Monday, 22 March 2010

Potato Flake Fish

It turns out that there are other uses for instant mashed potato. You have the Americans to thank for this, who seem to regularly use potato flakes as a coating for meats. Fish seems to be the most common thing to be coated in this manner, although chicken can be coated as well. There even is a recipe for making bread using wheat flour and potato flakes.

This recipe has given an opportunity for me to use up the remainder of my instant mashed potato from my previous outing, and the two remaining frozen fish fillets from long ago. Execution is almost trivial, involving the coating the fish with flour, followed by egg, and then the potato flakes, preferably combined with some herb mix. The coated fish is then baked for 20 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.

It also turns out that if you are going to use potato flakes to coat fish, you would have to combine the potato flakes with something very flavourful - there is a reason why many of the recipes of the Internet specify that the potato flakes are combined with parmesan cheese. The fish does look somewhat pretty to look at however, resembling some sort of poor man's tempura. All said and done, I am most definitely looking forward to coming up with a better tasting recipe for the next blog post.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Chunky Cottage Pie

As far as I can tell, pies feature quite heavily in British cuisine. In fact, if memory serves, the first meal I ever had from college catering at my dormitory was cottage pie. These were relatively cheap, simple affairs: beef mince (or lamb mince if you wanted shepherd's pie) was cooked with some seasoning and root vegetables if the caterer was feeling generous, before this was used to line a baking tray with gravy, with the whole thing topped with mashed potato. While the concept of not using pastry to make a pie may take some getting used to, many of my British colleagues are fond of a good cottage pie, and it definitely serves as effective comfort food during the harshest of winters. Apparently, this post is being written in the middle of a British Pie Week.

I had quite a substantial amount of beef stew left over from the previous post, and hit upon the idea of pairing it with mashed potato for a quick dinner. Funnily enough, Wikipedia says that cottage and shepherd's pies came about as a means of making use of leftover roast meat by topping it with a mashed potato crust.

The Basics mashed potato mix is found to have a higher potato content than its regular counterpart (98% vs 86%). In fact, its contents are just dehydrated potato flakes, and little else, which would benefit those who are looking for fewer additives in their food. Care must be made in preparing however; if too much water is added you may end up getting what looks like wallpaper paste. If this happens, just add more potato flakes until the desired consistency is obtained.
Preparation is trivial and will only be expressed in photos.

It might be a good idea to season your mashed potato during preparation. Pepper and salt might be one idea. Where I work, from time to time the canteen serves mashed potato containing wholegrain mustard, which I find to be a good idea.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Mashed Potato Mix£0.34250g+£0.53 for 432gMore comprehensive mix, no need for milk
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