Friday, March 2

Ask Me If I'm a Potato...

No!  No I'm not a potato! 

But thanks to The European Cultivated Potato Database (ECPD) we know that there are over 5,000 varieties of potatoes on Earth!  I only grew one myself.  One variety that is.  Not one potato.  I'm quite the gardener now and estimate my yield at approximately 22.  Dutch Cream they were.  Something about the name appealed to me.

My actual Dutch Creams!
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall likes potatoes too, his new River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook is heaving with  recipes featuring our humble friend.  That sounds like something Hugh would say, doesn't it, "our humble friend the potato."  That in fact is my only complaint about the book, one can't help but read it in a sort of Hugh-voice.  You can drive yourself crazy if you're doing three courses!

His recipe for Spiced Spinach and Potatoes looked easy enough especially given that I had all the ingredients awaiting either in the cupboard or the soil.  (I'm quite the gardener now!) 

I prepared 400g of  potatoes by simply giving them a light scrub, cutting them to equal size and popping in a saucepan.  No need to peel unless they're as tough and leathery as one's old shoulders.  Then I covered them in cold water, bought them to the boil and simmered for about 10 minutes before draining.  Hugh washed his 400g spinach thoroughly and let it wilt in a tiny bit of water for a few minutes in another saucepan over a medium heat.  I washed mine with gay abandon and wilted it in the microwave for one.  Once it was cool enough to handle, I removed as much liquid as possible (wrapping it up in a clean teatowel and squeezing it like crazy is a good method), then roughly chopped it up. 

Whilst the spinach was cooling, I sauteed one large thinly sliced brown onion in sunflower oil until soft then added a finely chopped garlic clove, a finely chopped red chilli, a teaspoon of ginger paste and two teaspoons of garam marsala.  This sizzled away until fragrant (only a couple minutes), at which point I added the potatoes and chopped spinach.  Optional, says Hugh is 2 or 3 tablespoons of double cream or coconut cream.  So I added about half a can of coconut cream and let it simmer for a little longer.   I suppose you could serve it with rice or naan, but given the issue of Mr R's middle-age spread, I served it with a dollop of mango chutney and some fresh coriander.  He certainly enjoyed the potato component but wasn't so keen on the caterpillars still clinging to the spinach. 

Oh, it's nice to be back!  Here's a special song to celebrate. 


  1. Gem, I love it! Dutch creams are such highbrow potatoes...

  2. Loves the new layout :-)