Category: Potato

A Not So Speedy Omelette – A RFFMT Recipe Revamp

The  original recipe for a Speedy Omelette comes from the “Unexpected Guest” Chapter of The A-Z of Cooking. Two things, first I’m not a fan of the unexpected guest and would more than likely not feed them at all.  It would be Deliveroo at best. Second, we, me, all of us are up to U…the end of the A-Z is nigh.  Not long to go now….let’s celebrate with an omelette.

In many ways, the chapter on how to feed your  Unexpected Guest is actually a primer on how to punish your unexpected guest because the recipes are almost singularly yecchhhh!!!!  The speedy omelette is by far the best recipe in the chapter but then again the chapter contains these delightful titbits so that’s not saying much.

Appetizer – Chilled Ten Minute Potato Soup

Made from dehydrated onions and Smash.  Served chilled.  Did someone say runny, cold fake mashed potatoes?

Talk about revenge being a dish best served cold.  This is quite clearly a dish for the passive aggressive host.  “Oh, I do so like surprises.  And I hope you do too.  Have some soup”.

I always find ads where something is encouraging you to eat itself kind of  creepy.  Is anthrophomorphic-cannibalism-phobia a thing?  Because I think I have it.  As off-putting as this is, I would still much rather eat Potato Pete’s soup than the ten minute chilled variety.

Main – Storecupboard Casserole

Yippee – more Smash! This time a revolting combination of spaghetti sauce mix, tinned tomatoes, canned ham, canned corn and green pepper. So the only fresh thing is the worst vegetable ever.

The recipe also contains the following sentences:

“Add the ham with some of the jelly from the can.  Don’t add too much jelly or the sauce will be too thin”.

No shit don’t add too much.  You know how much canned ham jelly is too much? 

Any. 

Those three words should not even exist together.  Urgghhhhhh!!!! 

This lady advertising this canned ham looks as miserable as hell. Probably because she’s’ thinking “Not only is “If it were a tomato you could squeeze it” about the dumbest advertising slogan in the entire  world but that can better be sealed correctly.  Because they are not paying me enough to get leaked on with canned ham jelly”.

Then there is:

Make up the mashed potato according to the directions on the packet, but add a little milk so that it will be soft enough to spread.

What texture is it normally?  Rock?  I honestly don’t know.  I had a proper mother who only ever made mashed potatoes out of potatoes.  Let’s just be thankful they didn’t tell you to thin out your fake mashed potatoes with some canned ham jelly.

Wow right?  That’s casserole is not even passive aggressive. It’s had a few too Stellas and is just flat out SCREAMING in the street,  “Don’t ever fucking come to my house without an invitation again.  Because I have canned ham jelly and I’m not afraid to use it”.

 

Dessert – Ice Cream with Jam Sauce.

The first time I typed this I wrote Ice cream with ham sauce.  That is how traumatised I am by the preceding recipe. 

This is actually ok.  Hot jam with a bit of oj.  On ice cream. 

Boring.

But not disgusting. 

Which given the rest of the meal is a huge bonus.

The Original Speedy Omelette

Speedy Omelette recipe

Admittedly, even in it’s original state, this is not as vile as the above recipes.  It probably won’t send your unexpected guests screaming from the building and unfriending you on Facebook.  On the downside, it may also not teach them that turning up unannounced is totally obnoxious. 

he Speedy Omelette Revamp

However, let’s drift into the realm of fantasy and suppose that your uninvited guest is actually someone that doesn’t have you gritting your teeth and wondering if you can put ground glass into their drink.  Maybe it’s that cute guy, you know the one from the bar / cafe / work / gym.  The one with the eyes / smile / butt / six pack.  And you want to do a bit better than the speedy omelette?  Why not try my non-speedy omelette?

Cut a potato into a small dice, heat some oil in a pan and panfry until golden. 

Speedy Omelette2Meantime, lightly steam some asparagus and grate some cheese.

Make your omelette and pile in your filings, reserving the asparagus spears for the garnish.  Warm through so the cheese goes melty, flip and serve!

Speedy Omelette5This will take a little longer to make than the Speedy Omelette above but hey, if he’s that cute why would you not want him hanging around for as long as poss?  Hell, crack open a bottle of wine, Elizabeth David style and make a night of it!

