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Let’s celebrate National Potato Day

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Potatoes are an important crop in South Africa and account for almost half of the total vegetables produced and 3% of the total agriculture production.

250315. Angela Day Potatoes. 674 Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

It’s National Potato Day! We celebrate the humble vegetable that not only tastes delicious but is also incredibly versatile. Potatoes remain South Africa’s most popular carb and can be transformed into a variety of dishes. It can be boiled and mashed, baked, or deep-fried.

Potatoes were first cultivated in regions of South America sometime between 5000 and 8000 BC. From that point forward they spread all over the globe to become one of the primary staple crops of many cultures and are now a favourite part of global cuisine, with a number of different forms of preparation to be found in virtually every recipe book.

Who can resist a packet of potato crisps to accompany that lunchtime sandwich? And can you imagine a burger without potato chips? Dinner doesn’t seem complete unless it includes some form of potato, whether as a main or as a side.

Here are some recipes you might enjoy this National Potato Day.

Cheesy potato croquettes

Makes: About 15

Ingredients

800g potatoes, peeled and boiled

1 spring onion, chopped

30g salted butter

2 tbsp milk

5g Coriander, chopped

250g Cheddar cheese

30g Parmesan cheese

80g all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper

Crumbing mix

300g All-purpose flour

2 Eggs, beaten

500g Bread crumbs (panko)

For frying:

Vegetable oil, enough to fill a deep fryer

Method

Peel and boil potatoes till soft and set aside to cool. Sauté onions and season with salt and pepper.

Add milk, beaten egg yolks, coriander, cheese, sautéed onion, and flour to mashed potatoes and combine well.

Chill for 30 minutes and then shape into 5cm round balls. Roll in flour, dip in the beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs.

Once complete, place the croquettes in the fridge to set overnight. Deep-fry each croquette until brown on all sides.

Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with a spicy mayo.

Recipe by Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Cape Town-based Chef Akhona Swazi.

Potato and butternut bake

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 small butternut, peeled and thinly sliced

4-6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

250ml grated parmesan cheese

250ml cream

Method

Arrange the sliced butternut and potato in an ovenproof dish.

Season with salt and pepper.

Scatter over the parmesan and pour over the cream.

Bake at 180°C for 1 hour until the vegetables are tender.

Cover with tinfoil if it starts to burn on the top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Angela Day.