Often overlooked, the humble potato is a useful ingredient to have, especially in a student kitchen where often meals are thrown together with whatever is lying about. Mastering the potato will improve whatever dish you have them with. Be that your roast dinner or packed lunch.
The frozen ones you get from the supermarket never live up to wedges you make at home. They’re dead easy to make but take some time in the oven. So plan accordingly.
Potatoes (how many you use will obviously depend on your appetite and how many people you’re cooking for, but one medium-large potato is usually enough for one person)
Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan and boil a pan of salted water.
Wash the potatoes thoroughly and chop into wedges, then add them to the pan of boiling water for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, drain the potatoes and leave them to dry for about 3 minutes.
Spread the wedges onto a baking tray (lining the tray with tin foil will make cleaning up a lot easier) and drizzle with oil making sure they are covered. Sprinkle with salt and paprika if using then put in the oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
Super easy to make at home, and great to take as a snack between classes or to make that sad sandwich lunch a little more substantial. This recipe is for a basic potato salad but you can add parsley, horseraddish, chopped up hard-boiled eggs, paprika, or whatever else you fancy to spice it up.
150g baby potatoes (about 5)
A splash of olive oil and white wine vinegar (if you have it)
Salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes, drain then leave to cool.
Chop the potatoes however large you want them then add to a bowl with as much mayonnaise as you like, olive oil, vinegar, and any extras you want. Add salt and pepper to taste.
A classic for a reason, great with sausages and gravy, casseroles, pie, and basically anything else. But my favourite way to have mash is with peas and ketchup as a hangover cure.
2-3 small potatoes
Peel the potatoes and chop into small, evenly sized pieces, then add to well salted boiling water for about 15 minutes (the exact amount of time will depend on the size of the chunks, but they should come apart when stabbed with a fork) then drain.
Use whatever mashing method you have available, I like to use a potato ricer, but a regular masher or even the back of a fork work too.
The amount of butter and cream you use will depend on your personal taste, but I tend to use a knob of butter about the size of my thumb, and then add the cream a splash at a time until I get the consistency I like.
Don’t be fooled by the fancy French name, these sautéed potatoes are super easy to make and a great alternative to chips.
2-3 small potatoes
Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces then boil for 10 minutes in salted water. After 10 minutes, drain and leave to dry for about 3 minutes.
Heat a decent amount of oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat (enough to cover the bottom of the pan). Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes to the pan, making sure there is room between them. If your pan is small, you may need to cook in batches. Shake the pan from side to side and turn the potatoes occasions. Cook until the potatoes are evenly golden.
Having a hot oven is the key to crispy roasties, and once you’ve mastered them, you’ll never go back to Aunt Bessie.
2-3 small potatoes
Heat the oven to 230C/210C fan. Peel the potatoes and chop into pieces a little bigger than the size you want them to be when done, then boil in salted water for about 10 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling cover the bottom of your baking tray with olive oil.
Drain the potatoes then shake in the pan with the lid on. Carefully put the potatoes on the baking tray and make sure they are covered with oil.
Cook for about 20 minutes then flip and cook for another 10-20 minutes keeping an eye on them.
See also: How to make the TikTok cabbage dip recipe