Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blue potato and garlic confit with smoked mackerel mousse

Blue potatoes make a great potato confit. A few farmers at my local Saturday morning farmers´market are selling blue potatoes. Occasionally red flesh potatoes can be found. There are a couple of varieties of blue potatoes, the more frequent (I wanted to say common, but blue potatoes are not really common, are they) one sold here is called Blauer St Gallener or sometimes St. Gallerli, whereby the "-li" ending denotes the diminutive form in Swiss German. And the diminutive is spot on because the tubers are generally small. Just right for cooking potato confit.

Potato confit, simply put, is cooking potatoes in fat or oil at low temperature. Seasoning with fresh herbs and garlic adds the extra flavour and best of all while the potatoes are cooking in the oven the smells coming from the kitchen are tickling the senses in anticipation of a great meal.

Small Blaue St Gallerli with rosemary and garlic ready for potato confit

Blue Potato Confit
Ingredients for 2-3 portions:
1 kg small blue potatoes, thoroughly washed, unpeeled
2 garlic bulbs
fresh rosmary
4dl olive oil
sea salt

A confidently generous amount of garlic recommended

Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius / 350 F
1. Place the rosemary sprigs and potatoes into an oven form. I prefer 2 smaller forms instead of one larger form to keep the oil level high and potatoes compactly together.
2. Cut the bottom of the garlic bulb off and spread the cloves between the potatoes.
3. Cook the potatoes in the oven for ca. 1 hour until soft.
4. To serve cut a cross on one side of the potato and press the potato together slightly to "open" it.
5. Remove the garlic from the skins and serve too. The garlic confit has a slightly sweet taste.
6. Season with sea salt.

I keep the oil, now fragrant with garlic and rosemary, and use it later for cooking. For example it gives an extra flavour to risotto.


Smoked Mackerel Mousse
This is a simple way to prepare a smooth mackerel mousse or spread that can be used on a sandwich or as an accompaniment to the succulent potato confit.

1 smoked mackerel, ca. 300g
1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp sour cream
chives, finely chopped

1. Carefully clean the mackerel from skin and bones. Place the fish into a bowl and mix with a fork to prepare a smooth consistency.
2. Add the chopped capers to the fish.
3. Combine the sour cream with mackerel and capers into a smooth mousse.
4. Serve with chives.