You say potato I say potata!

I couldn’t help but notice the amazing array of potatoes as I wandered around the Adelaide Central Markets today. I thought I’d share a couple of my favourite potato recipes.

Gnocchi:

The best gnocchi is produced with dry, mashed potatoes, so I roast the potatoes on salt. This draws out all the  moisture as they cook, and I find the result gives a much more pillowy (is that a word?) gnocchi. When combining the flour and egg yolk, it is important not to overwork the dough or your gnocchi might be better served as a bouncy ball. I bring the dough almost together with a pastry scraper and then use my hands. The less you work the starch in the potatoes, the softer your gnocchi will be. I used Royal Blue potatoes, but Desiree could be used if you can’t find them.

Ingredients:

600g Royal Blue potatoes

70g plain flour

1 egg yolk

rock salt, for roasting

pink salt, for seasoning  

 olive oil 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. pour some rock salt onto a tray and add the potatoes on top. Roast until potatoes are very tender
  2. Halve and then scoop out the inside of the potatoes. Pass through a drum sieve with a pastry scraper or use a potato ricer. Combine the potato with the egg yolk, flour and salt and work into dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 2cm diameter sausage. Cut the dough with a pastry scraper or knife into 2cm wide discs.
  3. Boil a large saucepan of salted water. Add the gnocchi. Cook for a couple minutes or until the gnocchi rises to the surface. Remove the gnocchi and refresh briefly in iced water, before draining in a colander. Toss with a little oil to stop the gnocchi sticking together. The gnocchi is now ready to be tossed through a sauce (tomato based sauces are good, as is pesto) or it can be served with dishes such as ragu.

Chips:

Everyone has their favourite way of cooking chips, and the recent nod from experts has been given to the thrice cooked chip, firstly boiled, then deep fried at two different temperatures. I like this method, however it can be more time consuming than other methods for a somehwhat similar result. My preferred method is to deep fry twice, at 140 degrees and then 190 degrees. I find this gives a delicious crisp outside and a fluffy inside. I had quite a bit of practice making chips during the Masterchef experience; the meat and livestock association visited the house and left us with a quarter of a cow. Adam and I promplty used all the bones to firstly make beef stock, and then demi-glaze. We then spent the next seven nights in a row eating various steaks with chips and our demi-glaze. I’m not proud of it.

I used Sebago, but some other potatoes that lend themselves well to chips include Russet, Burbank and Bintje. Putting the chips in the fridge helps to dry out the outside of the potato, and contributes to having a crispy skin.

Ingredients:

Sebago potatoes

vegetable oil, for deep frying

good quality salt

Method:

  1. Preheat a deep fryer or large saucepan or wok with a thermometer to 140C
  2. Peel potatoes  and cut into 1cm diameter chips
  3. Working in small batches if you are doing lots of chips, deep fry for 5-8 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and a starting to get a tinge of golden brown to them. Remove from the oil onto a tray lined with paper towel. The chips should be in a single layer, not piled on one another. Drain of as much oil as possible with more paper towel and transfer into the fridge on the tray.
  4. When ready to eat, heat the oil to 190 degrees. Cook the chips for a couple minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil to a large bowl, season generously with salt and toss them around. It is important to season straight away or the salt doesn’t seem to stick to the chip. Serve
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27 responses to this post.

  1. Gnocchi is a tricky one and I do love your tip on roasting the potatoes on salt (duly noted!) You can’t fo wrong with good ol’ chips either! Hope you enjoyed Adelaide

    Reply

  2. Potatoes! Easily the best vegetable going around when combined with salt. 😀

    Going to bookmark for future reference. The problem I’ve found with homemade chips is that they aren’t ever crispy enough. Refrigerating sounds like a good idea… Thanks.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anna on August 18, 2010 at 6:10 am

    dude… that is somewhat freaky, lol. Was at the Central Markets today for lunch with a friend at Zumas and desert at Providore =S Ah well, at least I got the right day this time instead of missing you in djs by a day. nawwh, I love little old Adelaide – I might run into you one day after all, haha (that is meant in the most non-stalkerish way possible. Seriously.)

    Anyways – thanks for the tip about not over-working the dough. I don’t make gnocchi very much (and by not much, I mean I’ve only made it once before, lol) and it turned out.. well, yeah, like a rubber ball. Might have to have another crack at it… which stall were the Royal Blue potatoes at? and why did you pick those as opposed to the others..?

