To celebrate the arrival of the first potato in Britain on 28th July 1586, we are looking at potato recipes this month. As one of the most naturally versatile foods, potatoes can be cooked in many different ways. You can choose from simple recipes like soups or baked potatoes to the more complicated dishes such as delicious Dauphinoise or Gratin.
Potatoes contain vitamins and minerals, are virtually fat free, have no cholesterol and contain lots of fibre if the skins are eaten. Below are just some of my easy recipes to make a meal more exciting. The Chorizo and Potato Tapas was given to me by a Spanish friend and is ideal for a BBQ side dish, as is the Bombay Potato. My favourite recipe is the Dauphinoise Potato which is a very pleasant change to mash or roast when you have the time.
Chorizo and Potato Tapas
Boil the potatoes in a saucepan until tender and drain. Remove the skin from the chorizo and slice. Fry this in a non-stick pan with the pepper for 2-3 minutes. Add the spring onions, tomatoes and potatoes and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
Potato Wedges (per person)
Scrub the skins of the potatoes but leave on. Slice each potato into half lengthwise and then half again. Repeat until you have 8 even shaped wedges per potato. Simmer in a pan with some water for 10 minutes to soften; then drain. Transfer to a bowl and pour in the oil and chilli sauce. Rub the potatoes until covered and transfer to a baking tray. Cook on 220º or Gas mark 6 until lighty browned.
Cheese and Potato Bake
Peel the potatoes, celeriac and parsnips and cut them into slices. Peel and thinly slice 1 onion. Grate the cheese and spread the butter over the base of a oven proof dish. Arrange a layer of potato over the base of the dish, sprinkle with some of the cheese and season. Continue arranging the slices of celeriac, parsnips and potato, sprinkling each layer with cheese and seasoning. Meanwhile, place the sliced onion in a pan with the milk and bay leaf and bring to boil; then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the onion and bay leaf and pour the milk over the vegetables and top with remaining cheese. Bake in 180º oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the top is brown.
Add the potatoes to a saucepan and cover with water. Boil and simmer until tender. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, cook for 2 minutes or until brown. Add the curry powder and fry for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the halved potatoes, chopped tomatoes and mango chutney and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Heat oven to 180º or gas mark 4. Place the thinly sliced potatoes in a bowl of water (important to prevent browning). Rinse and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Add the crème, milk and garlic in a saucepan. Heat to a gently simmer, but not boiling and add the potato slices. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Season well. Carefully pour the contents of the saucepan to a greased ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the cheese and cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Best served hot.