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.
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
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
300g All-purpose flour
2 Eggs, beaten
500g Bread crumbs (panko)
Vegetable oil, enough to fill a deep fryer
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
1 small butternut, peeled and thinly sliced
4-6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
250ml grated parmesan cheese
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.