The best dishes seem to come from the dregs of my refrigerator. Somehow a full fridge just isn’t as inspiring as a mishmash of random items that you have to cobble into a meal. This was one of those nights. A few potatoes, half a can of sweetcorn and a pepper was all I had to work with when I got home. It was 9 o’clock and I’d just walked back through the wind and the rain from my first attempt at getting back into shape after a very lazy Christmas, ugh. But none of it mattered once I ate this…
This is pure comfort food. I liked it so much I even tried to make it look pretty on the plate, bless! Like a slightly fancier version of a baked potato with chilli, this is definitely my favourite meal of 2011 so far. (Not that we’re very far in yet anyway, but whatever, it’s fun to make grand statements while we can…)
Potato cakes with spiced vegetables and sour cream
- Potatoes (about one medium potato per potato cake)
- Half a small yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- A generous knob of butter
- 3 tbsp passata (or tomato paste diluted with a bit of water)
- 1 red pepper, diced (or substitute whatever you’ve got handy, I’m sure some nice seasonal greens like kale, or courgette, aubergine, carrot and many other vegetables would also work great)
- 1/2 tin of sweetcorn
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped (or substitute dried chilli flakes)
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1/4 tsp each ground cumin and smoked paprika
- Sour cream, chopped spring onion, fresh lime and coriander, to serve
- Peel and chop the potatoes, then boil in salted water until soft.
- While the potatoes cook, soften the yellow onion and garlic in a pan and prep the rest of the veg.
- Mash potatoes with butter until smooth, stir in the cooked onion and garlic, season to taste.
- Heat oil in two pans on medium-high heat. Form the potato mixture into balls and place in one pan, pressing down to form patties.
- Put the chopped vegetables, passata and spices in the other pan and heat through until soft, season to taste. Add a splash of water if the mixture sticks to the pan.
- Flip the potato cakes when browned on one side and cook until both sides have browned. You could add egg or flour to help bind the cakes but I didn’t find it was necessary as long as you flip carefully…
- Plate up and top with sour cream, chopped spring onion and lime juice if you’ve got some handy.
- Devour. Yum!
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