Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Smokin' Hot Potatoes!

Crocchette di Patate Grattugiate al Forno alla Menta, Cipolla Rossa & Paprika Affumicata
Baked Grated Potato, Mint, Red Onion & Smoked Paprika Patties


I had the potatoes... and I had the inclination... and so this evening, I decided to try something out- just for the hell of it! I love potatoes in just about every way, but I wanted to try preparing them in a different way- and who would have known they would turn out to be so delicious?!?

Flavored with mint and smoked paprika powder, with a little sweet, red onion, these little patties turned out to be delicious! Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside... and steamed and baked rather than fried... all I can say is- what's not to like about that?!?


It's the smokey paprika flavor that is the main hero here- but the mint is also a great addition that goes so well with potato- I was pretty sure I would love them together!

And the best thing was that baking them in a muffin tray after steaming them for 10 minutes seemed like a good idea at the time... and still does now! It was a perfect way to get the potatoes really infused with flavor!


5 regular potatoes, 1 red onion, a handful of fresh mint and parsley and a good tablespoon of smoked paprika was all that it took, except for a little salt, pepper and olive oil, to fill a whole muffin tray and give me a yield of 12 little potato patties! Small- but delicious! Who said that size matters?


These would make a perfect side dish, even now at Easter- they would be perfect with lamb or any roast... but great with grilled dishes in the Summer months too! Great hot or cold, these are easy to make and great for any kinds of party or gathering- and my favorite detail... they are not fried and are still delicious!


Preparing them was super-easy! I grated to potatoes... and whilst I was doing it- I thought to myself- why not just grate the onion as well? And, not being able to find a reason not to... I did! So into a bowl went the potato, onion, a good, heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika powder,salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil... and a fork to stir everything together!

I used a fork, so that I could gently fold the ingredients together, keeping the mixture loose and the shreds of potato nicely separated from each other, rather than mashing them together.


Soon, the potato had taken on that rich, red coloring from the paprika and as soon as it was nicely and evenly mixed, I added the mint and parsley and stirred them in too... simple!

I spread the seasoned potatoes out on a steam rack and again, gently fluffed them up a little with a fork before popping a lid on the saucepan and steaming them for 10 minutes.

In the meantime I turned on my oven to the highest setting to get it nice and hot and ready- and lightly coated my muffin tray with olive oil. I also added a light sprinkle of salt to the tray- potatoes like salt- and that hint of extra seasoning on the outside makes a nice difference later.


After 10 minutes, spoon the potatoes into the muffin tray but do not press them down... in fact, use a fork again, so that you lift them up and set them down, keeping them nice and loose. This way, when they bake in the oven, the hot air will circulate through them and cook them better- plus, they will crisp-up much more nicely. And don't worry- they will fall-in on themselves just a little during baking and will stick together perfectly without you needing to press them into shape.

Add a light drizzle of olive oil and a last sprinkle of salt and pepper before baking... and then kiss them goodbye for at least 30 minutes at the highest setting... until they turn crispy, golden and delicious!


And look a little bit like this! Small- but perfectly formed... and totally aromatic and delicious!


Now- does that look crispy? Or does that look crispy?


A fantastic addition this evening- especially as I have just been itching to try the stuff since it was given to me the other week, by the delightful Veronique Witzigmann, was her wonderful carrot chutney!

I added a teaspoon of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of chutney respectively, with a sprinkle of mint and parsley... and was blown away by the sweet, tangy, spicy and curried flavor! And it went SO well with these crispy potato treats!


A little spice is always nice!

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