Tag Archives: Potatoes

Asian Fish & Potatoes

There’s a reason fish and chips exists: the combination of fish and potatoes is quite a thing of marriage. In any case, like Haddock on Smash or Unbattered Pollock & Chips, this fish and potatoes recipe is very much asian – Battered spicy beancurd-marinated sutchi fillet on sesame mash of potatoes, carrots and white radish, with sweet gem lettuce and calamansi.

  1. Set peeled and sliced potatoes, carrot and radish away to boil. When done, drain and let it steam dry in the colander for about 5 minutes or so. Then, mash with a knob of butter, a splash of milk, salt, pepper and a few drops of sesame oil.
  2. Marinate the fish fillets with spicy beancurd and dust with self-raising flour. Be sure to pat dry the fillets before doing this. Deep fry till golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack laid with kitchen towel.
  3. Serve all together with fresh leaves of sweet gem lettuce and half a calamansi for squeezing. Golden brown fried sliced shallots with the mash is a HUGE bonus.

Roast Beef with Fondant Potato

Yes, even though it doesn’t seem so, the fondant potato is the star of the show. I tried my hand at this new way of doing potatoes: letting it bubble and boil away in a truck-load of butter till brown and done, and then repeating on the other side. Also, this involves adding a bit of stock towards the end just so the butter doesn’t go burning till black. Each side takes approximately 10-15 minutes; you’d know it’s done with you can stick a fork or knife right through the side easily. You might say it’s just about deep-frying a potato, I think.

Roast beef with a red wine jus. Served with fondant potato, carrot julienne, wilted spinach and buttered mushrooms.

Being the carnivore that I am, I cannot deny that the chunks of juicy red wine flavoured medium-rare beef stole the show. Nevertheless, I’m not limited to simply mashing, boiling and roasting potatoes.


Royal Purple Mash

This is actually yam ice cream.

I’m kidding.

It’s your good ol’ mashed potatoes, gone wrong.

  1. Get a bag of purple potatoes from your supermarket, or backyard (if you grow them). Peel the skin off with a speed peeler. Be careful not to slice your skin off while you’re at it. I’m just saying. I didn’t slice my thumb.
  2. Boil them till soft in a pot of water on the stove. Marvel at the water turning into a deep teal colour.
  3. Once soft enough, drain and mash away.
  4. In a mortar and pestle, crush a pinch of dried thyme.
  5. Add the crushed thyme, to the mash, together with freshly ground sea salt, black pepper, a small knob of butter and cream or milk.
  6. Serve to puzzled yet excited guests.

Red Wine & Oregano Beef Stew

Mummy was out at work today so I had to make lunch for the family. Here’s a great one-dish meal to have with fresh bread or rice.

Red Wine & Oregano Beef Stew 

Ingredients:

  • 250g minced beef, prepared with:
    • 1 tbsp of corn flour
    • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • half a green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • half mug of beef or vegetable stock
  • quarter mug of red wine
  • 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a pinch of fresh coriander leaves

Cooking:

  1. Put the oil and knob of butter into a hot wok. TIP! This is to prevent the butter from burning to brown.
  2. Add the onion and green pepper, and fry till they start to shrivel a little.
  3. Toss in the carrot and potato.
  4. Together with the garlic and chilli, wine and stock, get the minced beef in.
  5. Add the dark soy sauce too.
  6. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper, and just a little salt, according to taste.
  7. Don’t forget the pinch of dried oregano.
  8. Bring to a boil, place a lid on top and lower the heat to a simmer.
  9. Let it stay on the stove for 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes or so that it doesn’t dry up. If it’s too dry for your liking, add water in small quantities till you get the consistency you want. Be sure to add salt if necessary.
  10. Serve with fresh coriander leaves on top.

Little Lamb

Today, I was on my routine grocery run at the supermarket, when a hunk of lamb breast caught my eye.

Then I remembered seeing a recipe about a 4-hour lamb roast.

Grab.

