Tag Archives: potato

Homity Pie – The Ultimate Comfort Food!

7 Nov

There used to be a vegetarian restaurant in Covent Garden called Cranks. Cranks was my saviour when I was working in London. In my job as a visual merchandiser for Aceessorize/Monsoon I had to get to the shops really early in the morning, at about 6.30 – 7am, so we could merchandise the store before it opened. This meant getting up at 4.30am!  Anyone that knows me would understand how difficult that was. I am not a morning person. They used to call us “pit ponies” because we would arrive at the shop when it was still dark and then leave after the sun had gone down. We never saw the sunshine and it was usually freezing cold or raining.

Anyway, one of the saving graces about working in the Covent Garden store (one of the highest turnover stores in the company, but one of the oldest and smallest – always a nightmare!) was that it was practically next door to Cranks who served the best remedy for stress/ exhaustion known to man (well me anyway).

Homity Pie is a sort of vegetarian equivalent of Shepherd’s Pie I suppose but so much better. The main ingredient is mashed potato which is the number one comfort food, add to that a crispy cheddar cheese topping, peas, onions & tomatoes and you get the general idea. I have also added some wilted spinach which only makes it better. This is heaven… make it when you need cheering up, it’s raining outside and nobody understands you, I promise you will feel better…

Homity Pie Recipe

Serves 3-4 Vegetarian

  • 2 very large potatoes about 650 gr peeled
  • 30 gr butter for mash plus 15 gr for spinach
  • 2oo ml sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 100 grams frozen peas (petit pois)
  • 1 small onion chopped finely
  • 1 bag fresh spinach about 300 gr
  • 3 medium tomatoes (2 chopped 1 sliced)
  • breadcrumbs
  • 75 gr mature cheddar cheese grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 tsp
  • dried oregano
  • salt & pepper

Cut the peeled potatoes in equal sized chunks and place them in a pan of cold salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. In a large pan over a medium heat add the 15 gr butter and 2 of the crushed garlic cloves, when the butter has melted dump in the bag of spinach, stir, add the freshly grated nutmeg, salt & pepper and cover with a lid.Cook for a few minuites, stirring occasionally, until the spinach has wilted, remove from the heat, cover and set aside.

Meanwhile bring a separate small pan of salted water to the boil, add the peas, cook for about 3 or 4 minutes drain and set aside. When the potatoes are soft, drain and add the butter, cream, oil, the rest of the garlic, salt & pepper and mash well with a potato masher. Add the peas and chopped onion to the mash and mix well.

Butter an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Spread the wilted spinach in the bottom of the dish with a slotted spoon (you don’t want the green liquid that has come out of the spinach). Then put a layer of chopped tomato on top of the spinach, add a little salt and 1/2 tsp dried oregano.

Top with the mashed potato mixture then the sliced tomato, sprinkle over the grated cheese and some breadcrumbs to make the crispy topping. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

You can eat it as it is, straight out of the dish in front of the TV….

Or serve it with some rocket if you feel like it dressing it up. Whatever you decide, take a big forkful, feel the day disappearing and exhale……

Mini Indian Sweet Potato Puffs

31 Oct

These gorgeous little pasties formed part of my mezze with the honey spiced aubergines from yesterday’s blogpost. They are light, sweet, spicy and very moreish. They would be great as part of a buffet instead of the sausage rolls or as little canapes with drinks, or even with afternoon tea. You will need to defrost the puff pastry in the fridge overnight so the pastry is cold when you roll it out and make the filling earlier in the day and leave it to cool.

Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Puffs Recipe

makes 8 (easily doubled) vegetarian

adapted from Flavour by Vicky Bhogal

  • 1 sweet potato, scrubbed well & baked in its skin (or microwaved)
  • 1 tbsp veg oil
  •  1 tsp panch pooran
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (or onion seeds)
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  •  1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt & pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  •  a handful of chopped coriander
  • 1/2 a 375 gr pack of puff pastry (defrosted in the fridge overnight)
  •  1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 egg beaten

*Punch pooran is a whole spice mix made up from cumin, fennel, fenugreek, black mustard & onion seeds. It gives a great rounded flavour to any indian dishes & is available from East End Foods.

