Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Laura Tri­este De­tails: mad­spuds.com.au

WHETHER they are baked whole, boiled into a creamy mash or fried to crispy per­fec­tion, pota­toes can be the ul­ti­mate com­fort food to add to a hearty win­ter meal.

At Mad Spuds Cafe in Surry Hills, pota­toes are the star in­gre­di­ent in many dishes and the eatery en­cour­ages peo­ple to en­joy ev­ery part of them.

Head chef Subash Pandey said the cafe used sev­eral types of pota­toes, but mainly stuck to se­bago and King Ed­ward va­ri­eties.

“All of our baked pota­toes are very popular,” he said.

The flavour com­bi­na­tions of toppings are end­less and can be mod­elled off many favourite dishes such as chilli con carne or a Mex­i­can taco.

Mr Pandey said their pota­toes were baked in the oven at 180C for about 45 min­utes. “It de­pends on the size of the potato and your oven but af­ter you’ve done it a few times you will know the right time,” he said.

Pierce the potato with a skewer to check if it’s soft all the way through.

Mad Spuds Cafe is big on en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to eat the skin, as it is the most nu­tri­tious part of the potato.

For its twice-cooked skins it takes pieces of baked potato skin, flash fries them and fin­ishes with a va­ri­ety of toppings. “Some­times we use poached eggs on the crispy skins,” Mr Pandey said.

Crispy skins can also be added to na­chos as a sub­sti­tute for corn chips.

For a tasty al­ter­na­tive to mash, Mr Pandey sug­gests turn­ing it into potato cakes.

He adds pars­ley and oregano to the mash, makes it into small round cakes, coats with egg flour and bread­crumbs and fries it be­fore mak­ing it into a stack with haloumi, av­o­cado, roast onion, skins, sweet potato, and mint yo­ghurt.

Baked pota­toes are a win­ter com­fort.

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