Saturday, 25 May 2013

Potato Cake Mash

Doris cooked lunch, today. She included some mashed potatoes, but they didn't taste quite right. She admitted to not having put any salt in them. She also cooked too much, so we had lots of left-over mash.

For dinner, I asked Doris what she would like. She suggested that she could cook shepherd's pie or cottage pie with the left-over mash, or that I could fry some chicken breast fillets with the mash made into potato cakes.

We discussed the potato cakes. Doris suggested sweetcorn, I suggested cheese, so I went to construct and fry the cheese-and-sweetcorn-potato-cakes along with a couple of chicken breasts.

So ... I have three things to do:
1. construct potato cakes
2. fry chicken
3. fry potato cakes
and this is the order in which I did the cooking.

I recall that a commenter on this very blog has suggested that I repeatedly pour hot water over frozen vegetables to heat them. I decided to do this, and after I unfroze the sweetcorn and drained the (now cold) water away, I dropped them into the mash that was in the pot. I grated the cheddar into the pot and mixed well.

I don't know if I've mentioned before, but I don't much like getting my hands mucky. I couldn't work out what kitchen device I could use to make the potato cakes, so I grabbed handfuls of the mixture and made balls out of them, placing them on a chopping board in readiness for squashing and frying them.

I poured oil into the frying pan and took the chicken breasts from the fridge. They were larger than I had imagined, so I decided to cook one each. When the oil was hot, I dropped the breasts in and started cooking them. I know that chicken doesn't take much time to cook, so I splatted the first few potato cakes and dropped them into the pan. The chicken was looking partially cooked, so I turned it over.

The chicken was taking longer to cook than I thought .They were quite fat, so I thought "butterfly" and prepared to take them out of the pan to cut them in half and fry the insides, but in the meantime I tried to turn over the potato cakes.

The potato cakes all fell apart.

I patted them back into shape, and tried again. They disintegrated again. I had no idea how to do this, so I called up to Doris, asking if there's a trick to keeping the potato cake shapes. She answered "Ahh, yes - you need to beat an egg into the mixture before you cook them.

Too late.

The butterflying worked ok, although I cut too deep and cut each of the breasts into two instead of keeping them whole, so I served two halves of chicken breast and a mass of unshapen fried potato mixture.

Those of you who follow this blog will know that, unless something is completely inedible, any completely unappetising food I make will be served, and and we will eat it. The chicken tasted ok, but the potato was definitely missing something. At this point, I recalled the lack of salt that Doris has mentioned earlier. So, all in all, I made a complete hash of the potatoes. Pun not intended, but now I think about it, I should have searched the Internet for hash brown recipes.

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