Seasonal local food recipe No.273 – Hugh’s twice baked potatoes


The weather is about to turn cooler so I have a good opportunity to serve this winter warmer for one last time before the summer.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

4 large baking potatoes
40g butter
180ml soured cream or crème fraiche
120g mature Cheddar, grated
2-3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced, or chives
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.  Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for about an hour, until tender when pierced with a knife.  Remove from the oven but leave the oven on.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully halve them lengthways – you might want to wrap them in a tea towel when you do this – and scoop out most of the insides into a bowl, leaving a shell about 5 mm thick.  Return these shells to the oven to the oven to crisp up while you make the filling (don’t let them cook for more than 10 minutes).

Mash the scooped-out potato with the butter, then stir in the soured cream or crème fraiche, Cheddar and spring onions.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Spoon the mixture back into the shells and bake until heated through, about 10-15 minutes.

Seasonal local food recipe No.259 – Potato and broccoli soup

This is the perfect soup for the depths of winter, it is thick and warming.  The original recipe came from Simply Vegan by David Scott but this is my take on it.  If I haven’t got vegetable stock to hand I add a splash of soy sauce to add flavour.  Often I finely chop the broccoli stalk and add that at the same time as the potato, again for extra flavour.  This soup has a chunky texture but if you prefer a smooth soup you can easily blend it and reheat before serving.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

1 small onion, finely chopped
25g butter or vegetable margarine
450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
700ml vegetable stock
250g broccoli, divided into small florets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fry the onion in the butter or margarine for 3 minutes.  Add the cubed potatoes and fry for a further minute.  Add the stock and bring to the boil.  Add seasoning to taste and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir well to break up the potato and thicken the soup.  Add the broccoli and simmer until just tender.  Serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.247 – Neela’s aubergine and potato Ⓥ

This recipe is taken from Madhur Jaffrey‘s Eastern Vegetarian Cooking.  It is a tasty side dish for a curry.

Serves 2-4

Preparation and cooking time: 20-30 minutes

4 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp whole black mustard seeds
140g peeled, diced potatoes (1.5 cm cubes)
115g diced aubergine (1.5 cm cubes)
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs fresh green coriander (optional)

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  When hot, put in the mustard seeds.  As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop put in the potatoes and aubergine.  Stir once then put in the rest ot the ingredients, apart from the fresh coriander, stir and fry for one minute.  Add 3 tbs water, cover and turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 – 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring every now and then.  If the vegetables seem to catch at the bottom of the pan, add another tablespoon of water.  Serve garnished with the fresh coriander, finely chopped.

Seasonal local food recipe No.224 – Patatas a lo pobre (poor man’s potatoes)

Easy, quick, tasty and cheap! A tapas idea this time, from Tapas Revolution by Omar Allibhoy (via Guardian Life & Style). I don’t keep sherry vinegar, so used balsamic instead.

Serves: 4
Preparation/cooking time: 30 minutes

1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm slices
1 large green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
200ml olive oil
salt and black pepper

Mix the onion, potatoes and pepper, season with the salt, pepper and vinegar.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the vegetable mixture. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning over occasionally. The vegetables should be soft, but not too crispy.

Seasonal local food recipe No.220 – Potato farls (potato scones)

In honour of St Patrick’s Day on Monday this recipe from former Riverford head chef Jane Baxter is an easy way to make potato farls (potato scones).  Apparently it is ideal for a novice or nervous baker!

Makes 8 small farls

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

500g floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Desirée
50g butter
50g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
¼ tsp baking powder
Salt and black pepper
Extra butter, for cooking

Peel the potatoes, then cut them into quarters. Cover with water in a saucepan, season with a pinch of salt and cook for about 15 minutes or until they become tender. You can check this by sticking a knife into them, it should slide out again easily. Drain well, then return the potatoes to the pan.

Melt the butter in a pan and add to the potatoes. Mash until smooth. For the best results, pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or mouli – otherwise, use a standard potato masher.  Sift the flour with the baking powder into the potato mix and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if required. The dough should come together and away from the sides of the pan. You can add more flour if the mixture is too wet and a little milk if it is too dry.

Divide the dough into two halves. Form one piece into a ball, then roll it out on a floured surface and into a rough circle with a diameter of about 15 cm and a thickness of 5mm to 1cm. Cut the circle into quarters.

Heat a non-stick shallow frying pan over a medium heat with a little butter to grease the surface. Transfer the four pieces to the pan and cook for around 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip over and cook the other side for another 3 minutes. Remove to a warm plate.  Repeat the process with the other half of the dough mix.

Serve with lashings of melted butter and a sprinkling of salt or as part of a cooked breakfast.

