Several of my work colleagues, it seems, are off the jar for January (meaning, for those unfamiliar with that particular turn of phrase, that they are giving alcohol a miss for the month). One did confess, though, to having fallen off the wagon the other day by way of a mid-week glass of wine and, like any forbidden fruit, it was all the sweeter for that. Now, several days later, I can’t say if that conversation was what prompted me to (a) buy a bottle of white wine or (b) add a glass of same to these potatoes, but it might just have been a factor. What I can tell you is that the potatoes are, without doubt, all the better for the addition.
Potatoes with Leeks and White Wine
This is an utterly simple preparation – potatoes cooked in a pan with some leeks, garlic, thyme, olives and of course that white wine. If you’re like me, you’ll just eat these on their own for lunch, or they would make a nice accompaniment to a plain omelette, some baked mushrooms or a piece of grilled white fish, along with a glass of that white wine you had to open…
- olive oil for frying
- butter for frying
- one large leek, white and light green parts finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 medium-sized potatoes (about 600g total), peeled and cut into approx. 2cm cubes
- 0.5 tsp dijon mustard
- 0.5 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 150ml dry white wine (one you’d like to drink yourself)
- 150ml hot water
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3-4 tblsp green olives, sliced
- 1 tblsp brine from the olives (optional)
You’ll also need:
- A good-sized frying pan – mine was around 26cm diameter – with a lid
- Place your frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add about 0.5 tblsp butter and 0.5 tblsp olive oil. When the butter has melted, add the leeks. Stir and fry for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute more.
- Add the chunks of potato, mustard, salt and pepper and stir briefly, then add the white wine, hot water, thyme, olives and, if the olives have been stored in brine, add about a tblsp of the olive brine. Stir again and bring the potatoes to the boil, then cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked through and the liquid had reduced considerably – this will take around 30 minutes or so.
- Enjoy these potatoes on their or with eggs or fish or whatever else you fancy.
- You could certainly add some parsley to good effect here or some parmesan cheese if you felt like it. A few capers wouldn’t go astray either.
- Makes 2-3 servings
Speaking of wine, if you’d like to end January in style, then you might just be interested in this…
Jamie Marfell, winemaker with New Zealand’s Brancott Estate, is in town for the New Zealand Wine Fair at the end of the month, and will host a free wine tasting masterclass in the Odessa Club, Dublin on Tuesday 31st January, along with Irish wine aficionado Jean Smullen. There are 30 places at the wine tasting up for grabs and tickets are available by emailing Brancottestateireland@gmail.com with your name, date of birth, contact details and address, or visit the Brancott Estate Facebook page for more information. Tickets will be allocated on a lottery basis and guests will be notified of attendance by Friday 27th January.
If you don’t secure a place at the wine tasting (or even if you do), you might also be interested in attending the New Zealand Wine Fair itself, which happens on Monday, January 30th at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Golden Lane in Dublin 8. Around 35 wineries are participating and there will be over 200 New Zealand wines to try (though you don’t actually have to try them all…). The event is open to the general public from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and consumer tickets are now on sale price €15.00. The aforementioned Jean Smullen has the low down here.