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Entries in potato (9)


jerusalem artichoke tartiflette


several years have passed since i made tartiflette, in response to a friend’s request for a meal featuring “meat, potatoes and cheese” – my feelings then were that it was too rich and too much about the potatoes, which are not a favourite of mine.

so, when i saw a nigel slater recipe which substitutes jerusalem artichokes for some of the potatoes i decided to give it another try.  the result was really good – the jersualem artichokes have a lighter texture and a brighter flavour than the potatoes which helps balance the richness of the rest of the dish, which comes from slow-cooked red onions, pancetta and of course an abundance of reblochon cheese. the use of crème fraiche as a topping – the cheese is tucked away so it is able to melt completely – was also a nice touch.

this is, i think, perfect food for a freezing day, when you want something that will fill you up and keep you warm and content for hours after you finish eating. despite this, i think a salad is probably the best accompaniment, perhpas soemthing bitter involving chicory or just a mix of green leaves.

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potato pancakes with creamy mushrooms and cavolo nero

this is a wonderful dish for days when you’ve been overindulging and need a little respite, but nothing too austere. in fact there’s nothing austere about this but the earthy combination of mushrooms and cavolo nero somehow managed to persuade me it was a step in a healthy direction whilst also being wonderfully comforting.

the pancakes are made from mashed potato which are fried in butter before being topped with a mix of mushrooms (i used button and portobello mushrooms; a handful of something more exotic would work really well) and cavolo nero, enriched with a little white wine and double cream. a pinch of allspice and some caynenne pepper added a bit of extra interest.

i had this for brunch a couple of times, having shaped the mashed potato mix into a log that could be kept into the fridge and sliced as i needed it. perfect for a long weekend, especially if you get creative with the toppings and move on from mushrooms, perhaps towards a more mediterranean mix of slow-cooked peppers and tomatoes, served with crumbled feta and chorizo.

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pizzocheri is a buckwheat pasta which has a rich nutty flavour that contrasts really well with mild creamy flavours. last time i made this i took a fairly traditional approach, pairing it with potatoes, spinach (cabbage seems to be used more commonly) and lots of cheese (taleggio and gruyere). this time i went a bit off piste, although it was the need to use up an oozingly ripe goats cheese camembert that was my starting point.

lots of butter is apparently also important with pizzocheri so i started this off by cooking some courgette in the aforementioned lots of this i added some leftover roast potatoes and roast chicken, both diced. a handful of basil, seasoning and some grated hard cheese (these were leftover from a cheeseboard, along with the camembert).

i placed half the mix in my serving dish, topped it with slices of the camembert and then added the rest of the mix before finishing it off with some grated cheddar. 15-20 minutes in the oven at 190c and that’s it – ready and delicious with a green salad.


halloumi, fennel, asparagus and potato salad

as i mentioned recently, i’ve fallen in love with anna hansen’s lemon, fennel and halloumi bruschetta. the things which really makes this dish stand out for me are the layers aniseed flavours (fresh fennel and fennel seeds), the layers of caramelised flavours (the fennel and the strips of lemon zest both caramelise as they cook), the endlessly wonderful squeaky creaminess of the halloumi and the hit of citrus from the lemon.

so, when i saw hugh fearnley whittingstall’s recipe for potatoes, asparagus and halloumi which also uses lemon, i decided to combine the two, thinking that the potatoes could be used in place of the bruschetta bread. the result was fabulous, both eaten warm and as leftovers the following day.

to make this i cut my potatoes into bite size pieces, tossed them olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then roasted them 180c for 10 minutes. while they were cooking i mixed together pieces of fennel (cut each bulb into 10 wedges), lemon zest (peel this off and then cut into matchsticks), lemon juice, fennel seeds and a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper. this was added to the potatoes after they’d been in the oven for ten minutes, mixed together and covered with foil. after 20 minutes roasting i added my asparagus and cubes of halloumi. another stir to mix the flavours and a final ten minutes in the oven uncovered.

i finished the dish with crispy capers (drain, dry and shallow fry in olive oil) and a squeeze of fresh lemon. i meant to add some parsley, as suggested in hfw’s recipe, but forgot and i don’t think it was missed at all.


braised ox cheeks with chermoula

back to slow-cooked comfort food. this braised ox cheek dish was inspired by a recipe in a beautiful cookery book which i was sent to review but which was pretty dreadful to use: chefs of the margaret river region suffers an index structure that is next to useless so you have to sift through everything page by page, as well as recipes that seem to be incomplete in a few cases, missing steps or ingredients.

however, it is a beautiful book and goes a great job of promoting the margaret river region of south western australia, showing off its natural beauty and beautiful coastal landscapes and detailing the boutique hotels, wineries, restaurants and other food producers that are located there.

if anyone fancies researching a holiday in the area, let me know and i’ll post you the book! otherwise, perhaps you’ll fancy taking inspiration from my rescued dish!

the ox cheek recipe in the book uses a fairly standard combination of slow cooking the cheeks in red wine with carrots, onions, celery, garlic plus thyme, rosemary, bay and peppercorns. after three hours the meat was tender and delicious but the sauce lacked flavour. i discarded the vegetables and decided that instead of the suggested accompaniment of wild mushrooms, cavolo nero and gnocchi that i would add a punch of flavour with fresh green olives and chermoula – a mix of parsley, coriander, garlic, chilli and a pinch of paprika - plus soem lemon zest. the gnocchi was replaced by the easier option of sauteed potatoes (par boiled and the  fried in olive oil to crisp up the edges). 

the end result was well worth eating but i’m still looking for a recipe for ox cheeks that will wow me. last time i revisited my childhood and made them into a cheek and kidney pie. any other ideas out there, for the remaining pack in my freezer?