There are certain things that are guaranteed to brighten up this blogger’s inbox and, this week, the honours in that particular department went to a press release announcing the return of Keogh’s National Potato Day.
Now, when Keoghs got the National Potato Day ball rolling last year (with an event at which I was most honoured to act as Chief Spud Ambassador), folks wondered – and rightly so – why we did not already have a date set aside in the calendar for celebrating our de facto national vegetable. Alas, it has taken a persistent decline in sales of potatoes to prompt a real call to arms (and, for the record, Keogh’s aren’t the only ones attempting to tackle what is, in fact, an issue in many countries – you can read about the U.S. Potato Board’s latest efforts to pimp their potatoes over here).
Keogh’s, meanwhile, are just getting on with it. This year, in the run-up to National Potato Day – which is slated for Saturday August 25th – Keogh’s have started a petition to make the potato Ireland’s official national vegetable (though, eh, quite who they would present such a petition to is not exactly clear). In any case, you can read more about the petition and sign your digital name here (and, by the by, ignore any requests for donations displayed after signing – these relate to the company who produce the petition application, not the actual potato petition itself).
Of course, the best way to celebrate any prospective National Potato Day is to put some potatoes on your dinner plate. If, with that in mind, you’re in the market for some less than usual potato preparations, then you’ve come to the right place.
Inspired by an impromptu peanut sauce that I made lately to go with some noodles and broccoli, I decided – with a kind of satay-meets-roasties vision in my head – to give some roasted potato chunks a little peanut sauce treatment. I used baby new potatoes, which gave a creamy-textured result, but larger, floury potatoes can be used just as well here. Serve these with some white fish or chicken, perhaps, or just with a green salad.
- 800g potatoes, either baby new potatoes or a larger, floury variety
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2.5 tblsp vegetable oil (peanut, sunflower or rapeseed oil), divided
- 2 tblsp peanut butter (preferably with no added salt or sugar)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 0.5 tsp fish sauce
- 0.5 tsp sriracha (or other hot chilli sauce)
- 0.5 tsp grated ginger
- 5-6 finely chopped spring onions
- 3-4 tblsp chopped fresh coriander
You’ll also need:
- One or more baking trays or roasting tins, large enough to accommodate the potato chunks in a single layer.
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Scrub your potatoes, cut into approx. 2cm chunks and rinse to remove any excess starch.
- Bring a pot of around 1.5l water to the boil, add the salt, crushed cloves of garlic and the potato chunks. Bring back to the boil, then cover and simmer for around 7 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain and return to the saucepan and leave to sit, covered by a tea towel for around 5 minutes.
- Add 1.5 tblsp of the vegetable oil to a roasting tray and place in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat. Remove the heated tray from the oven, toss the potato chunks with the oil and place on the tray. Place in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the potatoes are starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, mix together the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, sriracha (or other chilli sauce), grated ginger and the remaining 1 tblsp of vegetable oil to a thick-ish paste.
- When the potatoes have started to crisp and brown, remove from the oven, toss them with the peanut sauce and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove, toss with spring onions and chopped coriander and serve with white fish, chicken, salad or just all on their own.
- You can make things a little more citrussy by roasting a few pieces of thinly sliced lime along with the potatoes.
- Serves around 4-6 as a side dish
In Other News…
If you fancy that you know a thing or two about food and you are of a quizzical disposition, then you might just be interested in the Slow Food Dublin Culinary Quiz which happens this coming Tuesday, July 24th, in the Sugar Club in Dublin. Pit your culinary wits against the assembled masses, with plenty of tasty prizes on offer. Proceeds from the event go to Slow Food’s A Thousand Gardens in Africa project and you can register your team here.