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19.5.14

ROAST SPICED POTATO AND PARSNIP


I saw a recipe on With a Glass. I knew I wasn't going to make it; my better half is not a fan of yoghurt, but the concept of  basing cooking on three main ingredients and perhaps substituting the rest really appealed to me.


I ordered the book as an inter-library loan from the local library. I am trying to keep my possessions in check and I will only buy a book if it serves me with several purposes. Hugh has too many fishy recipes, so I won’t buy it, but I have been making diligent recordings and notes of the recipes I did like. In fact I found Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cooking echoing my recent move toward using what you have approach familiar and exciting. I had an old knee injury fixed and I have been relying on my darling’s shopping for close to two months now. At first I sent him with detailed instructions, but he would spend hours shopping. He never complained, but I took pity on him so now I avoid complicated items and just focus on the basics. I make sure we have what we use daily and between the freezers and the pantry I always think of something. I have to comment on the visual effect Hugh’s cooking had on me too, it’s reminded me of my own paintings, the controlled hard edged melting into an impressionistic riot of color and form. So there is a lot of things I like about Hugh’s approach to cooking, it’s honest, visceral and real. 

And there I go and changed Hugh’s spice mix. He did call it a spice mix, but you know I didn’t have the driving force to roast spices yesterday. I spent several days working on a Lady Gaga type dance costume that was 4 sizes too large for Olivia [don’t ask] and I just wanted the day to end. So I went to the upstairs freezer and took out the well packed home roasted garam masala, threw in some turmeric and called it a day. Jim made me a cup of honey tea, brought up some new lettuce from the garden and being the sweetheart that he is leaf by leaf washed it for me. It has been a rainy Victoria Day weekend here.


I include Hugh’s spice mix at the end. Mind you I would never use the entire amount for the suggested 500 g of potatoes. I often find recipes overusing spices, killing the mystery of different flavours, both in Asian, Middle Eastern and in Indian cooking. When in fact a hint would do the same, but manifold the better. If you still wanted heat add some chilli, but don’t kill the food flavours with the overuse of spices. 

3 cups peeled and chopped potatoes 
2-4 peeled and chopped parsnips 
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
2 large sprinkles of garam masala [click for recipe or use ready made] 
2 light sprinkles of turmeric 
Chef’s Salt or salt 
1 garlic clove, finely chopped 

• Preheat the oven to 400F. 
• Line an old rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. 
• Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks and place it in a large pot of boiling water. 
• Cook the potatoes for 3-4 minutes. Hugh suggests only 1 minute, its not enough. 
• Meanwhile peel and chop the parsnips. 
• Immediately take potatoes off the heat and drain well. 
• Place drained potatoes and the parsnips on the prepared pan. 
• Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with the garam masala, turmenic and the Chef’s Salt. 
• Toss the potatoes and the parsnips to get a coating of spice. 
• Roast for about 40 minutes until golden and crisp, stirring halfway through. 
• Stir in the chopped garlic and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes. 
• Serve straight away. 

For Hugh’s Spice Mix 

1 Tbsp coriander seeds 
6 black peppercorns 
1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes 
1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds 
1 tsp ground turmeric 

Add the coriander seeds and peppercorns to a dry frying pan and toast over a gentle heat for a minute or so until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and leave to cool. Add the chilli flakes, and crush the mixture with the pestle to a coarse powder. Combine with the fenugreek, turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

10 comments:

  1. I love roast potatoes and your approach is perfect; overly spiced foods tend not to let any of the ingredients shine. You've reminded me to update my library card, did you know you could borrow e-books too? You put in your wish list and then they show up on your device...pretty cool.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

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    1. Indeed. I love our local library and was thrilled when a city wide referendum overwhelmingly voted for increasing rather than decreasing the service they provide. I love to go in and very much like the atmosphere in there. I order my books and videos and renew them on line. I don't have a reader, nor will I want one as long as there hardcover books - I like how old books feel in my hands and I love how they smell. I know what it is - bacteria - but the familiarity puts me in the mood so to speak. Often times research is more fun looking for books and through books - even though it takes me longer. I set with a pile next to the burning logs yesterday afternoon and I thought I couldn't be luckier. What can I say I am a romantic.

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  2. My mom's approach to cooking was simple and used very few spices and herbs. I've gradually added more and more of them to my pantry and have to watch my tendency to overdo it on the amounts I add so your words of caution are timely. Even though I'm unlikely to be adding parsnips to my vegetable side dishes, the rest of the dish is very appealing.

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    1. No parsnips then for you Maria. We have a friend who hates it and calls it a weed. :-)

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  3. Zsuzsa, I love the simplicity of this! Delicious and perfect for our cooler months!

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    1. Oh yes you are into the cool now Lizzy. It seems we have not yet left it. Sigh.

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  4. Mmmmmm good! I have been doing this for a while. We love parsnips, especially roasted. I vary the spicing and so we never get tired of them, the addition of potatoes is a no brainer. Have you ever tried roasting fennel with leeks? Another great combo. Roasting brings out the sweetness in these veggies.

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    1. You know it Judith, most vegetables taste better roasted. No, I have not, I am not a fan of fennel. But I should give it a try.

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  5. Hi Zsuzsa. Thank you so much for the kind link to my blog and the mention!
    I'm glad you have liked the book too and found it inspiring (I even didn't remember the number of fish dishes... but I love fish ;-) ) and I'm happy I have convinced you (and actually Kelly from Inspired Edibles too; she has bought another of his books!) to discover Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall. Your roast potatoes look fantastic! I didn't remember the spice mix but I must check it (by the way, I think that the number of spices used often depends on one's palate and habits... of course some food products are too delicate to be masked with very spicy seasoning, but on the other hand with my husband we can fully enjoy very hot Korean dish and I do feel the taste of the vegetables or meat, while some of my friends who are not used to spices, start screaming they feel only the heat and no taste while I add a pinch of chilli... I always explain to people who are not chilli addicts that it's like with sugar: my family-in-law loves very sweet sweets and sometimes when I eat a piece of tart (homemade) all I feel is... sugar, not fruits, no butter... just sugar; on the other hand there are very boldly cuisines, such as Thai, to which some palates are simply not used... but I bet people from these countries consider these dishes sophisticated and fully enjoy different flavours, hidden with spices for most foreigners).

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    1. I am very thankful to you for directing me to Hugh's cooking. I like the simplicity and the honesty of his approach.

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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