutes so they are jammy and delicious) cut into quarters lengthways 

4 spring onions, finely sliced

1/4 cup finely chopped gherkins and 1/4 cup of their bottling liquid (this is very important)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

 

METHOD

Scrub potatoes and cut up any big ones so they are all roughly the same size. Bring to a simmer in lightly salted water with the butter. Cook over lowest heat until potatoes are just tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, return to the pot and break apart slightly with a fork. Place potatoes in a mixing bowl with all other ingredients and toss to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste. 

Cooled potato salad can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

 

 

FRIED POTATO CAKES

These are quite possibly the best thing you can have for a hungover brunch, especially after a big boozy dinner that involved a surplus of mashed potato.

 

Ready in 10 minutes

Serves 2

 

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed)

2 cups well-seasoned mashed potato

2 eggs

 

METHOD

Heat oil in a heavyweight pan on medium heat. 

Using wet hands, create four patties of mashed potato by pressing the potato gently into the palm of your left hand and your right fingers to stick it together. If you're having trouble getting them to form, splash a little water on the potato.

Fry potato cakes until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

Fry eggs in pan.

Serve potato cakes with fried eggs on top.