Being welsh, leeks are never far away. And when a local supermarket reduced them to £1 for 5 I found myself buying a few. Then Freesia bought some and I believe I may have been given some as a present. So we have a lot of leeks! Hence the reason for the Leek and potato soup recipe also.
For those who don’t know the history of the Welsh and our leeks it’s thought that to differentiate ourselves from the Saxon enemies, we would wear leeks on our battle-helmets… Thus confusing them and allowing us to win the battle, and probably take some meat from their reserves. We could then use the leek as a side-veg, the meat as the main and even the helmet as a plate… I guess.
Anyway, so leek and potato mash.
It’s more than possible that the welsh won their battles because the leek is just so damned healthy. Easier to digest than onions, milder in flavour and recommended by http://www.everynutrient.com/healthbenefitsofleeks.html to lower ‘bad cholesterol levels’.
- 2kg Potatoes (your own preference)
- Vegetable stock cube
- 1 Leek
- Half a small onion
- Quark cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper
OK, so peel your potatoes. I have not recommended any particular type as I try to be more frugal by using ones that are on deal. If I was to prefer one variety over another I would say the bigger the better – just so it’s less fiddly to peel.
Once peeled, cut into chunks (roughly 1 inch cubes) and place in a saucepan of boiling water. Crumble a vegetable stock cube into the pan and stir occasionally. Pan-fry the leeks in a little rapeseed/sunflower oil and add to the potatoes once softened. Don’t allow the leeks to sit too long in the water (unless you want to make a soup instead) before pouring the entirety into a colander.
Add half a small, raw, chopped onion and 50g of quark cheese. Season to your heart’s desire (not too heavy with the salt… your heart shouldn’t desire too much of that!). I include quite a lot of garlic as I love the taste in mash. Plus, for me it means I can use less garlic with the meat accompaniment. This allows a greater balance of flavours… Or it could be rubbish! You judge the call 🙂
I’m a fan of chunky mash, textured with the remnants of pieces of potato, leek and onion. So I tend to make sure it’s all evenly mixed, beat with a masher and then serve as a big chunky mess. You can cut, mix or blend until you reach the consistency you prefer.
Cooking rings are quite reasonably priced these days and are a fantastic way of adding a bit of presentation-prowess to your dish. Use a spoon to place potato in the rings and place in an oven pre-heated to 180 and serve after 10 minutes.
PS, they will be soooooper hot! So careful or you’ll be screaming and swearing like a docker. Enjoy! Tim
To see the salmon in salsa verde recipe ckick here.