Monday, 20 May 2013

Spuds, Spuds and more Spuds!

Hi peeps!

A quick HAppY birTHDay to Yolandie Horak for Saturday past. Hope you had a terrific day hun and that you were spoiled totally vrot! Love you stax and stax! Xxxx

So today's topic is potatoes. I gotta say; I love mash; especially the way my husband makes it. But besides mash; potatoes are just generally very yummy no matter which way you have them. Akira loves mash but doesn't like fried potato chips and Storm doesn't like mash but prefers potato bake. I'm also not fond of fried potato chips but Craig is nuts about them. Guess it all just boils down to preference. This weekend past; we had a whole pocket of potatoes that needed cooking and it really got my chef juices flowing. We made simple dishes of course; potato salad; potato bake; fried chips and mash but I wasn't just satisfied with that; there had to be other interesting recipes that were easy enough to prepare at home and tasty enough for the whole family to enjoy. So I did a little research and found these two beautiful potato recipes. Before we get started on those though; I thought some facts about potatoes would also be quite interesting:

The potato is the most universally grown crop in the world.

The Inca people of Peru were growing potatoes in the Andes Mountains as far back as 200 BC.

The Incas used the potato to treat injuries. They also thought it made childbirth easier.

Potatoes were introduced to Britain and Ireland in the late 1500s. It didn’t go so well at first. Many people blamed them for diseases and condemned them because they weren’t mentioned in the Bible.

Both Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette wore potato blossoms to spiff up their outfits. (Partly to boost the crop’s popularity in France.)

Potatoes were often eaten aboard ships to prevent scurvy because they are loaded with vitamin C.

The first “French fry” was allegedly first served in the United States by Thomas Jefferson at a presidential dinner.

Potatoes were the first food to be grown in space. In 1996, potato plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia.

The world’s largest potato was grown in the UK in 2010. It tipped the scales at 3.76 kilograms (8 lb 4 oz) – the weight of a newborn baby!

The highest voltage from a potato battery was 538.1 Volt DC achieved in Germany in July 2009.

Potatoes are environmentally friendly. They’re easy to grow and don’t require massive amounts of water, fertilizer or chemicals to thrive.

Potatoes are becoming more and more important in the developing world. That’s because they’re an easy crop to grow. They yield more nutritious food, more quickly and on less land than any other crop.

Thanks to littlepotatoes.com for these awesome facts. Now time for the two nummy recipes:

Potato Dauphinoise
Ingredients:
500g Smooth potatoes (such as Desiree)
• 200ml Double Cream or Creme Fraiche
• 100ml Semi-Skimmed or Skimmed Milk
• 1 Crushed garlic Clove
• 50g Grated Gruyere Cheese

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Place the thinly sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water, this will prevent them from browning, then rinse the slices and pat dry with kitchen paper
Add the cream or crème fraîche, milk (semi-skimmed or skimmed for a lower calorie meal) and the crushed garlic into a large saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the potato slices, cover the saucepan and then simmer for 10 minutes or until just tender. Season well.
Empty the contents of the saucepan to a greased ovenproof dish; sprinkle the cheese over the top. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden…take out and enjoy with good friends!

Pork Sausage and Potato Casserole
Ingredients:
500g New potatoes halved
• 1 Pack of Pork Sausages
• 1 Jar Tomato Pasta Sauce
• 1 Sliced Onion
• 1 Diced Green Pepper
• 1 tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 or 2 tbsp Water

Preparation

Heat the oil in a large frying pan; fry the potatoes and sausages for 5 minutes.
Add the pepper and onion and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Turn the sausages occasionally until browned.
Add the pasta sauce to the saucepan along with 1-2 tbsp of water
Cover and cook for 5 minutes before serving.

Thanks also to lovepotatoes.com for these two gorgeous kiddie friendly recipes!
Tomorrow on the Chefmother....Heavy Metal; Steampunk and Gothic Cakes.

Have a mashy day peeps!
Chef Shants xxxxx

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