Living practically in the sticks it is a shame to let good event invites go to waste, so I sent my incredibly talented friend and owner of DaisychainBaby to report back. I am extremely jealous as if anyone needs some decent cooking tips it is me! Sadly my very basic cooking skills I demonstrated to Lins whilst at Uni, have not improved... my mash technique was often a subject of great hilarity ("boiling the potatoes to within an inch of their lives and mashing them in the water. No milk, no butter" - Lins also forgot to mention they were still in their skins!). Although Lins also failed to mention she sustained herself through Uni on pasta in sauce from a packet, add boiled water, voila you have a meal...
So over to Lins:
"My very first event as her official London roaming reporter took place yesterday and what a fab one it was! Armed with my trusty notepad and pen, I ventured off to a "Potato Masterclass" hosted by none other than Saturday Kitchen's James Martin! The British love affair with potatoes has been a long one, but I confess to being a bit of a philistine when it comes to potatoes and know next to nothing about them, apart from mash and roasts are my favourite. I'm certainly not alone, according to manyfacesofpotatoes.co.uk, who are on a mission to show Brits how to get the most from their potatoes.
After some mingling with our fellow attendees it was over to the pro! James Martin was on hand to show us to make some delicious recipes using the three different types of potato: a Potato, Pea and Watercress Soup; Salmon with Potato, Pickled Cucumber and Chili and finally Apple Mash with Grilled Pork Chop and Walnuts.
|Pea, Potato & Watercress Soup topped with Poached Egg|
I have to say, it is pretty awe-inspiring seeing someone who really, really knows what they're doing in the kitchen cooking away. I love cooking but I don't do enough of it and am only fairly average. Yesterday I learned the best way to poach an egg (make sure you add vinegar to the water and drop the egg in as the water swirls) and that any London hotel will poach their eggs up to 24 hours or so in advance and they keep beautifully in ice water for up to 48 hours! Peas are best frozen than fresh to make the soup a lovely green colour. Marcus Wareing apparently makes the best mash in London according to James, and uses 1lb of potatoes, 1lb of butter and a pint of double cream (heart attack on a plate I was thinking, but I'd still bury my face in it!) and that no matter how hard James tries, he still can't make roast potaoes better than his Mum's (bless!) Oh, and he likes butter. Tons of the stuff.
|James gets mashing|
We sampled all three of the dishes he made and each one was delicious, the potatoes perfectly placed as accompaniments but never stealing the show. The apple mash was simply amazing, even though I had to scoop it out from underneath the pork chop (I'm a fish-eating veggie but wasn't about to tell a celebrity chef, never mind a Yorkshireman that I don't eat meat!) - who would have thought that you could grate raw apple into mash and for it to be tasty?
|Apple Mash with Grilled Pork Chop and Walnuts|
I confess - I have a new found respect for this humble staple food-stuff and am determined to be more adventurous with them, especially mixing things in with mash.
I hope this has inspired you to show more love for our potato friends - you can find some great recipes over at www.lovepotatoes.co.uk and Potato Week runs from 1st to 7th October 2012."
Tune in next week for my roaming reporters next exciting event!