TOP po­tato dishes

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Food -

Bird­s­eye Po­tato Waf­fles 567g €2.15

A high 87% po­tato is com­bined with rape­seed oil (no eth­i­cal sourc­ing men­tioned), po­tato gran­ules and starch and the E464 sta­b­liser is hy­drox­ypropy­l­methyl­cel­lu­lose, which is found in wood — ide­ally there would be no ad­di­tives in food. Straight from the freezer, these can be grilled for 6-10 mins or oven baked for 15 mins. A favourite of chil­dren and adults who re­mem­ber pair­ing them with egg, beans, and greens. Ten waf­fles in this box.

Score: 8

Marks & Spencer Par­men­tier pota­toes 380g €3.10

Diced pota­toes, tossed in shal­lot and gar­lic but­ter, have a lux­u­ri­ous taste. Serv­ing two, this dish was named af­ter 18th cen­tury French agron­o­mist and nu­tri­tion­ist An­toine Au­gustin Par­men­tier. Tasters found the gar­lic flavour over­pow­ered the thyme flavour (stronger flavoured rose­mary is tra­di­tional), but liked the real po­tato tex­ture and wanted more. No ad­di­tives. Takes 25-35 mins in oven. Adult tasters liked them.

Score: 8

Aldi chorizo pota­toes 400g €1.79

Quar­tered pota­toes with red onion and pep­per have thinly sliced chorizo with ex­tra smoked pa­prika mixed in. In a foil tray, this is heated in the oven for 25-30 min­utes. As usual there are preser­va­tives in spicy chorizo, but oth­er­wise no ad­di­tives. The red pep­per was nicely firm and the baby pota­toes not over­cooked. Good for stu­dents to serve with an egg and can of beans.

Score: 7.5

Mash Di­rect po­tato cakes 250g €2.29

Two cakes in a vac­uum pack have 73% cooked pota­toes com­bined with egg, milk, spring onions, salt, and pep­per. This is just as we would cook left­over mashed pota­toes, ex­cept for added po­tato starch. Tasters liked the bal­ance gen­tle onion com­ing through with just enough salt and pep­per. Can be fried, baked or grilled eas­ily. Topped with a fried egg and a few beans, and ide­ally some­thing green, a handy prod­uct with no ad­di­tives.

Score: 8.25 Green Isle hash browns 450g €2.75

Thickly grated 90% po­tato pro­vided a good bite and nat­u­ral tex­ture. Sun­flower oil is the fat and there is dex­trose (a form of sugar), salt, pep­per, and the sta­biliser is E450 (potas­sium and sodium di-phos­phates). Tasters all liked the nat­u­ral po­tato flavour and touch of onion pow­der for in­ter­est. We cooked them in the oven for 15 mins un­til they were nicely crisp, but they can be deep fried.

Score: 7.75

Green Isle cro­quettes 800g €3.08

Pre-fried and frozen for oven bak­ing, grilling or deep fry­ing, these are made from 79% mashed pota­toes com­bined with onion pow­der which gives them a lift with po­tato flakes, coated in a light coat­ing of bread­crumbs. Sun­flower oil is used for crisp­ness. E464 hy­drox­ypropy­l­methyl­cel­lu­lose is the sta­biliser, and ad­di­tives E412 (guar gum) and E415 (xan­than gum) are thick­en­ers. Con­ve­nient.

Score: 7

Tesco Finest rose­mary roasted pota­toes 380g €3.25

Over­all we were unim­pressed with the tex­ture of roast pota­toes in su­per­mar­kets. This was the best of our pur­chases. Baby pota­toes are halved and coated in ex­tra vir­gin olive oil with gar­lic purée, rose­mary, salt and black pep­per in a com­fort­ingly short list of in­gre­di­ents. May not be sub­stan­tial enough for hearty ap­petites. For oven heat­ing only — 25-35 mins — the skins don’t crisp a lot, but tasters reached for more.

Score: 7 McCain Jack­ets 800g €3.40

Four large whole pota­toes are pre-baked so oven and mi­crowave time is re­duced by about a quar­ter. Com­mend­ably, the only added in­gre­di­ent is sun­flower oil. The tex­ture was the same as bak­ing from scratch and tasters ap­pre­ci­ated the nat­u­ral tex­ture. Not a huge time saver and ex­pen­sive com­pared to un­cooked pota­toes, but a good, nat­u­ral prod­uct.

Score: 8

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