Kitchen Heroes – potatoes

Kitchen Heroes is a celebration of those champion ingredients we all have in our store cupboard or fridge. Some are brilliant cooked as they are, whilst others are also the key to dozens of deliciously different dishes.

Take the humble potato, for example.  From starring in some of the nation’s favourite dishes, the idea of fish and chips without the chips is unthinkable, to a crucial role in recipes from soups to fish cakes, it’s time to celebrate the honest spud.

5 fascinating facts

  • In the UK each person will eat an average of 103kg of potatoes a year. That’s 500 medium sized spuds.
  • 100g of boiled potatoes contain 75 calories.
  • Mr Potato Head toy was created in 1952.
  • Crisps were invented by accident in 1853, that has to be one of the best food accidents on record.
  • 1995 the first spud was grown in space.

The ultimate potato recipe:

We love this layered bake. Slow cooked with cream and garlic Potato dauphinoise is perfect anytime.

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5 Easy potato recipes

Top tips

  • It’s true that most of the vitamin C and the flavour is in a thin layer just under the skin, so cook potatoes with the skin on whenever possible.
  • Store potatoes in a paper bag to keep them out of the light while still allowing them to breathe.
  • To reduce cooking time, bake jacket potatoes in the oven with a metal skewer pushed through them.
  • Add hot milk when making mashed potato for a really creamy finish.

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An unusual idea for spuds

Hasselback potatoes: this looks like a very fancy side dish, but actually it’s really easy and super-tasty!

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Know your potatoes

Different varieties of spud have different qualities and different uses. Floury varieties such as Maris Piper and King Edward are brilliant for baking and mashing, but not for boiling as they tend to fall apart. On the other hand, waxy types such as Charlotte or Anya hold together when steamed or boiled, but don’t mash well.

Exactly which variety is best for each use is the subject of endless debate, but these are our recommendations:

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Watch our videos for more tasty food ideas