Hot Potato Blogger Challenge – A tribute to my potato-loving dad!
I would love to win with the Hot Potato Blogger Challenge because… well, should I start with what I would do with the prize money, why I think my recipes are fabulous, or first tell you why I entered?
I think I will begin with telling you why I entered. Potatoes are such a great ingredient to work with, they are so versatile and can be used for a quick light meal, to being a side dish for a posh affair, or even the main affair itself. Potatoes are getting a bad rap from the low carb protagonists, but they will always have their place on the menu. Especially my dad’s menu. The minute I heard about this potato challenge, I thought of my dad, who is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. For my dad, a meal’s not a meal without potatoes (lucky us!) and, in our family, potatoes are dished up in a different way for every gathering. With June being Father’s Day month, I thought that I would dream up some potato-inspired recipes for all the dads who are being harassed by their low-carb spouses, mother-in-laws and teenage daughters. Make these recipes for the dad dude in your lives, but make sure they share!
Treat your dad like a king on Father’s Day (Sunday 21 June in South Africa) and whip him up a potato dish at each meal. For breakfast, my Baked Smoked Salmon Trout and Courgette Croquettes can be enjoyed on their own or as part of a lazy breakfast with eggs to order. A Warm New Potato and Aubergine Salad with Sweet Chilli and Bacon is a superb substantial light lunch, serve with roasted chicken for a hungry dad. To end off his special day, serve a rich and creamy Potato and Bacon Bake topped with Parmesan Mash for dinner. You are guaranteed to have a dad who will come to your aid when your car breaks down!
Do I need to convince you further that these recipes are fabulous? Look out for the recipes I share over the next week, have a click on the recipe link above, get in the kitchen and let me know how much you enjoyed them.
So why would I love to win with the Hot Potato Blogger Challenge? I’m always honest, so here goes. Besides the creativity rush of playing around with the ingredients of a challenge hamper (pictured), there is a cash prize that is as awesome as potatoes! I have a few plans for my blog and food business. I have a few ideas of what I’d like to spend the winnings on. A high priority of mine is to get a digital SLR and really delve into food photography. It’s definitely the area that needs the most attention – I can cook up a feast and I can string a sentence together, and I would love to serve this up with some fabulously flavoursome pictures that make you want to lick the screen.
Luckily potatoes are on the high end of the deliciousness scale. And I hope my recipes for the Hot Potato Blogger Challenge impress you enough to try them in your own kitchens.
While making roast potatoes the way my mum makes them, I thought about adding 5 super easy, super tasty ways of preparing potatoes to this post. This is the way I prepare potatoes for my personal chef clients’ meals. Cooking times are a guideline as all ovens differ – use your 5 senses to test readiness.
- Mum’s Roast Potatoes – preheat the oven to 200*c, wash and peel the potatoes (soak the peeled potatoes in water to prevent them from discolouring), scratch them all over with a fork, put a glug of cooking olive oil into a roasting dish and heat the oil for a few mins in the hot oven, remove the heated oil from the oven and carefully coat the drained and peeled potatoes in hot oil, sprinkle liberally with Himalayan salt, return to oven and cook until beautifully browned, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, splashing with hot oil and shaking the pan every now and then during the cooking time (which will depend on how big the potatoes are)
- Puffed Mediterranean Potatoes – preheat the oven to 180*c, halve baby Mediterranean potatoes lengthways, sprinkle generously with salt, do not use oil, once cooked the cut side of the potato will be gorgeously browned and slightly puffed
- Herbed Potato Wedges – preheat the oven to 180*c, mix together dried herbs, seasoning and olive oil in a large bowl, quarter large potatoes lengthways and add them to the dressing, shake around to coat evenly, toss the wedges into a roasting dish (I find it best to lay them on their skin side in the tray) and roast until a lovely golden colour
- Mini Potato and Onion Rosti – use half an onion for every three potatoes, peel and grate potatoes and onions, mix together in a bowl, heat coconut oil in a pan and cook flat rounds of the mixture on each side until golden brown and crispy, using a heat resistant ring as a mould will ensure an even shape, season with salt and pepper before serving
- Magnificent Mash – there’s nothing to fluffy mash potatoes, all you need to do is peel and quarter the potatoes, put them in a pot covered with cold water, bring to the boil and cook until VERY tender, then you turn off the heat and drain the potatoes, return them to the pot, put a lid on them and let them steam for a few mins to dry excess moisture (I put them back on the cooling stove plate), then mash them with butter/olive oil (or a combination) and add a flavouring if required (some parmesan, herb or umami seasoning or truffle salt)