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Interesting TV prog, where pasta was eaten freshly cooked, chilled and re-heated. Pasta and Spuds are carbs, which produce high sugar levels. The experiment discovered that the re-heated pasta lowered blood sugar production and provided added fibre to the digestive system. So, it seems that re-heating left-overs can allow you to still eat your favourite ingredients, reduce food waste and provide a healthier meal.

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Hi Stallard 12.

 

I don't use a recipe with precise weights of ingredients but I'll explain how I make them and I'm sure with a few tries you'll be able to make them just as your Mum did - as I'll bet she was making them the old traditional way.

 

Firstly, the choice of potatoes is a crucial factor. Nowadays there are so many different types and a lot which are bred especially to 'fall' easily to make soft creamy mash - these are the ones NOT to use. They will produce a potato cake with a sloppy 'gluey' texture.   

In your mother's day choice was more limited and she would have probably been cooking with local grown Cheshires or king Edwards.

For your first try I'd play safe and go for King Edwards. When you mash them you'll see that they have a stiffer and drier texture than a lot of the modern varieties. (Once you've seen which type of texture is needed you'll be able to identify which of the modern spuds will be ok to use.)

 

Boil, drain well and mash the potatoes, it's ok if a little butter has been added but those creamed with added milk will probably be too soft.

Let them go completely cold - (warm won't work)

At this stage the mash will be hard, re-mash a bit to loosen and smooth. Add salt to taste.

The idea is to make a potato cake with as much potato and as least flour as you can get away with. At least 4 parts potato to 1 part flour, less flour if possible.

For a 2 pint bowl full of mash I would use approx 1 beaten egg, add it bit by bit and use just enough to get a sticky but not wet mix, then add sifted plain flour gradually until you've got it just firm enough to be able to form balls with well floured hands. Flatten the balls to about 1/2inch thick onto a well greased tray and bake in a hot (gas 7) oven.

(make sure the oven is hot before you put them in - like when baking bread the first 15 mins of high heat expand the gluten in the flour, after that you can turn the oven down a bit if they are browning up too much).  

 

These are the old fashioned cobbler looking potato cakes. A lot of people try to make them looking neater by rolling the dough and cutting to shape but to be able to do this there has to be quite a bit of flour added and the cake will taste more of flour than of potato. 

 

Have a try using this method, it always works for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Add what you want for flavour Obs, I like them as they are so don't add anything other than salt and pepper to the mixture. I do sometimes add 'flavour' after such as grated cheese etc,  I've actually even made plate sized and used as a type of pizza base and loaded them with all kinds of toppings. Mostly though just eat hot and buttered. love them!

 

Yes, you really must make sure the mash is stone cold before you make the mixture, if it's warm the gluten in the flour will start to work before they get in the oven and they'll taste floury and have a gluey texture.

So make sure it's a cold mixture into a hot oven - this expands the gluten fast (like in bread making).

As I said earlier, because each batch of potatoes can be different you have to judge rather than measure the ingredients, but after two or three tries you should get a feel for what the dough should be like.

I usually make an oven full and pull one tray out just golden brown, cool, wrap and put in the fridge. These will last a couple of days and can be warmed in the toaster or quickly under the grill - never as good as straight from the oven but still miles better than shop bought.     

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