Bake the scrubbed sweet potato in its skin in a 200 degree oven for 40 mins to 1 hour or microwave for 7 to 10 mins depending on the size. Leave until cool enough to handle and roughly chop into about 1 cm cubes.

Heat the veg oil in a frying pan on a medium low heat and add the punch pooran & mustard/onion seeds. Fry until they start to pop and sizzle then add the onion & garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened. Stir in the chilli & turmeric, add the chopped sweet potato and stir to mix well with the spices. Cook for few more minutes then put the mixture in a bowl and add the salt, pepper, lemon juice & fresh coriander. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Take the block or sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface and roll it out to about 3mm thick. Sprinkle the cumin seeds evenly over the pastry and roll over them to press them into the pastry. Using a round cutter or small glass about 8 cm diameter cut out about 16 discs. You should get about 10 to start with then roll up the leftovers into a ball and roll out again cut out again and repeat as necessary until you have 16 discs.

Mix the beaten egg with a little water and brush around the edge of each disc. Carefully place about a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into the centre of eight discs then take the remaining discs and place them on top of the filling. Push the edges together with your fingers then seal round crimping with a fork to create a border.

 Lift them carefully onto greased baking paper on a baking tray, brush them with egg wash and bake for about 12 – 15 minutes until risen & golden.

Serve as part of a mezze with a yoghurt & mint dip or a spicy tomato sauce. Or for afternoon tea on a rainy day…..

And remember to invite a friend or you will eat them all yourself, they are so addictive!!

Roasted Sweet Potato & Halloumi Bake

17 Oct

This is a Nigella recipe that I tried out for dinner last night. I was looking for something to do with sweet potato that isn’t really sweet, a lot of recipes seem to go down that cinnamon route which I find too sickly unless it’s a dessert of course! This is definitely worth trying as a midweek dinner as it’s really easy, you just put everything in on baking dish and leave it. I have changed the original slightly by adding tomatoes make it more juicy and added a bit of dried chilli, fresh thyme & rosemary for flavour..

Roasted Sweet Potato & Halloumi Bake

Serves 2 or 3 Vegetarian

  • 1 large sweet potato washed & cut into 2 or 3cm chunks
  • 1 large potato cut into 2 or 3 cm chunks
  • 1 red onion peeled &cut into eighths
  • 2 small red peppers deseeded & cut into 2 cm squares
  • about 6 cloves of garlic unpeeled
  • 2 tomatoes cut into eighths
  • 3 or 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • salt & black pepper
  • about 125gr halloumi sliced thinly
  1. Preheat the oven to 2oo degrees.
  2. Put all the veg in a large ovenproof baking dish, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the herbs, chilli, salt & pepper. Then toss it all together with your hands so it is evenly coated.

Ready To Bake

  • Roast in the oven for about 45 mins until the veg is tender & slightly browned.
  • Turn on the grill or turn the oven up to high then put the sliced halloumi evenly over the veg.
  • Put under the grill or in the very hot oven for 5 to 10 mins until the hallomi is has melted & browned

Serve & Enjoy!

This does make quite a lot so you will probably have some leftover, I used mine to make a sweet potato tortilla for lunch the next day.

Roasted Sweet Potato Tortilla Recipe

serves 2 vegetarian

  • leftover roasted veg 
  • 4 eggs
  • milk
  • grated parmesan
  • salt & black pepper
  • parsley & thyme chopped
  • shaved parmesan
  1. Just heat some oil in a large frying pan and add the roasted veg.
  2. Meanwhile crack the eggs into a measuring jug and top it up to 275 ml with milk, whisk together, add the grated parmesan, salt & pepper and whisk again.
  3. Pour this mixture over the veg and cook on medium low with a lid on for about 10 mins.
  4. When the eggs are nearly set sprinkle the chopped herbs over the top and put the lid back on for a minute.
  5. Serve topped with shaved parmesan

Fabulous Cabbage Recipes

12 Oct
 
 

