The best way to achieve frugality is for one to learn how to make as many meals as possible using the humble potato. This has to be my personal favourite, thus far. The hasselback potato is a Swedish version of the baked potato, though due to the way it’s sliced it also tastes a little like a chip (fries). Although it pains me to lower my vocabulary to such base and vile terms, this is a really sexy way to prepare a potato – let it never be said that potatoes are boring. How naughty and un-British was that?
The existence of piperade, a Basque dish traditionally comprised of onion and green peppers, revealed itself to me a mere week ago. In its most basic and traditional form it contains tomato and no egg, though the latter is an accepted variation on the piperade theme. In actual fact, this particular variation could be aptly described as posh scrambled eggs – the best scrambled eggs that have ever passed the lips of this Welshman. As you might imagine, the combination of potato and egg went down very well. Indeed, the list of ingredients could be used to create a rather delicious frittata.
My new skillet, as you may be able to discern, has already succeeded in entering the upper-echelons of my culinary inventory. It is beautiful, curvy and damn good at its job – the temptation to make a comment about my type in women shall be resisted. Clearly, similar culinary items shall have to be sought out, though it would take something akin to Margaret Thatcher to top this cast-iron beast.
Hasselback Potatoes with Egg Piperade
• 2 potatoes, 200-250g in weight
• 4 eggs
• 1 tbsp milk
• 1 onion, finely sliced
• 2 peppers, finely sliced
• 2 cloves of garlic
• A large knob of salted butter
• A little olive oil
• Salt and Pepper
• A little parsley
1. To prepare the potatoes wash them and slice them vertically in intervals of 5mm. Pop them in the oven at 220C for 40-50 minutes after sprinkling them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Fifteen minutes before the potato is ready begin frying the onion in a little salted butter. After 5 minutes add the garlic and the peppers, cook for a further 10 minutes. Beat the eggs vigorously with a little milk. Move the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the egg, scramble and mix everything together. Serve as pictured with a few sprigs of parsley and a little more butter.
Cost: This dish, enough for two, should set one back little over £2, less if one keeps one’s own chickens. Not too bad for a sexy potato.