Speedy Omelette6

Not So Speedy Omelette with Potatoes and Asparagus
A delicious modern spin on a 1970's recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large potato peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  2. 1 bunch asparagus
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 tbsp water
  5. 50g Cheddar cheese, grated
  6. butter or oil for pan
Instructions
  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely.
  3. Heat oil or butter in a non-stick pan.
  4. Add the potatoes.
  5. Stir and toss occasionally as they cook.
  6. When they are golden brown on all sides, place on kitchen paper to drain.
  7. Chop the tips of the asparagus off and then slice lengthwise.
  8. Steam over boiling water for 2 minutes
  9. Plunge into cold water and then place on kitchen paper to drain.
  10. Whisk the eggs with the water,salt and pepper.
  11. Melt more butter into the pan the potatoes were cooked in. Cook until it sizzles.
  12. Pour in the egg mixture and tilt the pan so the mixture covers the base.
  13. As the omelette starts to set, loosen the mixture from around the edges and tilt the pan so the liquid egg flows underneath.
  14. Spoon the filling onto the omelette whilst the top is still a bit runny (it will continue to cook after you fold it).
  15. Fold and serve garnished with the asparagus tips.
Notes
  1. If you don't have or don’t like asparagus, sub in mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, ham, rocket or crabmeat. You can also swap out the Cheddar for Gruyere, feta, goat's cheese, mozzarella or your favourite cheese!
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking (1977)
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking (1977)
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Have a fabulous week.

And remember, if this blog was a tomato, you could squeeze it. 

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Potato Almond Balls

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.

potato-almond-balls
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!

potato-almond-balls-2

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.

Have a fabulous week everyone!

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Pieathalon 3 – Lemon Potato Pie

It will come as no surprise to you, wise people of the internet that this, in all it’s earthy glory, is a potato:

PotatoAnd this, is a can of beans. 

They don’t call me Captain Obvious for nothing!

Lemon Potato Pie Beans

What is probably not so obvious is that you can turn these into this:

Lemon Potato Pie4

That’s right,  lemon meringue pie made from spuds and beans.

How?

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!)

PieathalonPieathalon 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 2

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.Lemon Potato Pie 3This was then parboiled for a spell and quickly became a kind of gloopy liquid. 

Lemon Potato Pie5

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 Pie6

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”.

Lemon Potato Pie7

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. 

Lemon Potato Pie8I 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! 

Lemon Potato Pie9Ooops!  I’d over filled my pie!

Lemon Potato PieIn 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

Mixed.

Lemon Potato Pie10So, 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. 

 

Lemon Potato Pie11

Here is the recipe for the pie:

Lemon Potato Pie recipeGiven 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?

Thanks as ever to the wonderful Yinzerella for making it all happen! 

Have a wonderful week.  Now go eat some pie!

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Brazo Di Gitano – The Gypsy’s Arm

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!

GypsyI 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.

Gypsy's Arm
Gypsy’s Arm

 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.

New Spanish TableSo 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. 

Gypsy's Arm2The 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.

 Gypsy's Arm3I 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.

Gypsy's Arm4Then, shake, rattle and roll!!!

Gypsy's Arm5Don’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. 

Gypsy's Arm7
Gypsy’s Arm7

 Trim the edges so you have a nice clean line before serving. 

Gypsy's Arm6Eat and transport yourself back to the streets of Barcelona…

Enjoy!

Barcelona Barcelona4 Barcelona Gaudi Barcelona1 Barcelona - Casa Batllo 4 Barcelona - Casa Batllo Barcelona3 Barcelona2Have 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!

 Recipe Card

Gypsy's Arm
A potato salad roll that transports you to Spain with every delicious bite.
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Ingredients
  1. 900g / 2 pounds medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  2. 3 tablespoons milk
  3. 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
For the Roll
  1. 180g oil packed tuna, drained and flaked
  2. 1 medium-size tomato, finely chopped
  3. 1/3 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives, plus more for decorating the roll
  4. 6 to 7 piquillo peppers (from a can or jar),
  5. 8 to 10 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  6. 1 tbsp capers
  7. 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  8. 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  9. 6 sliced pickled jalapeno peppers(optional) plus more to garnish
For The Topping
  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 avocado (optional)
  3. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 large garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press
  6. Dash of tabasco (optional)
For The Decoration
  1. Sliced olives,
  2. Slices of Piquillo Pepper
  3. Anchovies
  4. Pickled Jalapenos
  5. Diced Tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Let potatoes cool and then peel.
  2. Combine in a bowl with milk and olive oil and mash until fairly smooth. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Cover a large baking sheet with waxed paper. Spread mashed potatoes onto waxed paper in a thin rectangle approximately 30cm x 15cm.
  4. 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.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can vary the ingrendients to suit your taste. Love anchovies? Add some to the filling. Hate 'em? Leave them out altogether!
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
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Rocking The Casbah – The Food Of Morocco

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.

Tuna Brik
Tuna Brik

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.

Tuna Brik
Tuna Brik

 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!

Potato Tagine With Olives and Harissa
Potato Tagine With Olives and Harissa

 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 Bird That Flew Away2
The Bird That Flew Away2

 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! 

Artichoke, Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad
Artichoke, Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad

 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!

Have a great week!

 

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