We walk past these cabbages every day and see them growing. I love the silveryness of their leaves in the sun. After the rain we have had they are definitely looking ready to me so I am finally accepting it is now Autumn and am going to cook with cabbage tonight…

 
 
 

 

Our Broccoli & Cabbage

 

Indian Spiced Cabbage & Potato Samosas Recipe 
 Makes about 8 samosas Vegetarian/Vegan

Indian Spiced Cabbage Samosas wih Fig Chutney

 For the Samosa Pastry

makes about 8/10 samosas

  •  225 gr plain flour (I use wholemeal, you can use white or a mixture of both)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or veg oil
  • 110 ml water (You may need a little more but start with this)
    1. Mix the flour, salt, cumin seeds & turmeric in a large bowl until combined.
    2. Add the oil & water, stir with a wooden spoon then use your hands to bring it together to form a ball of dough. (You may need to add a little more water if it’s too dry).
    3. Wrap the ball of dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge while you make the filling.

    For the cabbage

  • 1/2 head cabbage cut in half & finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp punch pooran*
  • 1 small fresh chilli chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  •  a squeeze of lemon/lime juice
  • a handful of fresh coriander chopped
  •  2 tbsp veg stock
  • some leftover cooked mashed potato or chopped cooked potato whatever you have.

*Punch pooran is a whole spice mix made up from cumin, fennel, fenugreek, black mustard & onion seeds. It gives a great rounded flavour to any indian dishes & is available from East End Foods.

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok to a medium heat. Add the punch pooran, cooking until the seeds start to pop, then quickly add the rest of the spices, garlic & ginger cooking them for about a minute but do not burn them.
  2. Add in the cabbage and salt and stir to coat the cabbage in the oil & spices then add the veg stock to loosen it slightly and stir fry the cabbage until it is cooked how you like it. (I like it cooked but still a bit crunchy about 5 mins).
  3. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice & the chopped coriander and check for seasoning.

You can serve it like this as a side dish its delicious..

Indian Spiced Cabbage

4. Now add your cooked mashed potato or cooked chopped potatoes (As much as you like) and stir to combine well.

Cabbage & Potato Samosa Mix

5. Now take the dough out of the fridge, flour your board & rolling pin and start to need the dough for about a minute to make it stable.

6. Cut the ball of dough into quarters then into eights and roll out one of the pieces of dough to about 2 or 3 mm thick. Then trim it into a square about 10 or 12 cm.

10 - 12 cm Samosa Square

7. Now take a heaped tablespoon of the mix and put it on one half of the square, leave the edges clear

8. Now fold the empty side over the filling to make a triangle and press down the edges then seal them again with a fork.

9. Repeat with the rest of the pastry.

I baked mine in a preheated oven 210 degrees for about 10 – 12 mins. I brushed them with a little oil first & oiled the baking tray. You can deep fry them in hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side.

I served them with some of my fiery fig chutney (see recipe) but you can serve them with any chutney you have or a raita either way they’re great.

 I love potato, especially mashed potato, and I also love Indian food so this next idea is an Indian spiced version of Colcannon (An Irish dish with mashed potato & cabbage) or Bubble & Squeak, an English dish made with leftover potatoes & vegetables (usually Brussel sprouts or cabbage) which is made into patties and fried in a pan. Heaven….

Indian Spiced Bubble & Squeak with a Poached Egg

serves 2 vegetarian

Brunch Heaven
  • leftover Indian spiced cabbage (see above)
  • leftover mashed potato
  • 2 eggs
  • coriander or chives to garnish
  1. Mix the cold mash and cabbage together well

2. Press the mix into two chefs rings or cookie cutters to make patties ( Or just shape them by hand). Then heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the patties to the hot oil and cook them until well browned on both sides and hot in the middle

Bubble & Squeak

3. Meanwhile put a large pan of water on to boil with a squirt of vinegar. When it’s boiling turn off the heat, stir the water and carefully crack the two eggs into the water (Break them into the surface of the water). Put the lid on and leave them for 3 minutes.

Serve the poached egg on top of the Bubble & Squeak and garnish with chives or coriander. 

Enjoy!

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