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Friday, 18 April 2014

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There’s so much more to potatoes

According to trendsetters, this year we’ll all be eating comfort food. Well, I could have predicted that as we all battle to save money and have to make do with more filling and more economical meals.

Potatoes photo
Potato and Chorizo Bake

And you can’t get more filling or economical than the humble spud, bless ‘em.

BUT there is more to serving them chipped, boiled, mashed or roasted.

The newly-crowned Mr Potato Head is TV chef James Martin, who is heading up the Many Faces Of Potatoes campaign and responsible for finding a winning potato recipe to feature in a national TV advert this summer.

“Potatoes are such an important part of British life. They’re healthy, delicious, and extremely quick and easy to cook,” says the Saturday Kitchen presenter.

“This competition not only offers budding chefs up and down the country the chance to show off their culinary skills, but it will also hopefully inspire more people to cook with the great British spud.

“I bet there are hundreds of people with a family favourite potato recipe – and I, for one, can’t wait to taste them.”

So if you fancy being on TV, or just need some hints to push you in the right direction, here are some recipes to get you going.

Bombay spicy potatoes (serves 4)

Ingredients

1tbsp olive oil

4 medium potatoes, skin on and cut into small cubes

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 200g)

2tbsp medium curry paste or 1tbsp medium curry powder

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

300ml beef stock

1tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Large handful baby spinach

Method

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for one to two minutes. Add the potatoes and cauliflower, followed by the curry paste or powder and combine well for one to two minutes

2 Add the tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, cover with lid and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Stir through coriander and spinach and serve.

Chicken and potato pot (serves 4)

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes

1tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 small courgettes, thickly sliced

4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks

6 mini carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthways

6 mini sweetcorns, cut in half lengthways

300mlchicken stock

50gtender-stem broccoli

Handful of fresh herbs – thyme, coriander and parsley (or you could use 1tsp dried mixed herbs)

Method

1 In a large pan, heat the oil and add onion, garlic, courgettes and chicken. Cook for three to four minutes before adding the carrots, corn, potatoes, stock and herbs.

2 Bring to the boil and fast simmer for 15-20 minutes with the lid on the pan. Three minutes before the end of cooking, add the broccoli to the top of the pan to lightly steam.

Serve in deep bowls.

Chinese chicken and potatoes (serves 4)

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, cut into small chunks

4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks

2tbsp hoisin sauce

100g baby sweetcorns, cut in half lengthways

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into large cubes

3 spring onions, finely sliced

Method

1 Preheat oven to Gas mark 6/200C.

2 Place all ingredients (except spring onions) onto a large baking tray – you can use two smaller ones if you need to.

3 Toss together to coat all the ingredients in the sauce and spread out into one single layer on the tray(s).

4 Place in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes until browned and tender.

Serve scattered with spring onions.

Potato and chorizo bake (serves 4)

Ingredients

100g chorizo sausage, sliced thickly

4 medium potatoes, cut into thin small wedges

2tbsp olive oil

2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks

1 red onion, peeled and thickly sliced

3 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1tbsp paprika

Sour cream and chive dip to serve

Method

1 Preheat oven to Gas mark 6/200C.

2 Place all the ingredients (except paprika, tomatoes and dip) on one or two baking trays and combine ingredients together to coat in the oil.

3 Spread out into a single layer on the baking tray(s). Sprinkle with the paprika and place in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until tender and golden.

Scatter with tomatoes and serve as a pile with a dollop of sour cream and chive dip.

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