Our kitchen garden cook rejuvenates the humble potato.
It’s hard to beat simple boiled and buttered potatoes scattered with parsley, but this quirky take on the nation’s staple is also a delight that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Pheasant Milanese with Parmesan spiral potatoes (serves 4)
6 pheasant breasts
150g plain flour
4 eggs, beaten
120g panko breadcrumbs
Butter and rapeseed oil for frying (or coconut oil)
6 medium-sized, all-purpose potatoes
3 cloves garlic
100g Parmesan, grated
Hammer the pheasant breasts into thin pieces, one at a time, beneath clingfilm. Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs on separate deep plates and season all three well. Dip each breast in the flour, followed by the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Place the crumbed pheasant pieces on a plate, cover and keep in the fridge until ready to cook.
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Peel the potatoes and stick a skewer through one, lengthways. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the potato into a spiral, from one end to the other, push off the skewer and onto a greaseproof-paper-lined roasting tray. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Melt the butter in a microwave and crush the cloves of garlic into it, mix well and brush over each potato using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the spirals with Parmesan, ensuring it gets between all the layers, and bake for about 35–40 minutes or until crispy.
Fry the pheasant breasts in generous amounts of butter and oil, browning gently all over and wiping the pan out with kitchen paper between each Milanese to ensure perfect results. As each one is cooked, place on kitchen paper. Serve with the Parmesan spirals and watercress dressed with lemon juice, plus a few wedges of lemon at the table for squeezing over the pheasant.
More ways with potatoes
Tiroler gröstl (left)
Fry slices of red onion in a large pan with vegetable oil, add cooked potato and lardons of bacon and continue frying until crisp. Add a handful of freshly chopped parsley and half a tea- spoon of caraway seeds, then stir well. Top this winter dish with a fried egg and serve.
Roasted cod with fennel-and- potato mash
Slice 2 fennel bulbs into strips and fry in a little olive oil until soft. Boil 400g potatoes in salted water until tender, drain and add the fennel plus 40g of butter and a splash of milk. Season, blitz with a stick blender and add a handful of chopped parsley. Fry 4 cod fillets in a large pan with butter. Once cooked, pour in 300ml vegetable stock and a splash of cream. Season well and top with a few tablespoons of capers. Spread a spoonful of mash across the centre of 4 plates, top with a piece of fish, spoon the sauce around and serve. Garlicky spinach leaves would be a good side for this dish, which is simple yet smart enough for a dinner party.
Gently sauté 2 chopped leeks in a frying pan. Peel 500g potatoes and slice thinly. Arrange some slices in a buttered dish, scatter with leeks and add another potato layer. Crush 3 cloves of garlic into single cream, season well and pour over the vegetables. Add knobs of butter to the top and bake in a hot oven for 45 minutes or until cooked.