I love potatoes with a passion
Poor potatoes have been banned, demonized and is now an outcast, and the low-carb craze has given it a bad reputation. Well, not in my book. “This delicious vegetable is one of my favourite starches and I just can’t turn my back on it” says Cape Town celebrity chef Jenny Morris. Potatoes are so versatile: you can smash them, mash them, squish and squash them, bake and roast them, boil and fry them, or use them in cakes and breads.
The humble potato is an edible tuber that was first cultivated in the Andes and in the early 16th century. Spanish explorers brought the potato back to Europe from their South American expeditions and back then it was thought to be completely inedible and even poisonous. Well it is not inedible, or poisonous; it is packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that ward off disease and benefit human health.
Did you know that the potato is a relative of tobacco and the tomato? Potato actually comes from the Spanish world patata; the potato has more potassium than bananas; became the first food to grow in space when potato plants were taken aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1995 and Australians eat about 60kg of potatoes per person each year.
Apparently humans can survive on a diet of just potatoes, and milk or butter, which contain Vitamin A and D – the only vitamins missing from the humble spud. One medium potato contains 45 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. They also contain potassium, B6, fiber and numerous other vitamins and minerals.
Remember, potatoes exposed to bright light develop green patches and this green skin contains the toxin “solanine”, which can cause cramps, headache, diarrhoea, and fever, so don’t eat the green skin. You can cut it away and that will make the rest of the potato safe to eat.
Plastic bags won’t allow potatoes to breathe, and will shorten their shelf life considerably, so remove them from their plastic bag, if they came in one, and keep them in a cool dark place.
Potato wedges with hot piquanté pepper relish
Scrub 6 large potatoes.
Cut into wedges and toss with olive oil, Peppadew® hot piquanté pepper relish, honey, thyme leaves and crushed garlic.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Roast at 180°C until golden – about 45 minutes.
Serve with bowls of sour cream and guacamole.
Perfect Baked potatoes
1 potato per person and two for me
Now scrub your potatoes until they are very clean. Then, make sure that they are very dry.
Rub olive oil all over the potatoes and then coat them in salt.
Prick the potatoes all over to allow air to escape as they bake, place onto a baking tray and them till the skins are crisp and the flesh gives when they are pressed.
Remove and split and fill with lots of yummy salted butter.