When a chapter called Nuts about Nourishment contains a recipe for Deep Fried Mashed Potato Balls, you know it has to be 1977. And that we are about to delve into The A-Z of Cooking. Potato Almond Balls. I was so excited about these, I ate salad for a week to pre-compensate for the delicious calorific overload.
And then they didn’t work.
The problem was that the egg and almond crust split in many places…and when it did, the mashed potato kind of disintegrated. So in a lot of instances I ended up with the almond crust and not much else. Where they remained whole, they were totally delicious sprinkled with a bit of smoked paprika and dipped in some of my favorite green sauce.
I’m putting the failure of the balls down to the wrong temperatures. Either the balls were too cold or too warm or the oil was. Is it significant that The A-Z of Cooking has no pictures of this dish? It is possible that their Potato Almond Balls also broke into bits?
Here’s the recipe for anyone who wants it, I hope you have better luck than me!
To counteract the effect of deep fried potato balls (and because I had no other photos) I thought I would give you all an update on my attempts at the C25K running program. Today I started week 7 of the program and ran for 25 minutes which was not only the longest time but also the furthest distance I have done so yay me!
Mind you, this is probably a very apt description of both my pace and my style:
Personally, given my new obsession with the ‘My Favorite Murder Podcast,, this might well become my mantra:
And this is probably closer to the truth:;
Next time in The A-Z we are moving onto O for some “Old Fashioned Favourites”. I was hoping to be done with it by the end of the year but given it is nearly December (how the hell did that happen?) it seems unlikely. I’m now aiming for end of summer.
It will come as no surprise to you, wise people of the internet that this, in all it’s earthy glory, is a potato:
And this, is a can of beans.
They don’t call me Captain Obvious for nothing!
What is probably not so obvious is that you can turn these into this:
That’s right, lemon meringue pie made from spuds and beans.
Well, it’s Pieathalon – the foodie equivalent of Mouseketeer Surprise Day; anything can happen and it usually does!
Starting with a brand new logo (thanks Greg, it looks super!)
Pieathalon is that time of year when bloggers from all over the world swap recipes and rejoice in the kooky baked goods of yesterday. The full list of participants and what they made is at the bottom of the post. Why not go visit them all? Maybe start with Battenberg Belle who is making my pie of choice, Fatty Arbuckle’s Delight, then pop over to Ruth at Mid Century Menu who sent me lemon potato pie!
Lemon Potato Pie – The Pie
The recipe for Lemon Potato Pie comes from 250 Superb Pies and Pastries, a book from 1941. The use of the humble spud instead of the more luxurious ingredient of butter to create lemon curd had a feel of wartime austerity about it. Butter was rationed right? Otherwise….why? No, seriously, WHY?
Let’s not delve too deeply into the minds of 1941 and get stuck right in to the pie. Starting with some grated potato.This was then parboiled for a spell and quickly became a kind of gloopy liquid.
After the rest of the ingredients were added and it cooked some more, the potato broke down even further. However, at the end of the cooking there were still some small flakes of potato which were odd and a bit off putting when you tasted the….sludge. So, even though this was not in the recipe I blended the lemon mixture to make it smooth. Bear, in mind I have the fussiest eater in the world as my chief taste tester!
Lemon Potato Pie – The Meringue
So, then to the meringue. And here disaster struck. I had put the separated whites into a bowl and left them on the far side of the kitchen bench while I made the filling. When it came time to make the meringue I looked around to where I had left the egg whites and they had vanished.
“Did you take my egg whites?” I asked The Fussiest Eater in The World.
“I gave them to the dogs. I thought that’s what you left them for”.
We had no more eggs. And we had been to a rather boozy lunch that day so there was no option of getting into the car to go buy more eggs.
“Crap…guess, I’ll have to finish it tomorrow”.
A bit later, I was making our dinner which was the Argentine Beef Stew from The A-Z of Cooking (1971). I will definitely blog about that one soon, it was DELICIOUS and I remembered something about making meringues from bean water. A quick visit to Google confirmed that you could make meringue from the water that surrounds tinned chickpeas or white beans. Why not give it a whirl? It’s in the same spirit of “make do and mend” as the potato based filling.
