Celebrate potatoes with these simple and scrumptious recipes
Top chefs share new ideas how to cook with 'chief of the pot'
Potatoes have not only provided enjoyable meals for people around the world for ages, they have also played a big part in the economic and social development of nations. This week, on Saturday, the US observes the National Potato Day. As a nation which also loves this tuber we can also join the fun.
So you have the rest of this week to decide how you’re going to celebrate the potato, inkosi yebhodwe! The "chief of the pot" is found in the recipes of most cuisines including African, American, British, Russian, Indian, Spanish, Portuguese, Eastern European and Scandinavian. Indeed you could have potatoes only at your table but have a variety of dishes to offer from appetiser to dessert and drinks!
There are now well over 5,000 varieties of potatoes including Russet, Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold, Kennebec, Purple Majesty, Fingerling, Sweet and King Edward to name just a few.
They also have different characteristics and cooking recommendations, but don’t fret if you are not used to cooking, local grocery stores now sell potatoes in packs labelled what they’d be perfect for. You’ve probably seen them as you walk down the produce aisle in bags marked “perfect for roasting” or another such label.
The chefs at Capsicum Culinary Studio shared their favourite potato recipes. Here’s what they sent us:
Spanish Frittata with a Herby Yoghurt and Greens
2 cups coarsely chopped cooked potatoes
1 cup plain full-fat yoghurt
¼ cup finely chopped herbs, such as dill, mint, basil, parsley, and chives
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cups coarsely chopped greens, such as chard, kale or spinach
Preheat oven to 180°C. Mix yoghurt, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Lightly whisk eggs and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add ½ cup of the yoghurt sauce and stir lightly (but don’t completely incorporate yogurt sauce). Heat oil in an oven-safe nonstick pan over medium heat, then add the shallots and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have softened and the potatoes are golden, about 3 minutes. Add greens and cook, stirring occasionally until wilted. Add egg mixture and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sides are just beginning to set, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set. Immediately slide onto a cutting board to cool then cut into wedges and serve with remaining yoghurt sauce.
4 potatoes (Russet are a good choice)
½ medium onion
⅓ cup chopped chives
⅓ cup chopped dill
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and onion. With a box grater, finely grate the potatoes first before coarsely grating the onion. Wrap both together in a clean cloth and squeeze out excess liquid then place in a bowl. Add the eggs, herbs, flour, salt and pepper and mix well.
Heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a spoonful of the potato mixture, spreading it slightly and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the pancakes are crispy and golden brown. Serve warm with a fried egg on top and crispy bacon on the side for the ultimate brunch!
Baked Eggs with Potatoes
2 large pre-boiled potatoes, cubed
2tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1tsp ground cumin
4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
120g goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 small bunch coriander, chopped
Sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and fry the onions, garlic and cumin over a low heat until the onions are soft. Add the pre-boiled potatoes and turn the heat up, mixing to incorporate. Add the tomatoes, season well and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (add a splash of water if the mixture is drying up and sticking).
Using a wooden spoon make 4 shallow wells in the mix and break the eggs into them. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the white of the eggs are cooked and the yolk still looks a little runny (for about 5-10 minutes). Sprinkle with the goat’s cheese, coriander and chilli flakes (if using) and serve with slices of toasted, buttered ciabatta.
Cheesy Potato Croquettes
800g potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 spring onion, chopped
30g salted butter
2 tbsp milk
250g cheddar cheese
30g parmesan cheese
80g all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
300g all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
500g bread crumbs
Peel and boil potatoes till soft and set aside to cool. Sauté onions and season with salt and pepper. Add milk, cheese, onion and flour to the mashed potatoes and combine well. Chill for 30 minutes and then shape into 5cm round balls. Roll in flour, dip in the beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Once complete, place them in the fridge for at least two hours. Remove from fridge and deep-fry each croquette until brown on all sides. Serve with aioli or a spicy dish made with mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.
Mashed Potato Truffles
Leftover mash potato
Nuts, finely chopped
Place the chocolate chips in a small microwaveable bowl and melt in the microwave at 50% power. When they have melted entirely, stir in the mashed potatoes. Add the vanilla essence and stir well. Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once firm, take tablespoon-sized scoops and roll them into balls with your hands. Roll in the nuts, cocoa powder and desiccated coconut, then place on a baking sheet and refrigerate. They will keep in the fridge for a week.
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