I wondered down to my neglected compost heap yesterday, my dreams were big when I started my veggie garden. A friend of mine always told me I should really start with excellent soil and then I would have no problems when I came to building my garden. I even went on line to see the best way to go about composting and I have to say I started with gusto! Tossing through the heap yesterday I came to the conclusion I can follow directions well and found indeed I do have beautiful looking soil...I just needed to keep it going.
As will many things in life I have decided to put my green finger on hold until I am a little older and wiser and have more time! One very good aspect of the compost heap was my last batch of potatoes. I managed to dig up the remaining potatoes and am pleased to say I had enough to make a delicious dinner for four (is it wrong to use your compost heap for a veggie garden?)
Needing a decent meal I headed for the kitchen and started to rummage through the fridge and see what I could throw together. Lamb cutlets and broccoli were on the list and what better way to par my home grown potatoes! I once saw Rick Stein on telly picking potatoes out of a field and then preparing a delicious looking potato rosti, after watching him years ago I always had the urge to do the same and today was my opportunity because god only knows when I'll be feeding the compost heap again and growing my own potatoes!
After giving the pots a bit of a wash I grated them into a starchy mess. Potatoes that are this fresh actually have a smell of earth and dirt, something I have never noticed when grating my everyday store bought potatoes. After grating give the potatoes a good squeeze to remove a lot of the starch and moisture (this way you end up with a lovely crisp outer rosti).
Once squeezed I sprinkle on about a tablespoon of flour (I grated about 6 small/medium new pots), a good pinch of sea salt and grind of pepper then mix lightly to combine. Once mixed leave for about 5 minutes before you begin to cook your rosti. You will still have more moisture come out of the potato which is what you want because it combines with the flour creating a binding agent to hold it all in place when frying.
In a medium frying pan, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat on a medium/high temperature. Take a handful of potato press it together to form a disc and then gently place into your hot pan. Fry until golden brown then gently flip over and continue until the rosti is golden and crunchy. Remove to some paper towel to soak up the excess oil and continue with remaining potato.
While the potatoes were cooking I had another pot on with boiling salted water for my broccoli and I also had the lamb chops cooking under the grill (broiler). Because I wanted it to be really tasty I grabbed some mayo from the fridge, added a little warm water to thin it out, chopped up some parsley and mint, added a little lemon juice then left it until I was ready to serve. The whole dinner took no longer than 20 minutes because it was all cooking at the same time. My lamb rested in foil while I finished off the rostis. Once they were ready all I had to do was put it together on the plate.
We all loved this meal, the boys sucked their lamb chops dry, Alex managed to eat his broccoli with the help of the mayo dressing and I was left wanting more! I may not be doing it with home grown potatoes for a while but this was a great family meal that took less than 30 minutes to prepare- what is there not to love about that?