I drained the can of beans, the beans went into the stew and the bean water went into the mixer.
I was incredibly surprised to see that it meringued up a treat!
Ooops! I’d over filled my pie!
In homage to Ruth, I thought I would let the Fussiest Eater in The World have the final say on the Lemon Potato Pie.
Lemon Potato Pie: The Verdict
So, what do you think?
“The filling is gorgeous. It’s really delicious”.
And the meringue?
“Tastes like the worst marshmallow in the world”.
Well done cooks of 1941! And thanks Ruth for a super recipe! Your lemon potato pie is delicious!
Sadly, vegans and egg intolerants, the aqua fava meringue was not. It was much more marshmallow-y than meringue-y. It was very gooey and a bit stringy – think mozzarella cheese on a pizza.
Here is the recipe for the pie:
Given the bean meringue was a failure, here is the proper recipe for the meringue from Ruth.
“The recipe for Meringue 1 is 2 egg whites, 4 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla. Beat eggs until frothy, add sugar gradually, and continue beating until stiff. Add flavoring. Pile on pie and bake in 325 degree oven for 15-18 minutes”
Pieathalon 3 – The Bloggers
Here is the full list of the wonderful crazy people who participated in Pieathalon this year. I’m heading off to see their creations! Why not join me?
Cross my palm with silver and I will tell you tales of magic and wonder. Or just keep reading ‘cos I cooked something really good!
I see, in your future a little taste of Spain….because today in a final piece of birthday indulgence, I bring to you The Gypsy’s Arm…aka The Brazo Di Gitano.
And what you may ask is the Brazo Di Gitano? Well remember back at Christmas when my family took against me for bringing a Potato Salad Roll to our Christmas festivities? I felt then that despite their negativity it was my duty to bring the PSR to the world. This did not start well. My St Patrick’s Day Corned Beef PSR was an mitigated disaster. But redemption is at hand with The Gypsy’s Arm.
I LOVE this recipe. And yes, I am yelling at you because it’s that good. It’s like someone took every lovely taste of Spain and mixed it together and then wrapped it up in potato. And mayo.
Why a Gypsy’s Arm? I have no idea. But when something tastes this good why question it? I found the original version of this recipe in Anya Von Bremzen’s The New Spanish Table which I thought was an amazing book even before I discovered it had a potato salad roll.
So what’s so good about this recipe? Well, potatoes and mayo…
But also tuna, tomatoes, olives, capers, red onions and anchovies. And to make things even better, I added some avocado to mine, hence the greenish tinge.
The flavours of this dish took me right back to a trip to Barcelona a few years ago. It really is Spain on a plate. And so easy.
Make your mashed potato and spread out on a tray.
I left mine a bit chunky so it was still a bit like a regular potato salad. Then put your tuna filling on top. Spread to the edges.
Then, shake, rattle and roll!!!
Don’t worry if it cracks a little, or a lot, you can just press it together. Plus you will shortly be adding your mayo (and avocado topping) so small cracks won’t matter.
Then, channel your inner Gaudi and decorate the outside of roll as you see fit.
Trim the edges so you have a nice clean line before serving.
Eat and transport yourself back to the streets of Barcelona…
Have a great week! And there are only 2 days to go for the Birthday giveaway. Subscribe or get one of your friends to subscribe to win a fabulous vintage cookbook. Prize drawn on Monday!
A potato salad roll that transports you to Spain with every delicious bite.
1/3 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives, plus more for decorating the roll
6 to 7 piquillo peppers (from a can or jar),
8 to 10 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 tbsp capers
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 sliced pickled jalapeno peppers(optional) plus more to garnish
For The Topping
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 avocado (optional)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press
Dash of tabasco (optional)
For The Decoration
Slices of Piquillo Pepper
Boil the potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Let potatoes cool and then peel.
