Bia With Ciara: Potato Dishes

There are fewer vegetables more versatile than the humble potato. The average Irish person eats over 143 kilograms of spuds every year, and it was the first vegetable to be grown in space! Cheap and packed with nutrients, potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to any meal. These delicious dishes use everyday ingredients make your money go further, and stops your apartment turning into the Hunger Games!

Potato Gratin

France is one of the most famous culinary countries in the world, and gratin is a sure-fire way of impressing your friends with a simple ‘pommes de terre’. Light and luxurious, the gratin is celebrated comfort food after a hard day of skipping lectures!

Ingredients:

▪       1kg potatoes – sliced thinly with the skins left on for added fibre!

▪       400 ml. milk

▪       1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

▪       1 tsp. dried thyme

▪       1 tsp. salt

▪       1 tsp. pepper

▪       1 egg

▪       5 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

▪       50g butter – cut into small cubes

▪       225g grated cheese – I chose a mix of mozzarella and cheddar but other cheeses like Gruyére works too

▪       A little butter to grease the dish

Method:

  1. 1.       Preheat the oven to 180oC
  2. 2.       Slice the potatoes thinly
  3. 3.       Measure out the milk in a jug and add the nutmeg, thyme, salt, pepper and chopped garlic
  4. 4.       Add the egg to the jug also and whisk
  5. 5.       Grease your gratin dish lightly with butter
  6. 6.       Layer half of the sliced potatoes in the dish, pour over half the milk mix and sprinkle with half of the cheese
  7. 7.        Make another layer with second half of the potato, pour over the remaining milk and add the last of the cheese
  8. 8.       Dot the cubes of butter around the top – these will melt and give a lovely golden brown colour
  9. 9.       Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes
  10. 10.   Cover in tinfoil for the first hour, then remove for the remaining cooking time to allow the colour to develop
  11. 11.   Voilà

 

Mexican Cheesy Chips

The perfect party food, these peppery portions of chips add a bit of spice to your evening! Put them on the table with a side of sour cream, salsa or guacamole (or all three!) and let things heat up as the drinks flow. They’re also great served with burgers, to make a meal of it.

Ingredients:

–       For two people

▪       500g potatoes

▪       ½ tsp. ground ginger

▪       ¼ tsp. cinnamon

▪       1 tsp. paprika

▪       ¼ tsp. cayenne chilli powder

▪       ½ tsp. ground cumin

▪       1 tsp. dried oregano

▪       1 tsp. salt

▪       3 tbs. Olive oil

▪       1 plum tomato – chopped

▪       ½ red onion – chopped

▪       2 garlic gloves – finely chopped

▪       Jalapenos

▪       Cheese

Method:

  1. 1.    Preheat the oven to 180oC
  2. 2.    Slice your potatoes into thick chips
  3. 3.    Place in a flat layer on a baking sheet
  4. 4.    Make your Mexican spice mix by combining the ginger, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne chilli powder, ground cumin, dried oregano and salt
  5. 5.    Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes
  6. 6.    Sprinkle all of the spice mix over them also and toss until fully coated
  7. 7.    Place them in the oven for 20 minutes
  8. 8.    Meanwhile, fry the onions, tomato, and garlic in little oil for 6-7 minutes, stirring continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn
  9. 9.    Remove the chips from the oven and spread the fried onions on top
  10. 10.  Sprinkle with as much jalapeno and cheese as your little Mexican heart desires
  11. 11.  Place them back in oven for 7-8 more minutes until the cheese is melted
  12. 12.   Ándele, enjoy!