11 February 2015

Romantic Potato Recipes for Valentine's Day!

potato-recipes

This Saturday is not only Valentine’s Day but also East Anglia Potato Day   – coincidence? I don’t think so!

“Only two things in this world are too serious to be jested on, potatoes and matrimony”
Irish saying – a romantic people!

Of course chocolate, champagne and lobster, not necessarily in that order, do have their part to play at this romantic time of year but so do potatoes, here are some ideas.

Heart shaped fried or roast potatoes as above are a nice touch. I was going to try roasting them but couldn’t be bothered and I was very pleased with these as I don’t have a heart shaped cutter, artistic or what? I cut them, blanched for a few minutes in boiling salted water, drained and dried them and fried till gorgeous in olive oil. After taking their portrait I ate these two with salmon trimmings (we just bought a whole salmon and I prepped it for the freezer) and salad.  Lovely Sudden Lunch!

salmon-salad
Pink Mash

For some reason (us girlies being the way we are – or are we?) pink is seen to be an appropriate colour for everything Valentiney and pink mashed potato is a very easy contender being just beetroots and potato mashed together.

Obviously the higher the proportion of beetroot to potato the darker the colour of the mash. As I was trying for romantic I only used 1 small cooked beetroot to 2 large baking potatoes. For a bolder colour and earthier taste up the beetroot!  If using cooked beetroot cut them into pieces and add to the potatoes for the last few minutes of cooking time, just to soften and heat through.  If using raw beetroot then cook them in a separate pan till tender before draining and amalgamating.

potato-and-beetroot-mash-recipes
How to Make Great Mashed Potatoes

Whilst on the subject I thought I just add a few instructions for making excellent mash.

~   Use floury potatoes such as King Edward, Maris Piper or Russet.
~   Peel and cut into similar sized pieces; not too big, there's no point in wasting time and energy waiting longer than necessary for them to cook.
~   Put into a pot with enough cold lightly salted water to cover by a depth of about 10mm.
~   Bring to a boil over high heat, turn down the heat, cover partially and simmer till completely tender which takes about 20 minutes or a bit more depending on the size of the pieces and the specie of potato.
~   Drain thoroughly, return the potatoes to the hot pan and leave to steam uncovered for a minute or two.
~   Add a knob of butter and splash of milk or cream, cover and set aside for five minutes which makes the potatoes mash more easily.
~   Mash the potatoes as lightly and quickly as possible, if you overwork them there is a danger they will become gluey.

Potatoes and beetroots also make a very good soup my recipe for which is here and it is decidedly pink! 

beetroot-soup

Another good addition to mashed potato, for Valentine’s Day (or maybe a day or two before, build your strength up!) is Pesto which contains not one but four known aphrodisiacs; basil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese! (May I introduce my book on aphrodisiacs ~ just 99p)

A potato gratin with lots of cream can be a luxurious side dish or, add something yummy and possibly pink to turn it into a main dish like this ...

Potato and Hot Smoked Salmon Gratin – for 2, possibly greedy, people

15g soft butter
500g new potatoes
250g hot-smoked salmon fillet
250ml double cream (or mix of cream and milk)
½ tsp whole grain mustard or grated lemon zest
salt and pepper

~   Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/160ºC fan/gas 4.
~   Use the butter to grease a shallow ovenproof dish.
~   Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.
~   Flake the salmon.
~   Layer up potatoes and salmon thus – potato, salmon, potato, salmon, potato, seasoning each layer a little as you go.
~   Stir the mustard or lemon zest into the cream and pour over the dish.
~   Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
~   Uncover and continue to cook till the potatoes are tender and the top golden brown – 20 minutes or a bit more. (If you’d like an extra crunchy topping sprinkle with buttered breadcrumbs or even panko crumbs for this final bit of cooking).
smoked-salmon-and-potato-gratin

Remember ~

"The potato, like man, was not meant to dwell alone."
Shila Hibben

And here is a photo of a potato my friend Lynne found when preparing food in her restaurant so that proves it!

heart-potato

In Other News ...


~   A while ago I downloaded a free book on my kindle, “The Illegal Gardner” by Sara Alexi and loved it, which is lucky as it was the first in a series of nine.  I’m now on book 4, “The Gypsy’s Dream” and I’m still hooked so I thought I’d just mention it to you!
~   More spicy chocolate ideas here.
~   Oh, and I've devised a little Valentine's Day quiz, just for fun, here.


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1 comment:

Wendy Percival said...

I'm a great potato fan! (Think I must have Irish genes from somewhere.) I like your heart-shaped idea. As we're having a 'romantic meal in' on Saturday, I shall attempt to replicate them! Happy Valentine's Day, Suzy.