Combine in a bowl with milk and olive oil and mash until fairly smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Cover a large baking sheet with waxed paper. Spread mashed potatoes onto waxed paper in a thin rectangle approximately 30cm x 15cm.
Mix the tuna, tomato, olives, capers, red onions, piquillo peppers, and parsley together. Then spread this mixture over the mashed potato. Spread out to the edges as much as possible.
Season with salt and pepper.
Starting at the long end, roll the potatoes up jelly-roll fashion, using the paper to shape the roll without catching the edge of the paper in it. When roll is finished, slide the paper out from under it. Pinch together any tears in the potato roll.
Combine mayonnaise, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to mix and season with salt to taste. Spread the mayonnaise mixture all over the roll and decorate with piquillo peppers, anchovies,tomatoes, capers and olive slices. Place the roll in the refrigerator to chill for 2 to 3 hours. To serve, cut the roll into thick slices.
You can vary the ingrendients to suit your taste. Love anchovies? Add some to the filling. Hate 'em? Leave them out altogether!
By Anya Von Bremzen
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
The selection for March and April over at The Cookbook Guru was The Food Of Morocco by Paula Wolfert which really fits in with my explorations into Middle Eastern Food via Persiana and MENA.
First, the book is ENORMOUS!!!! If you dropped this on your foot, you would be in serious danger of breaking a toe. Or two. It was really quite difficult to choose the recipes to try, there were so many and so many that sounded delicious.
Second, it is beautiful – not just the recipes, the photography, the writing, everything about it is lovely. I would love to have this in my own collection as it is so well curated and contains so much of interest but sadly, it is quite expensive so, at the moment is just on the wishlist!
I have been sick for nearly a week now so I have left my run here a little late. Thankfully the anti-biotics have started to kick in and hopefully I can get this post out whilst it is still April somewhere in the world.
I have made four things from this book and whilst I would have loved to have a post for each, for the sake of brevity, I’m putting them all together so I can get something out before Christmas!!! I have also not included any recipes as that would have taken even more time but, if you like the look of anything let me know and I can send ’em through!
THE FOOD OF MOROCCO // BRIK WITH TUNA, CAPERS AND EGGS
I was not familiar with the brik, (pronounced breek) which is a Moroccan snack consisting of a very thin pastry called warqa wrapped around various fillings, one of which is this delicious but to me, uncommon, combination of tuna and egg.
Not surprisingly there was no warqa pastry at the local supermarket and because I was running so late on this, I could not shop for it so I used the much more readily available filo pastry for my briks. You can apparently also use spring roll wrappers, or if really brave, make your own warqa pastry.
So first up you saute up some onions, then add your tuna, capers, parsley and some parmesan cheese. And yup, this mix just on it’s own tastes AMAZING. I’m surprised there was any left to make the briks. Personally, I blame the hosts of reality tv cooking shows for constantly telling people to taste their food during cooking!
Then you make place the tuna mix on the pastry but make a little hole to hold the eggs. I don’t think it matters if it spills over a little like mine did.
Then you quickly seal this up and drop it into some hot oil to fry up – the idea being you want your pastry crispy and your egg still a little bit runny.
So, did I cook the perfect runny egg brik?
Sadly, no. My egg was cooked through. 🙁
This was not all bad though, it certainly made it easier to take the remainder for lunch the next day. And OMG, so tasty. I’ll definitely be trying this again and trying to nail that runny egg.
THE FOOD OF MOROCCO //POTATO TAGINE WITH OLIVES AND HARISSA
This tasted as good as it looks. And one for my vegan friends!!! The colours are so beautiful and the flavours blend together beautifully!
THE FOOD OF MOROCCO // THE BIRD THAT FLEW AWAY
This a lovely chickpea dish with a delightful name. Paula Wolfert explains that is it a “plat de pauvre” (a dish for the poor) that is made when you can’t afford to buy a chicken. It’s so good I think I would eat it regardless of whether I had a chicken or not!
