Saturday, October 23, 2010

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes....

My gorgeous friend Lisa asked me for some ideas on potatoes. Since the spud is one of my favorite roots I'm more then happy to oblige.

We are closing in on Christmas and one of Sweden's traditional dishes is "Janssons frestelse", Jansson's temptation, a potato/anchovy gratin. This is how I make it... Cut the potatoes julienne (shoestring), use a firm variety for best texture. Butter a gratin dish and add a layer of the potatoes, then a thin layer of sliced onion and add anchovy fillets, I like the salty taste of it so I tend to use quite a lot. Repeat the layers of potatoes, onions and anchovies and cover with potatoes. I mix double cream with a bit of milk and add salt and white pepper. Whisk it lightly and pour in to the dish. I bake it on medium to low heat for a looooong time, I don't like it runny so I make sure the cream and milk are absorbed by the potatoes and that the anchovies are almost melted. Towards the end I sometimes cover the dish with parchment paper to keep it from blackening. It's so yummy and one of my "must haves" for Christmas.

I make my potato au gratin in a similar way as the Jansson, but I thinly slice the potatoes on my mandolin. I only use cream and I add salt, white pepper and loads and loads of garlic to it before I pour it in. Some people add cheese on top, but with all the cream you get the same effect anyway. It's fantastic to chow down on the leftovers the day after.....

Next up is one of my best recipes, one that I have made over and over again. And it's a given every time I make Indian food. Bombay potatoes... Like most Indian dishes there are a billion different recipes. Start with boiling the potatoes in salted water, I usually pre-cut them in larger chunks, quarters of a medium sized potato. While the potatoes a boiling, fire up a saute pan and add canola oil. In to the pan goes the spices, generously, chili powder, turmeric, brown mustard seeds, mango powder (go easy on this one, makes it HOT), cumin and garam masala. Stir the spices together and add finely chopped onions and shredded ginger. Add the potatoes to the pan and give a good toss to it, make sure they get covered in spices properly. If the spices are too dry you can add a bit of the starchy potato water. This dish goes perfect as a side to anything Indian!

Mash! Oh how we love our mashed up spuds! My basic recipe is just potatoes, butter, salt and pepper. I tend not to use the mealy potatoes, I just don't care for the texture. I do vary the mash quite a bit though. Throw in a few cloves of garlic with the potatoes when you boil them and you get a nice and soft flavor to it. Or add some chunks of your favorite root, celeriac, rutabaga, parsnip, Jerusalem artichoke, carrot...
Throw in a hand full of shredded parmesan cheese or cheddar or the Swedish västerbotten.
Or why not go crazy and flavor it with a bit of smoked salmon and chives. Or even crispy bacon and apple.

Lisa I hope you are happy with this and cook up a storm!
Please let me know if there's something you'd like me to write about.

1 comment:

  1. I always add a bit of (Kalles) kaviar in my milk/cream-mix for Janssons Frestelse...!

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