2 Great News to announce!
You can now install The Cooking Ninja free application on your Android phone (if you have one obviously) and access my blog & recipes easily from your phone. Just search for “cooking ninja” on the Android application market.
And we have finally decided on our love nest. It’s only about 5 minutes walk to Little One’s school. That means Little One gets to sleep for another hour before getting ready to go to school. The only down side of the deal is that we’ll need to take a bus to the nearest train station (10 minutes away) to go down town. But hey, it’s what is best for our kid that counts the most right? Boy, we are so ready to move in right away as Little One (not just her, us too) is exhausted from waking up like 6.30 am to take the train and bus (about an hour of commuting) to school every morning and back. Yesterday night, she was so tired that she hardly ate her dinner and went to bed at 7.30 pm. Anyway, the apartment isn’t ready until next month and we don’t have any furniture at all. So there are lots of things to sort out before we can settle down and feel home. And I hope to satisfy my baker & cook itch in me soon. Pierre (so do Little One), needlessly to say, is dying for a nice western (French) home cook meal.
Now today’s recipe has very much to do with this month’s book choice The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaeffer and Annie Barrows’ for our « This Book Makes Me Cook » club. Read on and you will soon know why.
This book came highly recommended by my mother-in-law at the beginning of this year, who went on to buy a copy for her own library. Before I sat down and read it, she warned me that it is not written in the ordinary book way but in a form of series of letters and that if I can get it beyond that oddity, I would fall in love with book like she did. What can I say, this book is indeed a gem and how right she was!
Set in London and Guernsey Island, the story is about an author, Juliet, in search for a new inspiration and angle to write a new book, who became friends with the inhabitants of the island shortly after the end of World War II through correspondence. She was rather intrigued by the name of a book club ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society’. Least to say, not just her but us, the readers are rather curious about its name sake too. I love the way the author create each characters, giving them each an unique voice that endear themselves to the readers, making them so real and the depths of friendship and relationship that binds the characters in the story. This book evokes both happiness and sadness in the readers as if we were right there living with the inhabitants of Guernsey and making the reader sad that it has come to an end.
For this book, I would like to introduce a super simple French classic side dish called ‘Pommes Rissolée’ that is often present on the table in every French household with either steak, fish or pork. It’s a big favourite among the young and old. Thank you Michèle (mom-in-law) for showing me how to make this.
Panfried Potato (Pommes Rissolées)
- 5 medium/big potatoes (peeled & diced)
- olive oil or butter or duck fat (oil from leftover duck confit)
- 1 or 2 garlic (finely chopped – more if you prefer lots of garlic)
- salt for seasoning
- a prig or two of parsley, chopped (optional)
- Peeled and diced your potatoes into small cubes. Rinse and towel dry them. This is to remove the starch from the potatoes after cutting it. If you don’t wash them, the potato will likely stick to your wok/pan later.
- Heat the wok/pan with some oil/butter or duct fats.
- Once the oil is hot or butter is melted, add in the diced potatoes. Let it cook for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the bottom is browned under medium heat.
- Turn the potatoes over and let it brown on the other side. Add more oil if needed.
- Season it with salt. Toss now and then to get even browning of potatoes.
- Once the potatoes are more or less brown all over, toss in the chopped garlic. Stir to mix it together with the potatoes and let the garlic flavour infused with the potatoes under low heat about a few minutes.
- Toss in the chopped parsley (optional) onto the potato just before serving.
- Enjoy it with a steak, fish or chicken.
It’s unbelievable how such a simple dish like this can taste so good and full of aroma – crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. With or without the parsley, this dish still smell so good but of course the parsley bring it to another height in flavour.
Most of the time I only pan-fried it with olive oil but on the occasion when I have some duck fats (leftover oil from duck confit), I can’t resist pan fry the potatoes with it. It’s heavenly awesome. Try it and you’ll know what I mean by it.
Some slice the potatoes instead and pan fry them the same way.