FOOD & DRINK / The Reign of Good King Edward: Recipes

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CHICKEN, POTATO AND SWEETCORN SOUP

This is a family favourite in Colombia. It is only worth making when you have real chicken stock - make by simmering the chopped bones left over from a roast chicken, with chopped onion, carrot (put in celery if you want) for 2 hours, and straining. Or you can use chicken wings for the stock.

Serves 4

375g/ 3/4 lb potatoes,

diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1 onion

100g/4oz carrot, grated

50g/2oz sweetcorn

150g/6oz chicken, skinned, diced

1.25litres/2 pints chicken stock

(home-made)

2 tablespoons single cream

(or fromage frais)

rounded teaspoon cumin seeds

salt and white pepper

For the garnish:

sour cream

slices of avocado pear

capers

Place the onion, two-thirds of the potato, chicken, stock, salt and pepper in a large pan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the potato is soft and the chicken cooked.

Pour into a blender and process until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan and add cumin, carrot, sweetcorn and remaining potato. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potato is cooked.

Add the cream and serve with thin slices of avocado, capers and a dollop of sour cream.

SPICED CAULIFLOWER AND POTATO

Cauliflower, like cabbage, benefits from a short cooking time, to keep its juicy, crunchy texture. Spiced, as in this dish, it assumes distinction, and the potatoes give a contrast in texture. Alan Wilson suggests a firm potato variety which will not break up, such as Wilja. If you have cold cooked potatoes in the fridge it is an extremely quick dish too. I have been cooking it ever since I saw Madhur Jaffrey demonstrate it on television.

Serves 2

1 small cauliflower, stripped of leaves,

cut into florets

250g/ 1/2 lb cooked potatoes,

cut into 3/4 inch pieces

1 green chilli, deseeded (or not)

finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

2 teaspoons good curry powder,

preferably home-made (see below)

salt and pepper, cayenne pepper

cooking oil (sunflower or ground nut)

Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat. Put in the cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds till they sizzle and pop. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 2 minutes, letting them brown a bit. Stir in the curry spices and chilli and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring well.

Add a cup of water. Cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes till nearly done.

Add the potato, mixing gently with a spoon. Cook with the lid off for 3 minutes or so, till the potatoes heat through. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.

CURRY POWDER

In a dry frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon whole cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds and 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds till they start to give off aromas. Grind in a coffee grinder or a mortar. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric and ginger powder. Best made freshly, it can be kept in a small, airtight jar.

PATATAS BRAVAS

Brava means 'fierce' in Spanish, in this sense, fiercely hot. It's extraordinary that something so very simple can be so sensational: it may be the combination of two different kinds of hot sensation - the steaming potato and the chilli spicing, sharpened by the smooth tomato sauce. It is often found as an appetiser in tapas bars, but this version uses less fat and is baked. Alan Wilson suggests Wilja potatoes, which keep their shape. Maris Piper or King Edward would also be fine.

Serves 4

1kg/2lb potatoes, parboiled in their skins (about 15 minutes)

500g/1lb tomatoes

(or 350g/14oz can tomatoes)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons tomato paste

3 small, dried red chillies, crumbled

(or 1 teaspoon chilli powder)

salt

olive oil

Make a tomato sauce, frying the onion in a little olive oil till soft. Add the garlic toward the end of cooking. Chop the tomatoes and add to the onion with tomato paste, and crumbled chillies (or chilli pepper) and simmer gently for 20 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken slightly.

Peel the potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, season, and add to the sauce. When heated through, transfer the mixture to an oven dish and bake at 400F/200C/Gas 6, for 20 minutes or until tender.

POTATO PATTIES

These flat, round cakes, known as tiki in India and Pakistan, are served at teatime. Alan Wilson suggests a floury potato, such as Kerr's Pink.

Makes about a dozen

500g/1lb potatoes

dessertspoon garam masala

pinch chilli powder (to taste)

1 green chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped finely

fresh coriander leaves, chopped

pinch salt

For frying:

1 egg

vegetable oil

Wash the potatoes and boil in their skins till soft. Peel and mash well, adding the garam masala, chopped coriander, chilli powder, chilli pepper and salt. Mix by hand and make round, flat cakes.

Beat the egg in a shallow dish. Heat a shallow layer of oil in a pan and, when hot, dip the cakes in the egg mixture, and fry in batches, turning to cook each side golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

BOXTY

This is as Irish as a bread can be - potatoes combined with potatoes. The rounds are divided into four 'farls'. Leftover boxty is fried for breakfast in Ireland. For this recipe, Alan Wilson suggests using a floury potato; Kerr's Pink is an Irish favourite.

Makes 2 rounds/8 farls

500g/1lb potatoes, peeled

500g/1lb potatoes, boiled in skins, cooked

50g/2oz plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Grate the raw potatoes, and squeeze out their liquid between your hands. Mash the boiled potatoes in a bowl and mix with the grated potato, flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. With your hands pat out the dough into two circles on a floured board to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut each into quarters and place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated oven at a moderate heat, 350F/ 180C/Gas 4 for 35 minutes. Serve as you would scones, steaming hot and buttered.

POTATO AND CHEESE CASSEROLE

Use a dry cheese such as Cheshire, white Stilton, or Greek feta. Serve with a green salad. It has a delicious golden crust when cooked. Alan Wilson suggests an all-purpose potato, such as Maris Piper or King Edward.

Serves 4-6

1kg/2lb large potatoes,

peeled and sliced thinly

250g/ 1/2 lb cheese crumbled, or grated

100g/4oz softened butter

pepper

3 eggs

generous 300ml/ 1/2 pint plain yoghurt

Arrange about a third of the potatoes over the bottom of a deep, buttered, baking dish. Beat the cheese and butter together until smooth and spread half the mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle with pepper, then repeat these layers and arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Dot with butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C/Gas 4, for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are softening.

Beat the eggs and yoghurt together to make a smooth mixture and pour it over the potatoes. Bake for a further 30 minutes to set the egg mixture and brown the top lightly.

POTATO SALAD

This is a less fatty version of potato salad - you can mix in mayonnaise. Try Ratte or Pink Fir Apple potatoes. To make it more substantial, add chopped, hard-boiled eggs.

Serves 4

1kg/2lb waxy, firm potatoes

4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sunflower

or groundnut oil

2 teaspoons mild mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons sugar

150g/6oz pickled gherkins, diced

Boil the potatoes in their skins for 25 minutes, then drain and peel. Meanwhile combine the other ingredients to make the dressing, mixing thoroughly.

Cut the potatoes into thin slices and, still warm, toss them in the dressing. Leave to stand for at least 1 hour.

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