    Reply

    • I’m sure it will happen eventually! I’m hoping to do some cooking classes or something at the central markets in the future, so if you’re around I might see you then! Have a go at the gnocchi and let me know how you go. I got the Royal blue potatoes one of the larger fruit and veg shops sort of near the gouger street entrance. I chose them as they are a good mashing potato (and gnocchi starts off as a mash), if you use an innapropriate potato you can get a mealy texture.

      Reply

  4. Steak & chips 7 days in a row! Wow. That’s impressive! I like the sound of the thrice cooked chips, nothing beats a bowl of hot chips 😀

    Reply

  5. Posted by Abby-lea on August 18, 2010 at 7:56 am

    No wonder the cafe i work at in the market was dead today, all the people were most probably following you around instead of drinking our delicious coffee 🙂
    I am thoroughly enjoying reading your blog (and Matt’s and Aaron’s) maybe Will can take some pointers and he can cook me a delcious feast.
    Probably see you soon at a 21st (which has been the case of the past few weeks)
    🙂

    Reply

  6. Posted by Jack on August 18, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I SAY TOMATO YOU SAY TOMAHTO! 😀

    Reply

  7. I am loving your simpsons quote!
    Your gnocchi looks perfect too. Keep up the good work Callum

    Reply

  8. Posted by Jennifer on August 18, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Hi Callum, Was wondering which stall you took the photo of the lovely potatoes. I go the central market about once a wekk.

    I also love the look of the gnocchi and macaroons. Well done.

    Jennifer

    Reply

  9. Posted by Sian on August 18, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Enjoying the blog so far.
    What is your favourite sweet potato recipe? Cheers!

    Reply

  10. The last time I fried chips I tried to dry them out on salt in the oven… not my best moment. I’m definitely trying your method next time :S

    Oh I made the macaron today 🙂 So delicious!

    Reply

  11. Posted by Robert Barnes on August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Callum – I do love a good potato and wondered what you’d recommend for a Rosti?

    Reply

  12. Hey Call,

    Congrats on your site mate… looks like you’re ripping it up. Are you coming to Adele’s fundraiser on sunday at the rezz? i hope you’re well and i’m looking forward to hearing about your new adventures.

    x Ms Potato Head

    Reply

  13. Brilliant post Cal. Those steak, chips and demi-glace days were some of my favourites!

    Reply

  14. your gnocchi looks like little tiny soft pillows. Will need to try your recipe when i get the chance 🙂

    Reply

  15. Posted by Alex on August 20, 2010 at 8:19 am

    To those wondering which stall Callum got his potatoes from, if it’s the stall pictured in the photo, then it’s the House of Organics, stall 34-35. http://www.adelaidecentralmarket.com.au/search-the-market/stall-map/interactive-map Exquisite fruit & vegetables, costly I suppose but unfortunately because of modern corporate farming methods you really have to pay to eat organic. Oh jeez I miss living 5 minutes’ walk away from the market.

    Reply

  16. Here we go billy boy!!! Not bad, not bad. What do you reckon of the idea of a gnocchi chip?

    Reply

  17. Greetings, oh Inspirational One.
    How goes you great potato fiasco?
    I do hope it snows.
    See, where I’m from (Bright, Victoria, visit, will you?) it is supposed to snow every eight years or so. The last time it did was when I was six, and so now that I’m 14 I’m waiting, the weather I am berating, but still, it does not snow.
    Oh well.
    Goodbye.
    Au revoir.
    Auf Wiedersehen
    Farewell.

    Reply

  18. Hi Callum

    I live in Kangaroo Island, which I believe is one of the most if not the most beautiful part of Australia. Any chance you may pop in and see us here anytime soon, I’m sure the locals would love it. Would love to see you, especially give the youth here a chance to see that coming from South Australia is a fabulous thing.

    Let me know.
    Cheers
    Maree

    Reply

  19. how would you recommend those you don’t have a deep fryer and hence no way of measuring the oil to cook perfect chips at home? have you ever tried the cold oil method? http://simonfoodfavourites.blogspot.com/2010/06/home-cooking-cold-oil-french-fries-28.html i’ve found it to be very easy and even though they may not be as crispy as the thrice method it’s pretty foolproof for anyone to try at home 🙂

    Reply

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