So ‘The Potato Year’ is a collection of 300 classic recipes by Lucy Madden. Did you know that you could do so many things with the humble spud?
When you pick up a book, any book it has a certain feel and this one is just lovely. In hardback it has a textured almost waxed finish to the cover and wouldn’t go amiss amidst a collection of Bronte novels. Without any pictures it has more of a feel of a much-loved novel than a cookbook and there’s plenty of narrative going on here too, even the recipe method is written more in paragraph format than streamlined instruction. In the words of Susan Jane White who wrote the Foreword ‘It looks set to become a classic.’ The plethora of recipes are organised by month and as I write in the month of May would you care for a Potato Moussaka, Pommes a la Basque, La Truffado, Empanadas, Gooseberry and Potato Cobbler, Potato Salad with Black Olives and Thyme as they feature among the 26 recipes listed for the month, one almost per day!
One of my favourite things to do with a potato is to bake it, a quick scrub and then bunged with skin on into a hot oven to cook away independently from 50-60 minutes depending on the size and the efficiency of your oven. Split open and topped with melting Irish butter and some salt and pepper what could be simpler. Lucy Madden features a number of baked potato recipes one of which is Foil-Baked Chilli Potatoes and with barbeque season almost upon is this may be one you would like to try:
With baked potatoes in mind I’d been on the look out for ‘The Farmer’s Table’ baked potatoes as a friend of mine had asked me if I’d tried them. On my travels I came across them in Lynch’s Centra Crosshaven and then spotted them again this week in my local Quish’s SuperValu Ballincollig.
Baked potatoes take time to cook but with these frozen beauties you have the option of using the microwave to have them on the table in minutes.
I tried one from the oven and one from the microwave and found that the oven baked was that bit crisper and dryer whereas the microwaved one was more moist. Seeing that I was topping them with a knob of butter to melt on top I enjoyed both equally as did my assistant testers!
There are a number of filling options and I went for the ‘Bacon & Cabbage Colcannon Baked Potatoes.’ A good hearty filling of bacon, cabbage and mustard flavoured creamy sauce these are priced at 4.99 so that’s both of you fed for a fiver though you may want to supplement with some vegetables or salad. Listing ingredients you can read and recognise that’s always a good sign for a convenience meal.
With three exam kids in the house this year these will be a great ‘I’m starving’ standby to have in the freezer and one that I’ll be enjoying on those I couldn’t be bothered to cook myself days too.
‘Til next time,