I discovered papas arrugadas, wrinkly potatoes, on a trip to the Canary Islands, where they are ubiquitous. Partly because they’re gluten-free but partly because they’re really tasty, I had them almost every time we ate out. At first I thought they might be difficult to make. I also thought they might take a special kind of potato, since some websites said they’re made with special Canarian potatoes. Nope on both counts. In supermarkets I saw bags of very ordinary new potatoes, grown in various locales around Europe, marked “papas para arrugar” (potatoes to wrinkle). Maybe the Canarios don’t want the word to get out but the fact is, papas arrugadas are very easy to make and taste the same in England, made with English potatoes, as they did in Tenerife.
Initially I felt a little foolish when I found out how papas arrugadas are made – they’re simply boiled in heavily salted water (originally sea water, apparently). Easy, right? I couldn’t believe I’d never thought of making potatoes that way before. However, having actually managed to screw them up a few times, I’ve discovered a few techniques for making them properly. I’ve also developed a low-FODMAP sauce that loosely approximates mojo, the garlicky sauce normally served with papas arrugadas. Continue reading →
Happy Canada Day! Bonne fête du Canada! To celebrate the motherland from way over here in England, we ate leftover tourtière for lunch.
Does that sound somehow disappointing? It wasn’t. Tourtière is, after all, a beautiful and truly Canadian dish, not to mention delicious as leftovers. I made the tourtière on Sunday because it takes a little more time than I figured I’d have today. For our actual Canada Day dinner, we had a simple picnic. Were we shirking our duties as Canucks? No! Most Canadians picnic or barbecue for Canada Day. Tourtière is actually more of a Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve tradition, with some eating it on Christmas Day. But I couldn’t let a Canadian-themed week go by without making tourtière. It’s that good.
Until this weekend, I didn’t know what boxty was. When I learned how many different variations there were of what used to be an Irish peasant food but which can now, depending on how you dress it up, turn gourmet, I couldn’t decide what I most wanted to make. So I made three different versions: boxty pancakes, boxty blinis, and boiled boxty. I liked them all but this one, with the addition of non-traditional Parmesan and chives, might be my personal favourite. We had it for Sunday lunch and I can hardly imagine a more perfect lunch/brunch food, though I would happily eat it for supper too. Continue reading →
I didn’t wear green, but in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to designate this week Ireland week. In a fit of over-enthusiasm, I made far too many mashed potatoes the other day. So to use them up, I decided to make three different versions of boxty over the course of three days.
As far as I can tell, there are as many different versions of boxty as there are Irish mammies. You can make boxty pancakes, boxty dumplings, baked boxty cut into slices, even grilled boxty patties. The common ingredients appear to be mashed potatoes, grated potatoes and flour. Beyond that, anything goes. Which is just how I like my recipes.
On Saturday, I made boxty pancakes, just slightly thicker than a crepe, and used them as wraps for – what else? – cabbage and bacon. This is the recipe in this post. On Sunday, I made thicker boxty blinis, almost patty-like in thickness, and served them with smoked salmon and parsley sauce. Today I made boxty dumplings, reminiscent of gnocci, and served them with non-traditional tomato sauce and salad. All were delicious, full of spuddy goodness. Continue reading →
Curry is one of Japan’s great comfort foods. Does that sound strange? I know curry is normally associated with South and Southeast Asia. Japanese cuisine, by contrast, doesn’t tend to use a lot of spices, especially not curry-like spices. Also, while I love Indian brinjal curry, red Thai curry, Malaysian penang curry, etc., they’re not foods I would want to curl up with on the couch on a cold winter’s day or eat by a campfire while camping.
Japanese curry is different. In fact, you might not want to consider it curry at all. It’s more of a hearty beef and potato stew that happens to be curry flavoured. Some Japanese curries contain ingredients that would make any self-respecting Indian or Thai chef want to cry. Ketchup, soy sauce, dashi, yogurt, honey, apples, raisins… Sound gross? You’re wrong. Virtually every Japanese person, from toddler to centenarian, loves karei. And so will you if you forget your ideas about what a proper curry should be and think of Japanese curry as another beast altogether. Continue reading →