Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cut our Coats Accordingly...

Here are a couple of potato recipes, the first one using small (new) potatoes. Cost-cutters could used canned new potatoes, and (at a pinch) canned salmon. For 'posh nosh' use quality smoked salmon and petit pois. For medium spenders, use the cheaper packs of smoked salmon 'pieces' and bog standard frozen peas. If cooked through thoroughly a wedge of this 'frittata' would eat well cold as part of a packed lunch, or - in summer - as picnic food.
Salmon and Pea Frittata: serves 4
1 lb 2 oz (500g) new potatoes, cooked
1 x 200g pack smoked salmon
8 large eggs
2 tblsp chopped dill
4 oz (100g) frozen peas (pref petit pois)
salt and pepper
3 tblsp olive oil
Slice the potatoes thickly, and cut the salmon into strips. Beat the eggs until just foamy, the stir in the smoked salmon, dill, and peas. The gently stir in the potatoes.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then carefully pour in the egg mixture and cook over medium to low heat for 10-15 minutes until the egg is just beginning to set but the surface is still uncooked. Slide the frittata onto a plate, then invert the frying pan over it and turn the two over, so that the top of the frittata is now sitting on the bottom of the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes to brown the underside, then slide onto a serving plate and leave to cool for a few minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve with a tomato salad.

The second recipe uses the larger baking potatoes. Ideally, cook the potatoes in the oven for an hour so that their skins get really crisp. Oven-baked potatoes also have a better flavour, but if time is of the essence, cook the potatoes in the microwave.
To cut oven-baking times down, first boil the potatoes in their skins for 10 minutes before putting into the oven, this usually reduces the baking time by half an hour.

Bollywood Baked Potatoes: serves 4
4 baking potatoes
2 tblsp olive or sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp garam masala
half tsp ground tumeric
large pinch chilli powder
salt and pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
Greek yogurt
If cooking in the oven, prick the potatoes with a fork and brush the skins with a little oil, then place directly onto the oven shelf and bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 1 hour or until crisp on the outside and soft when squeezed (the larger the potatoes the longer they will take to cook).
While the potatoes are cooking, put the oil into a small pan and fry the onion for 10 minutes until softened and turning brown, then stir in the spices. Add seasoning to taste and cook/stir for 2 minutes. Set aside.
When the potatoes are cooked, split each in half and scoop out most of the flesh into a bowl, leaving 1/4 inch (half centimetre) still attached to the shell. Crush the flesh with a fork, then stir in the onion and spice mixture. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, then pile the mixture back into the shells. Serve warm with a raita made with Greek yogurt in which has been mixed some finely chopped cucumber and mint (or omit cucumber and just add mint - or vice versa).