Tag Archives: potato

Alu and Methi

This marvellous book was given to me by Alix for my birthday a couple of years ago and I have used it regularly since, although always skipping or substituting an ingredient or two, as is the way with weekday cooking. For you, gentle readers, I shall do things strictly as Ms Chowdhary instructs! I have the fourth imprint from 1963, though it was first published in 1954, with the author reassuring readers that they do not need to add plenty of chilli, can omit onions and garlic, and that the majority of ingredients can be obtained ‘from my local grocer, chemist and corn merchant’. She also states that there are 3 or 4 well-known Indian grocers in London.

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Salade de pommes de terre aux piments

“One cannot help wondering if an English salad is the results of ignorance or the aim of curiously perverted taste…. The French I am told, have many failings, but they can make wine, coffee and salads.”

Thus aphorises  X Marcel Boulestin at the start of the salad chapter in Simple French Cooking for English Homes (of which Quadrille were kind enough to send us a copy). The book is a brisk but thorough canter through French home, as opposed to restaurant cooking, meaning it is full of recipes which are damn French but mostly require about 6 ingredients and are compatible with full-time employment. There are sections on sauces, soups, meat, vegetables and a few puddings (on obtient du pain dans les boulangeries, oui?), as well as hilariously didactic final chapter on wine. Salads includes details on the best way to mix dressing as well as recipes of of raw and cooked vegetables, fish and beef.

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Gateau de Pommes de terre aux oignons – Potato cake with onions

The lovely Classic Voices (from Quadrille) sent us a little teaser of their summer releases, one of which is ‘Simple French cooking for English Homes’ by X. Marcel Boulestin, first published in 1923 and containing the advice which every food blogger has taken to heart: ‘Food which is worth eating is worth talking about‘.  (On this blog we take that even further, by also talking about food which isn’t always worth eating.)

The snack-size preview proves the title is accurate and this pleases me. I like French food but am unable (i.e. too lazy) to cook a lot of Escoffier recipes, as I don’t generally keep meat jelly in the fridge. I have one volume of  Julia Child, but the long, long explanations put me off. (Though I am thinking of deploying it the next time I fancy some meringue.)

Last Sunday night it was very chilly and rainy for June,  I had not a lot of ingredients in the house and no desire to change out of my pyjamas and go out and buy some.  This is what happened:
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This Scottish dish is from Potato-wise Cookery, from 1965. It’s very simple and completely inappropriate for this warm weather. Wikipedia says it is Gordon Brown’s favourite food. That’s a factoid to remember for pub quizzes, eh?





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Cheese and walnut squares

In my neverending quest to find new ways to eat potatoes, I decided to try these potato scone-pancake hybrid from Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery Book (6th Edition, 1958)

Cooked potato 1lb
Grated cheese 3 oz
Salt and cayenne
Walnuts 2 oz
Milk ½ teacup
One egg
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Shepherd’s Pie

So, to kick off my contributions to Pie Month here’s a classic. The recipe is from Good Housekeeping’s Cookery Book (1955):

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Cauldron Goulash and Galuskas

This comes from the rather alarmingly covered Hungarian Culinary Art by József Venesz (Corvina Press, 1958):

(Shiny pig. Would eat).


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