Friday, 30 May 2014

Greenvale potatoes: sometimes the simplest ideas are the best

 Potatoes aren't something I feel drawn to specifically blog about very often, yet they're so versatile and more now than ever I cook with them a lot. Whether finely sliced and cooked in my Minced beef hash, or chopped and chipped with chicken kievs, or as my favourite - baked and mixed up with boursin and leeks with leftover Sunday roast - we use them a lot. It's no surprise that they're cheap, I'll use them to bulk out casseroles and make meals go further.

A couple of weeks ago the nice people at Greenvale asked me to trial a bag of their potatoes. Oddly I've been thinking of repurposing an old pillow case into a potato bag as where I store them, if they're left in the plastic from the original packaging they seem to sprout super quickly.  Funnily enough said plans to repurpose a pillowcase went out the window as I thought "Oooh potatoes in a paper bag." Simple and so much easier.

 I'm now on my third bag of Greenvale potatoes - they work really well as a multi-use potato, with nice fluffy middles, but outsides that pleasingly crisp up in the face of some hot oil and a hot oven.

My two current favourite potato centric recipes are below -

Garlicy, cheesy, baked potatoes (quantities per person)

1 baked potato
2 Tbsps garlic and herb boursin
1 leek
Knob butter
Spoonful milk
Black pepper

Finely chop some leeks and cook down slowly in pan with a lid in a little butter and some water. Stir occaisionally so that they don't stick, but otherwise I just let them do their thing until they're really soft.
Meanwhile prick and bake your potatoes in a medium oven - about 150 degrees C for an hour to an hour and a half depending on how big the potatoes are
Take the potatoes out of the oven, and using a teatowel to protect your hands cut each in half lengthways
Scoop out the middle into a bowl and mix up with the boursin, cooked leeks, a spoonful of milk and the black pepper
Refill the potato skins and sit the potatoes on a baking tray (I line it with tin foil)
Scatter grated cheddar on top and return to the oven for 20 minutes or so

Serve with leftover roast meat, sausages, BBQ - or y'know just as they are. 

 Home made healthy(ish) chips - serves 2

1 medium potato per person, chopped into chip shapes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and put a baking sheet in to heat up too
Chop your potatoes up into traditional chip shapes and put all the potatoes into a sandwich bag or similar
Measure in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and using your hands on the outside of the bag, shake, shimmy and massage the oil so that all the potatoes are covered
Tip the chips onto the hot baking sheet (they should sizzle as you add them)
Cook for half an hour, or until the outsides are browned and crispy and the insides are lovely
Serve with ketchup

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