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POTATO POTAHTO: INNOVATING FIVE FAVOURITES

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Potatoes are arguably one of the most unassuming vegetables of all: Pale and full of dirt as they are pulled from the dark down below, suffering from a general lack of colour and glamour. That is, until they make their way through a kitchen. It’s amazing what a little bit of heat, salt and butter, among other things, can transform even the humblest of potatoes into. From golden French fries and creamy mashed potatoes to layered potato bakes and the good old roast potato – it’s magic if you ask me! I’ve reworked five classic potato recipes with some imagination and innovation – and masterful knife wielding in some cases – to present you with elevated incarnations of our beloved spud. Same same, but different.

THE FRENCH FRY becomes a POTATO CONCERTINA 

TIME: 20 minutes | SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

2 Sifra potatoes

500 ml canola oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Trim each potato into two long rectangles – each about 1 – 1½ cm thick.

Place the potato rectangles flat on a cutting board.

Place a wooden skewer against both of the longer sides of each potato rectangle.

Slice the potatoes vertically, leaving spaces of about 2 mm between each incision, right down to where the skewers prevent you from cutting right through.

Flip the potato so that the unsliced side is facing upward and repeat the process – but this time slice the potato diagonally.

Insert a skewer in the centre of each potato and pull the two sides apart so that the spirals separate.

Pour the oil into a saucepan and heat to 160 °C.

Gently place the potatoes in the oil and fry until crispy and golden.

Drain on kitchen towel and season with salt and pepper.

MASHED POTATOES become POMME PURÉE ON A RÖSTI CAKE

TIME: 3½  hours | SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

for the pomme purée

8 russet potatoes

350 ml cream

150 g (165 ml) butter

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

for the rösti cake

250 g (270 ml) butter

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 onion, thinly sliced

6 Sifra potatoes, peeled

METHOD

for the pomme purée

Heat the oven to 180 °C.

Place the potatoes on a baking tray and bake for 1½ – 2 hours.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut in half.

Scoop the flesh out of the halved potatoes and pass through a drum sieve.

Pour the cream in a saucepan and add the butter, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.

Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. This will allow the cream to become infused with the flavours.

Strain the herb infused cream through a sieve and add to the scooped-out potato flesh. Whisk the mixture with a balloon whisk and season with salt and pepper.

Pass the mixture through a fine sieve again and spoon into a piping bag.

 

TIP: It’s best to work with the potatoes and cream while still warm to prevent a gluey texture.

 

For the potato rösti cake

Place the butter, thyme, and garlic in a saucepan over low heat.

Let the butter melt and become infused with the flavours. Strain through a fine sieve.

Grate the potatoes using the coarse side of a grater.

Place the grated potatoes in a clean dish cloth and wring out all the juices.

Add the potatoes, onions, and half of the melted butter to a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the rest of the melted butter into a non-stick pan over low heat.

Spoon the potato mixture into the pan and flatten with the back of a spoon.

Leave to cook on low to medium heat until the downfacing side of the rösti is crispy and golden brown.

Carefully flip the rösti and cook until the other side is just as golden.

Place the rösti on a serving plate and pipe the pomme purée on top. Serve warm.

THE POTATO BAKE becomes POMME ANNA

TIME: 1 hour | SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

50 g (55 ml) butter, melted

8 Mediterranean potatoes, peeled

salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Heat the oven to 180 °C.

Line the base and sides of a standard size loaf tin with baking paper. Brush the with melted butter.

Very thinly slice the potatoes using a mandoline slicer – making each slice about 1 – 2 mm thick.

Place the potatoes in the tin, covering the base and allowing the slices to overlap slightly. Repeat this step as you keep adding another layer of potatoes onto the last.

Season every fourth layer with salt and pepper.

Once all the potatoes have been layered, place a piece of baking paper on top.

Place another loaf tin directly on top of the paper and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

Once baked, remove from the oven, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Place a heavy weight inside the top tin and place in the fridge overnight.

Carefully remove the pomme anna out of the tin and cut into portions.

Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and fry the pomme anna portions until golden brown.

CLASSIC ROAST POTATOES become POMME SOUFFLÈ

 TIME: 30 minutes | SERVES: makes about 6

INGREDIENTS

2 Apache potatoes

1 egg white, slightly beaten

10 ml corn starch

500 ml canola oil

salt

METHOD

Slice the potatoes into 1mm slices with a mandoline slicer.

Lay the potato slices between two kitchen towels to dry.

Brush half of the potato slices with the egg white and the other half with corn starch.

Place a corn starch-brushed slice of potato on top of an egg washed slice of potato. Slightly press the two together.

Use a cookie cutter that is just smaller than the size of your potato slices and cut into perfect circles.

Heat the oil to 180 °C in a saucepan.

Gently fry two at a time in the oil and keep draping the potato circles with the oil as they puff up.

Once crispy, puffed, and golden brown, remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towel. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes and season with salt.

HASSELBACK POTOTOES become POMME DES ROSES

TIME: 45 minutes | SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

8 Mediterranean potatoes

60 g (65 ml) butter, melted

salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Heat the oven to 180 °C.

Slice the potatoes with a mandoline slicer, about 1 mm thick.

Brush 4 cups of a standard size muffin tin with the melted butter.

Layer the sliced potatoes against the sides of the tin, slightly overlapping them in a circular spiral towards the centre to form a rose.

Season with salt and pepper, and gently pour over the remaining butter.

Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

FOR MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES FOLLOW POTATOES SA ON INSTAGRAM 
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