Here follows a small public service announcement: The Daily Spud (that would be me) is a girl.
Ok, a lot of you knew that, but it hasn’t been uncommon for newcomers here to assume otherwise. There’s something about the name Spud that seems to imply solid, male qualities, as opposed to anything giggly girl-ish.
I bring this up only because of the call that went out from Carol at Simply… Gluten Free, seeking entries with a manly theme for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free. I thought that a dish with spuds was a pretty natural manly choice, even if this here Spud happens not to be built in that manly way.
But what to do with spuds that would accentuate their manliness? The occasion demanded that I cut them into hunks, of course, and clearly I’d have to leave the skins on (because real men eat them skins ‘n’ all, right?). And it would be unbecoming to have my manly hunks of spud going to either mush or mash, so I would roast them up and then serve them with a chunky sauce that was smoky, earthy and chilli hot. Think Mexican chilli meets patatas bravas. These would be fine, manly potatoes and no gluten required.
Manly Spuds: Potato Chunks in a Smoky Chilli Sauce
As specified, with 1 chipotle chilli and some hot paprika, the sauce has a nice smoky bite. If you’re making this for manly types who like extra heat, feel free to increase the quantity of chipotle and/or paprika.
- 4 potatoes, around 800g
- 4 tblsp olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
The manly sauce:
- 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tblsp tomato puree
- 1 dried chipotle chile
- 0.5 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1.5 tsp cider vinegar
- olive oil for frying
The Spud Steps:
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Scrub the potatoes and cut into large, roughly even-sized
- Pat the potatoes dry and toss in the olive oil
- Place on a baking tray and roast until tender, around 20-30 minutes, depending on size
- Season with salt & pepper
The Sauce Steps:
- Remove the stem from the chipotle and grind in a coffee or spice grinder. Alternatively, toast the chile for a minute or so in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, soak in just-boiled water for about 15 minutes to soften, then drain and finely chop. Set aside.
- Place a pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add olive oil to coat the pan.
- Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
- Add the chipotle, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano and cocoa powder to the pan. Stir to mix.
- Add the tomato puree to the pan, stirring briefly.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in a tsp of the cider vinegar and taste. Add a touch more if you like.
- Serve with the spuds and sour cream or yoghurt.
- Next time I think I’ll sprinkle some grated parmesan on the spuds about 5 minutes before they’re done.
- Side-dish or tapas-sized portions for about 4