THE FOOD OF MOROCCO INSPIRED // ARTICHOKE SALAD WITH ORANGE, LEAFY GREENS AND DATES.
A Spanish restaurant I am very fond of does a salad with oranges, artichokes and dates which is To. Die. For. In order to recreate it’s flavour, I used Paula Wolfert’s Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad and added artichokes and some lemon and olive oil in the dressing. I think it worked really well and I loved the hint of orange flower water. It was not exactly my restaurant salad but it was pretty close. And look at how pretty it is!
This was an amazing book and I am so glad that The Cookbook Guru drew it to my attention. The next few months we will be cooking from a book by a true legend of Australian Cooking, Margaret Fulton. I can’t wait. And I promise to be a bit more timely!
But I have a dream. And that dream is to bring the potato salad roll to the world.
Hmm,so I guess I can cross that one off the list and bask in the smugness of a goal for 2015 achieved. And it’s only January 2nd!!!!
But before we get to the Potato Salad Roll…
I’m sure better bloggers than me really think about the messages they want to send when they post their first post of the year…you know, those super organised people who have a theme and a word for the year? And the first post reflects that dream and vision?
I wish I was one of those people. I really do. Because I pretty much know everything I’m going to write about this month and believe me…if we were going to run a theme around January, it would have to be supercalifragilisticexpialidociouslly insane.
Although…maybe getting the crazy out at the start of the year is a good thing. Maybe by the end of the year I’ll be ever so high-brow and Julie and Julia-ing the Larousse Gastronomique…
Yeah, I doubt that too. But you never know…I do own a copy….
And the highly observant of you will notice that it is also still in it’s plastic wrap….
So…the potato salad roll. Hands up how many of you thought this would be potato salad in a bread roll?
Yep, that would be about all of you. Because that would make sense. But remember when I said this month was going to be all about the crazy stupid? I don’t even know where to start with this but they say a picture paints a thousand words so, world, here is the potato salad roll…
Yeh, it’s kind of a Swiss Roll of Potato Salad. Except without the jam. Not even I’m that weird.
Basically, it just a potato salad rolled into a log with the dressing on the outside.
Which in no way explains the absolute spontaneous hatred my family felt for it when I brought it for Christmas. The comments ranged from “What the fuck is that? ” to “Who laid the big white poo in the middle of the table?”
I tried to explain that it was potato salad. Comments ranged from
“Not in my world”
“No. It’s not. Potato salad looks and is, delicious. That looks like a big white poo”.
And then there was:
“Why can’t you make normal potato salad? Are you on drugs? I saw a documentary on people taking ice…do you have a problem with methamphetamines?”
I saw the exact same documentary.
There was a man injecting himself in his penis because “it was the only good vein he had left”. ‘
I made a slightly off beat potato salad.
I’m struggling to find the connection.
I was the only person who ate the potato salad roll on Christmas day which was a real shame because despite it’s rather unconventional appearance it was a damn good and tasty potato salad.
On Boxing Day, I made a roll within a roll by wrapping part of the original roll in prosciutto and the same people who has scoffed at the original roll could not wolf it down fast enough.
It was kind of nice to end the year with a badly written retro recipe. It’s been a long time between drinks for one of them.
First line. Prepare the gherkins, parsley, pimento, eggs and onion…
Onion? What onion? Would that be one of those special invisible onions that don’t appear in the ingredient list? And what I am I supposed to do with my half a cup of diced celery? Use it to pelt my ungrateful family to death?
Despite the shortcomings of the recipe, I am utterly obsessed with the idea of the potato salad roll. I already have two more versions in my head which I will make and post some time in the future. Maybe I will make 2015 the year of the Potato Salad Roll….huh…maybe I am, albeit unwittingly, one of those people who have a theme. And a vision.
I mean, yeah, I totally am. This was all planned. Months in advance….
I will be spending my week preparing my potato salad roll vision board.
Have a fabulous one whatever you do!!!
Potato Salad Roll
A quirky potato salad...love or hate the presentation, you will definitely love the taste.