Seasonal local food recipe No.218 – Homity bake

This is a favourite winter warmer in our house and originates from the Cranks recipe book.  It started out as a pie but as I’m lazy and don’t particularly like making pastry I missed it out and just baked the filling!

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 25-30 mins

500g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
450g onions, thinly sliced
3 tbs olive oil
25g butter
15g parsley, chopped
125g cheese, grated
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbs milk
salt and pepper to taste

Boil or steam the potatoes until tender.  At the same time saute the onions in the oil until really soft.  Combine the potatoes and onions, add the butter, parsley, half the cheese, garlic, milk and season well.  Place the mixture in a greased ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake at gas mark 6/200°C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top.  This is delicious served with baked beans.

Seasonal local recipe No.206 – Root vegetable tangle

This is from Nigel Slater’s new Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food

Serves: 2 (light main course) or 4 (side dish)

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

potatoes, parsnip, carrots, onion, rosemary, pumpkin seeds, olive oil

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Shave 250g potatoes, a large parsnip and 2 large carrots with a vegetable peeler. Peel and finely slice an onion into rings.

Toss the potatoes, parsnips, carrots and onion in a large mixing bowl with a heaped tablespoon of rosemary leaves, 5 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, then tip on to a baking sheet. Spread out into a shallow layer. Bake for 20 minutes, till tender and lightly crisp on the edges.

parsnips-camel csa

Seasonal local food recipe No.191 – Hugh’s braised new potatoes and lettuce

Yes – you can cook lettuce, provided the leaves are firm, crisp ones. There are cos/romaine lettuce leaves in Camel CSA’s mixed salad bags in this week’s boxes

This is a side dish from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the Guardian. Hugh says: “It’s based on the delicious petits pois à la française, only it’s more petites pommes de terre. A little later in the season, you could throw in a handful of baby peas near the end of cooking.”

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

25g butter
A trickle of olive or rapeseed oil
1 onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
350g new potatoes, cleaned and cut into 2-3cm pieces
About 400ml hot chicken stock
½ large head of romaine or 2 little gem lettuces, shredded
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, let it sweat for about 10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for two minutes more. Add the potatoes and about 250ml of stock, bring to a simmer and cook, half-covered, for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spuds are tender. Add a little more stock if you need to, but the idea is to end up with reasonably well-reduced juices, so don’t go mad.

Add the shredded lettuce and a little more stock, stir, cover and cook for four to five minutes, until the lettuce is wilted. Season to taste and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.190: Hugh’s roast new potatoes and asparagus with baked eggs


Another scrumptious dish to make with the Cornish asparagus from Lower Croan and the new potatoes from Restharrow Farm in our veg boxes this week. It’s from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall in the Guardian

Hugh says: “New potatoes and asparagus both respond so well to roasting. Add some eggs and you’ve got a satisfying supper dish.”

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

600-700g new potatoes, cleaned and cut into small chunks
5-6 whole garlic cloves, bashed
3 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 400g asparagus
4 eggs
Chives, to serve

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Put the potatoes into a roasting dish with the garlic. Trickle over the oil, add plenty of salt and pepper, toss and roast for 30 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut the spears into 3-4cm lengths. When the potatoes are tender, add the spears, toss and roast for 15 minutes more, until the asparagus is tender.

Now create four little spaces among the veg for the eggs – you want to contain them as much as you can, so arrange the potato and asparagus pieces into reasonably snug bulwarks. Working quickly, so everything stays hot, break an egg into each space, then return the dish to the oven for about four minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks still runny.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the eggs, scatter some snipped chives over the whole dish and serve straight away (the eggs will continue to cook). If you don’t have, or don’t fancy, chives, grated parmesan is another very nice finishing touch.

Seasonal local food recipe No 175: Pan haggerty

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Northumbrian take on the delicious combination of potatoes, onions and cheese. He suggests serving it with a crisp green salad, and some simply cooked pulses.

Serves 6 as a side dish

Preparation 20 minutes
Cooking 40 minutes

50g butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
500g fairly firm-fleshed maincrop potatoes
80g mature cheddar cheese
sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Melt half the butter in a 20-25cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the onions for about 15 minutes, until soft and golden. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly (use a mandoline or the slicing side of a box cheese grater).

Set aside a good pinch of the cheese – about 10g. Scoop the onions out of the pan. Layer a third of the sliced potatoes into the still-buttery pan, then add half the onions and half the cheese. Season well. Repeat the layers, then finish with a final layer of potatoes. Dot the remaining butter and the reserved cheese over the top and season. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender all the way through and the top is golden. Serve piping hot.

Recipe and photograph from The Guardian

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