Here’s what you need:

  • 600g of lamb
  • 7 sprigs of rosemary
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Turn the oven to full whack.
  2. Score the lamb erratically and season with salt and pepper. Be sure to cover both sides.
  3. Smash the garlic cloves and toss half the number of them into a roasting tray.
  4. Lay in half of the rosemary sprigs as well.
  5. Then sit the hunk of meat in the tray.
  6. Drizzle olive oil.
  7. Place the remaining garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs on top.
  8. Cover well with foil and stick the whole tray into the screaming hot oven.
  9. As soon as the lamb goes in, turn the temperature down to 170°C.
  10. Let it roast for 4 hours, while you watch soccer and salivate.

What to have it with:

Serve with a potato smash, greens, an optional mushroom sauce, and most importantly, a berry or currant jam.

There’s something absolutely magical about having an ultra-tender roast with a jam. I don’t know about you, but it knocked my socks off.


Unbattered Pollock & Chips

Talk about Fish & Chips, here’s a variation. I wouldn’t say it’s healthier or whatever, it’s just a lazier way you can get some fish and potato chips into your diet. (Of course, it involves more effort than simply popping over to the Fish & Chips store across the road.)

Pan-Fried Pollock & Chips

Together with the special appearance by Mr Mushrooms and Ms Asparagus, both the fish and chips are fried in a pan.

Pollock

Season the less-than-inch-thick fish fillets with salt and pepper and place them gently onto a really hot pan. Let them sizzle away until you can see them getting increasingly cooked on the top. Turn them over for just 40 seconds or so, and remove.

Chips

I cut my potatoes to a quarter the size of a normal chip. This lets them cook faster, and they get crispier too. With butter, thyme, pepper and just a pinch of salt, be gastronomically prepared for some awesome hassle-free chips.

Fish and Potatoes are a great combination. Replace the chips with a mash, and make a white garlic sauce to bond the two. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.


King’s Asparagus

Asparagus and Bacon, were made for each other. Due to impatience and negligence, this didn’t turn out quite right for me. Follow the instructions below and I’m sure you’ll get a better result.

The beauty of this dish is that apart from the potato mash, no seasoning is required. I made a mash so that it’ll be a bigger meal. If you exclude the carbohydrate, it’s a breakfast fit for a king.

Here’s how to make your own Asparagus in Bacon & Egg Jacket.

Ingredients

  • 3 streaks of bacon, halved lengthways
  • 6 stalks of asparagus
  • 2 large eggs

Asparagus in Bacon

Using the smoked bacon, wrap the sticks of asparagus. Grill in the oven at 200°C till brown and crispy, flipping them at midpoint. (They looked so good that I got impatient and hungry, so they didn’t make it to the slightly crispy and almost charred stage. I couldn’t do it, but you can.)

Soft-boiled Eggs

There’s a trick to getting them right even though you can’t see what’s going on inside. Stick a pot of water on the hob and get your eggs in. Make sure there’s enough water so that the eggs are completely submerged. Hit the switch to full whack. Once the water boils, turn off the heat and let the eggs soak for about 3 minutes. Flush them briefly with cold water and place them on those little egg holders, or shot-glasses would do. With the ‘sharper’ tip of the eggs pointing downwards, lop the tops off with a knife. Say hello to your golden yolks.

Consumption

To consume, grab a stick of that pretty asparagus, with your fork or fingers, it doesn’t matter. Dunk it into the soft-boiled eggs and take a bite. Let the incredible nuttiness of asparagus mingle with the smokey aroma of bacon. Pay attention to the lush gooey texture of the egg, holding everything together. And just before you swallow, have a little wad of potato mash join the party.

Feel like a king yet?


The Incomplete Pie

Here’s a great alternative if you’re lazy to make a complete pie.

Beef and gravy sitting pretty in a well of potato mash.

 

The Incomplete Pie

For this, instead of using minced meat, I used chunks of beef. Be sure to cut them into small pieces so they’ll be soft when cooked through and not stiff like rubber.

