Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.
Potatoes Are One of the Staples of Our Diet
The number of different ways in which we can and do cook potatoes are many, but even bearing this fact in mind, the recipes can still sometimes seem staid and repetitive. This article is devoted to looking a little bit further afield and considering even more different ways to cook potatoes. It will, however, also look at traditional ways of cooking potatoes, hopefully with an additional little twist which will improve on the established techniques.
- Easy Fondant Potatoes
- Tasty and Crispy French Fries or Chips
- Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Herb Potato and Onion Slices
- Pan-Fried Potato Slices
If you have any tasty suggestions for cooking potatoes which are not covered here, please feel free to share them in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
1. Easy Fondant Potatoes
For some reason, fondant potatoes have a reputation for being difficult to prepare. Nothing could actually be further from the truth. These fondant potatoes are prepared with a minimum of ingredients and are ready from start to finish in approximately half an hour.
Here is the recipe for the fondant potatoes pictured above.
- 2 medium, floury potatoes
- 4 ounces butter
- 4 fluid ounces chicken stock
- Put the butter into a large pot and onto a medium heat to melt. Season with salt and white pepper.
- Peel the potatoes and try to get them uniform in shape, like miniature barrels. Halve each of them across the way to have four slices, each about an inch and a half thick.
- When the butter has melted, it will sputter loudly for a couple of minutes. Wait for the noise to die down before very carefully adding the potatoes. Cook for six or seven minutes, turn them with cooking tongs, and cook for the same length of time on the other side.
- Considerable care is needed when the chicken stock is then added as it will spit considerably. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for fifteen minutes.
- A metal skewer can be used to check that the potatoes are cooked all the way through and they can be served immediately.
2. Tasty and Crispy French Fries or Chips
Chips or French fries are, for some, simply sliced and chopped potatoes, deep-fried in fat or oil. If you want to take your chips or fries to new levels, however, you should try this cooking method devised by British chef Heston Blumenthal. It involves cooking the potatoes in three stages and makes for deliciously crisp, golden chips/fries on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside.
- The potatoes are peeled, sliced and chopped to size. They are firstly added to a pot of cold water and the pot put on to a high heat until the water boils. The heat should be reduced and the potatoes simmered for five minutes only.
- They should be drained, covered and allowed to cool. (Submerging them briefly in cold water expedites this process.) They are then placed in a plastic dish with a lid and in to the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
- The second stage of the process involves firstly patting the chips dry in a clean tea towel. They are thereafter deep-fried for five or six minutes at a moderate heat. They should not at this stage have begun to take on colour.
- Drain them on a kitchen towel, cover them and leave them to cool. It is then back in to the dish and the refrigerator for again a minimum of half an hour.
- The chips are finally given their second deep-fry for up to seven or eight minutes, until beautifully crisp and golden. Drain them again on kitchen paper and serve immediately.
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3. Mashed Potatoes
Mashing potatoes is an extremely popular way of serving them, but simple mash, with only salt and butter or cream added, can be extremely bland.
These mashed potatoes have also been mashed with grated garlic and white pepper for a little extra flavour. They are then plated with an ice cream scoop, and some fresh dill—excellent with potatoes—is used as a final garnish. They're a perfect accompaniment to freshly roasted chicken and lots more besides.
4. Baked Herb Potato and Onion Slices
This is an incredibly simple yet delicious way of cooking potatoes.
- 1 fairly large potato
- 1 similarly sized onion
- pinch of dried thyme
- pinch of dried rosemary
- white pepper
- olive oil
- The potato should be thoroughly washed but not peeled. The onion should be peeled. They should both be sliced to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch, before they are arranged alternately in a stone or other ovenproof dish.
- The herbs and seasoning should be scattered over the potato and onion before olive oil is drizzled liberally over the top.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6 for forty to forty-five minutes. Use a skewer or the point of a sharp knife to ensure the potatoes are soft.
- Use a spatula to lift them on to a plate and serve immediately.
5. Pan-Fried Potato Slices
This method of cooking potatoes is, of course, very similar to the baked potato slices above, but on this occasion they are pan-fried in sunflower oil.
- Slice but don't peel the potatoes to a thickness of a quarter inch. Season the slices well on both sides with salt and white pepper.
- Bring some sunflower oil up to a fairly high heat in a non-stick frying pan and fry the potatoes for seven to eight minutes on each side over a medium heat, or slightly less if you prefer them paler in colour.
- The eggy bread that I have served here is prepared in a separate pan. I cut a hole in the centre of the bread with an egg cup and add it to a pan of heated sunflower oil. I break the egg firstly in to a small bowl and then pour it over the bread, carefully ensuring that the yolk goes in the hole. This is fried for three minutes each side or to preference.