Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Ring a ring o' potatoes

The leek and potato soup continues to provide, now into its third day. It was a chunky soup, but in a desperate search for variety I've now blended it to provide a new texture, if not a new flavour.

For a main course I'm doing a Marguerite Patten dish, prosaically called "potato ring". Her recipe takes three large potatoes, some flour, some seasoning and a little dripping, has you grate the potato, mix in the flour and seasoning, form into a ring and brush with the dripping. Then you bake it in a medium oven for 45 minutes.

As ever with La Patten's stuff, the recipe seems plainer than it needs to be. My version therefore adds a grated carrot and a grated onion into the mix. Because I'm using the grater attachment of the blender rather than doing it by hand, I don't need the flour to bind the ring: the potato is still wet and that does the job. Instead of the seasoning, I've gone with a dusting of the Hungarian paprika I got from Fortnum and Mason's a month ago and some salt. Other than that, it remains the same process: form into a ring, brush with melted marg (not dripping, ugh) and bake in a medium oven for 45 minutes. The result is basically a rosti, but in a ring.

Patten suggests steaming some fresh green vegetables to serve in the centre of the ring, and I really like that idea. But I can't get fresh green vegetables other than cabbage and leek, since I won't buy imported food. I've been craving broccoli (no, honestly) but it's Spanish only in Morrisons and the greengrocer. That forces me into using meat for the middle: sausage for me, but Spam for CJBS, which I'll fry. Onion gravy for both completes the meal.

In other news, whilst booze was not rationed, it was hard to get in 1945, so I'm playing along with that insane idea for some reason. Having had nothing this week so far, I'm allowing myself a pint of milk stout tonight. So, here's to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

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