The Daily Spud

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Introducing Spud Sundays

irish potatoes

Food of the nation

It had to happen.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that it’s not just about potatoes, though they can loom large at times – it’s my national food, after all. So I thought it was perhaps about time that I acknowledge the spud’s special significance by bringing a regular weekly spud to the table.

This was prompted by a few different things, not least by some of the comments on recent posts. Yes, there are a lot of potato lovers out there. Jen of Belly Rumbles thinks that roosters (and I’m referring to the potatoes, not the poultry) should have a superhero cape – Super Spud no less. And what can I say about Greg at Sippity Sup? A man who makes cheesecake but with mashed potatoes? The world surely needs to know about this! So Spud Sundays it is then. An effort to not let a week go by without scribbling something spud-related. Now, if this should prompt Greg to come up with a Spud Sundae, well and good. The range of the humble spud is indeed extensive. I do like to think of it as the veg that keeps on giving.

So, after that bit of momentous decision-making, I felt it only right and proper that I should have my own intake of Sunday spuds. That was when I discovered that the Daily Spud’s kitchen was, er, devoid of anything remotely resembling potatoes. Lots of other food, but nada on the spud front. Off with me to the local shop, then, where, in the interests of bringing variety to the inaugural Spud Sunday, I resisted my usual urge to buy some of those Super-Roosters and returned equipped with a bag of Kerr’s Pink. According to An Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), Kerr’s Pink are the second most widely grown potato in Ireland after roosters. A floury spud. Great for mash. Mash it was then. But not the regular kind, because my kitchen also yielded some celeriac, a great big mashable celery root, and celeriac and potato make such a lovely couple…

Potato and Celeriac Mash

potato and celeriac mash

I first saw this recipe described in a quarterly newsletter from Rachel Demuth, who runs the wonderful Demuth’s Restaurant in Bath. The celeriac brings a lovely mild celery flavour to the mash.

You’ll need:
  • 250g potatoes
  • 250g celeriac
  • 1 tblsp butter
  • 0.5 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2-3 tblsp capers
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
The Steps:
  • Peel and halve the potatoes (or quarter them, if they’re really large).
  • Peel the celeriac (well, with celeriac, you don’t so much peel as slice off the outer skin, which can be quite knobbly in parts). Cut into chunks, somewhere between 1 and 2 inches big. Celeriac does tend to discolour once it’s been peeled, so, if you’re not cooking it straight away, place the peeled celeriac in water with a splash of lemon juice to minimise discoloration.
  • Steam both the potatoes and the celeriac – should take about 20-25 minutes for the potatoes and around 15 minutes or so for the celeriac.
  • If the capers you’re using are salted, wash them well and rinse. If they’ve been stored in brine or vinegar, drain and rinse.
  • Add the butter, mustard, parsley, capers and black pepper to the potatoes and the celeriac and mash well together.
  • Add salt to taste, though you may not need to add any if the capers were salted or brined.
  • Serve as you would regular mashed potato. I imagine it would also work pretty well cold as a salad, it’s just never lasted that long around here.
The Results:
  • The original recipe describes this amount as serving 4 but I’d say it was more like mash for 2-3, unless, of course, you’ve got a ton of other stuff on your dinner plate.
The Variations:
  • Any number of variations, really. You could, for example, add some chopped up spring onions or chives to the mash or leave out the capers and use as a topping for shepherds pie.

17 Comments

  1. I like this! Perfect for your blog and I mean, who doesn’t love spuds?

  2. Daily Spud

    Monday, January 19, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks Jenn, that’s what I was thinking :)

  3. And you must share the different types of spuds…I saw 10 new (to me) varieties this weekend at the local farmers market. I’m used to Idaho russets, red potatoes, yellow potatoes, and the occasional peruvian purple. I don’t want those other varieties to disappear – like so many varieties of all different foods have over the years.

  4. All hail the spud! I thank you well in advance for all the wonderful recipes sure to come. The downside: I usually see only russet, small red, and Yukon Gold at the grocery. I agree with Gastroanthropology: please include the varieties in case we’re fortunate to find them wherever we are.

  5. Yay celeric!!!! We had these for the first time not too long ago, and they were just so good. But you’ve thrown in mustard and capers which are so great!

  6. i just adore celery root. i love that you added it to potatoes here. i’ll bet it was so tasty :D

  7. Yay! I’m excited for spud sundays! I’m so ready to bring back white potatoes in the US. They got such a bad rap with our damning of the carbs. Fortunately, more is arising about their health benefits though. We get beautiful white pototoes here in Brazil, but I’m not sure what variety they would be, simply batata. They tend to keep it simple. Ha, ha! Looking forward to more recipes!

  8. This looks delicious, great combination of flavors too!! And where, may I ask, did you find jackfruit?

  9. lovely recipe, nice variation for the humble spud:)

  10. Daily Spud

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    gastroanthropologist: I certainly hope to make some mention of different varieties – including ones that I might grow this year!

    Tangled Noodle: I’m sure you’ll still be able to make yummy spuddy things with russets and yukon golds :) – cultivars which are not commonly found here in Ireland. I think I’m going to have fun finding out more about varieties myself!

    Duo Dishes: first time I saw celeriac was a couple of years ago and I had no idea what it was – I quickly found out what I could do with it, though, and it was very good indeed :)

    Heather: it was tasty and, in fact, I can now verify that it was also very tasty cold, so I think this is going to start making summer appearances as a salad too…

    Lori: simply batata – love it!

    ChefBliss: Welcome and thanks! Re: jackfruit, I’ll post a follow-up comment on your blog.

    Lorraine: Thanks, it is a nice variation :) Hope you’re well on the road to feeling better now.

  11. I love potato! I would like to try this recipe but not so sure whether I can find celeriac here in Jakarta.

  12. Yum! I love potatoes and I’ll certainly add this one to my recipe box.

  13. OK, dude. I like the link! I am going to add you as a “Friend of SippitySup” you deserve it!

  14. I love that sweet-celery undertone that celery root gives to, well, everything. And add that to my favorite vegetable, well–heaven! Yay!

  15. i’ve never had celeriac before and i’m curious. next time i spot it, i’ll pick one up!

  16. Selba: gosh, no idea if celeriac would be available in Jakarta – good luck with trying to find it!

    Gaynol: Thanks, glad you liked it :)

    Greg: Thanks friend!

    Jenni: Yay indeed! Sums it up nicely.

    kickpleat: will be interested to hear what you think of celeriac once you get your hands on some…

  17. I am behind on my blog reading, and I like finding these kinds of blends…I love it!

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