The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Category: Snacks (page 3 of 13)

Spud Sunday: Rose-Tinted Spuds

And tint your potatoes blue or rose or green! How do you know that you will not like them?

MFK Fisher, from the essay “Shell-shock and Richard the Third” in Serve it Forth

It was a mildly curious coincidence that, in the week where bones found in an English car park were confirmed to be those of long-dead monarch, Richard III, I found myself reading an essay by MFK Fisher which referenced that self-same, newly identified king.

In the essay, written some 75 years or so ago, the author urges her readers to avoid indifference and monotony in their eating – as laudable an endeavour then as now. “Baked potatoes,” she says, “no matter how hot and flaky, become almost nauseating the seven-hundredth time they are served pinched open, with paprika and butter on the scar.” Well, quite so. Ardent eater of potatoes though I am, such relentless baked potato-ism might even cause me to recoil (and that’s saying something).

We should instead, she advises, forsake the mundane, and bring excitement and imagination to the dishes we create, as innovators now, and in centuries past, have done. She cites, among others, fanciful creations like the half capon, half pig cockentrice, described in 15th Century manuscripts, and which may well have graced the table of the now decidedly skeletal Richard III. It’s a somewhat extreme example and (unless you’re Heston Blumenthal, that is), you’re unlikely to be recreating such a thing in the comfort of your own kitchen anytime soon. That doesn’t mean to say that you can’t mix it up a little every now and then, though. Perhaps you will, as she suggests, tint your potatoes blue or rose or green. How do you know that you will not like them? How indeed.

Potato Pinwheels with Goats Cheese and Hazelnuts

Potato pinwheels with goats cheese and hazelnuts

So here, then, is something a little different to do with your potatoes. They may not be tinted blue or rose or green, but these potato pinwheels will do nicely for a change nonetheless.

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Spud Sunday: Young O’Donnell Had A Farm…

…and on that farm he grew some spuds, e-i-e-i-o.

More to the point, though, is what young Ed O’Donnell did with those potatoes. With a crunch, crunch here and a crunch, crunch there, he made crisps – and some really rather fine kettle-cooked crisps at that – a fact which I have verified by means of some, eh, selfless personal testing.

Fuelled by no small amount of determination – and featuring crisps flavoured using locally sourced ingredients, like Mt. Callan cheddar from Co. Clare and cider vinegar from Con Traas’ nearby apple farm in Co. Tipperary – O’Donnells Crisps have, since their launch in 2010, achieved an impressive level of distribution here in Ireland. You’ll find them, among other places, in SuperValu, Centra, Londis, Dunnes Stores, Superquinn and Tesco and also in Selfridges in the UK – so it’s here a crunch, there a crunch, and, really, everywhere a crunch, crunch for O’Donnells these days.

O'Donnells crisps and santa hat

And now for the best part...

The other place where you might find the crunch of an O’Donnells crisp this Christmas is in a box, delivered to your door. I have 5 such boxes to give away, and I will be resisting the temptation to eat them myself, so that I can, instead, bestow them, Santa-like, upon 5 lucky Daily Spud readers. Each will contain 20 packets of O’Donnells crisps in the readers’ flavour of choice – either mature Irish cheese and red onion, Irish cider vinegar and sea salt, or their more recently added sweet chilli flavour. Full details below.

Getting straight to the crunch:

If you fancy getting your Christmas mitts on a box of O’Donnells crunchiness, leave a comment below and let me know, flavourwise, whether you’re a cheese ‘n’ onion, salt ‘n’ vinegar or sweet chilli type of eater (or simply whether you’re salty, sweet or cheesy). Feel free, also, to speculate about the two new flavours that O’Donnells are bringing out in the new year – so secret that even I don’t know what they are yet.

I’ll pick 5 winners, and each will receive their Christmas crisp fix in the form of a box containing 20 packets of O’Donnells crisps in their chosen flavour. In a bit of good news for those living across the water, O’Donnells will deliver the prizes, not just to addresses in Ireland (either North or South), but to addresses in the U.K. as well.

I’ll leave this open until midnight GMT next Sunday, December 9th, and notify the winners of their incoming bounty of crisps thereafter.

Update 15/12/12: and so the winners have been chosen and O’Donnells crisps are winging their way to Keith Bohanna, Sara Wilson, Gareth Saunders, Imelda Kinsella and Lauren Bicocchi. Congratulations all and happy Christmas munching!

Spud Sunday: Irish Eating

I am well and truly awash with cookbooks these days. Yet another brace of books has come my way, joining what is an already noisy chorus of volumes on my shelves (some of whom, it must be said, have more to shout about than others). These newcomers, though, do, I think, present reason enough, each in their own right, to make their voices heard in the cookbook crowd.

Goodall's Modern Irish Cookbook

Goodall's Modern Irish Cookbook:
the bloggers-eye view on what Ireland is up to in the kitchen

In the case of the first book, I will first freely admit to a certain degree of bias. Goodall’s Modern Irish Cookbook, launched last Thursday in the Merrion Hotel, is a collection of recipes from Irish bloggers. And yes, as noted in this Saturday’s Irish Times, yours truly is a contributor (just look for the sentence containing the word potato – always a good chance that you’ll find me nearby).

Irish Times: Goodalls Modern Irish Cookbook

Making the news: Goodall's Modern Irish Cookbook (and my good self) in the Irish Times

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