When devouring this treat, take time to enjoy how the gravy flows out once the potato wall is broken.

Outright luxurious.


Rosemary’s Chicken

I was at the market a couple of days back and came home with a pot of my favourite herb – rosemary.

Isn’t she lovely? (:

I had to test her powers quick. So, wielding a tiny pair of scissors, I snipped off two sprigs. Immediately, there was a whiff of a beautiful virgin blue fragrance. I smiled, before hurrying to the kitchen to whip up some good old roast.

Tray-Roasted Chicken

Chop up some potatoes, and boil them for a while, with a slice of lemon.

Stick a tray into the oven and preheat it to 180°C. While that’s in there, slice a tomato (or use a stalk of cherry tomatoes), and smash a couple of cloves of garlic, leaving the skin on. Then, run the sprigs of rosemary under hot water for a few seconds. Apparently, doing this helps herbs work their magic better.

Prepare your chicken portions and take a deep breath. By now, the aroma of sweet citric goodness should have filled your kitchen.

Smile.

Once the oven’s almost ready, drain your potatoes and let them steam dry. This way, you’ll have crispier roasted potatoes.

Get the tray out of the oven. Stick the chicken parts in, together with the garlic, tomatoes and rosemary. Toss the potatoes in, and squeeze whatever juice is left of that lemon into the tray as well. Then, the lemon goes into the tray too, not the bin.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle olive oil and give it all a splash of white wine. Chuck it back in to the oven; the middle tray for about an hour or so. At the halfway mark, take the dish out and splash in a little more wine. Then, using a spoon or ladle, douse everything in the tray with its own juices, before sending it back into the heat.

When the timer goes off, your dish should look something like this.

It was so good, I wound up finishing everything myself. :D


Shepherd’s Pie

What better day to share about Shepherd’s Pie than on Easter Sunday, the day our shepherd, Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead.

It’s really simple to make one and the best part about it, you can go crazy with whatever goes inside. It’s basically a potato mash and a minced meat filling. Here’s the rough structure to how you can make one:

The Potato Mash

Slice the potatoes and toss it into a pot of boiling water. I like using small potatoes because they cook faster, but whichever you use doesn’t really matter. Sometimes, I toss in some carrots as well. This gives the mash a little mix of orange with yellow. You can even try it with sweet potatoes, or purple ones. Try it out and let me know!

Once the root veggies are translucent, drain and mash with a small hunk of butter, a splash of milk, some grated cheese of your choice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Oh, if you’re wondering, I actually do leave the skin of the potatoes on for two reasons – one: it adds variety to the bite texture, and two: I’m lazy to skin them.

The Minced Meat Filling

While the potatoes are soaking in the very hot boiling water, prepare your kickass filling. The traditional meat used should be lamb, hence the name. But people I’ve made it for like it better when it’s a ‘cowherd’ pie. Yes, beef is my meat of choice. You can use peas, mushrooms, carrots, onions, green beans, and whatever tickles your fancy in a meat pie. Just make sure everything is chopped up nice and pretty before you dump them together.

When it comes to herbs, basil, oregano, sage, thyme or rosemary will add a lovely aroma. Again, whichever you prefer. Cook everything with a splash of red wine, salt and pepper. Ah yes, and if it’s beef, be sure to include a bit of vinegar in the mix. Finally, this is extremely unconventional but I don’t like it when my beef isn’t a rich dark brown, so to solve this, I turn to a few drops of my trusty blackening agent i.e. Dark Soy Sauce.

The Shepherd’s Pie

Once both components are ready, grab a roasting dish and fill the base with a thin layer of potato mash. Next, enters the filling and finally, the mash again to cover everything up lovely. Sometimes, (when you have not enough mash) you can leave out the base layer.

See, it’s not difficult. Try it, and remember, it’s all up to you! (:

Last but not least, everyone here at Cook for Myself would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy and Holy Easter!