Sensuous Spuds

How could something as nondescript as a spud taste so good? This brown unassuming blob of complex carbohydrates is one of the most versatile vegetables around. Bake them, fry them, boil them or mash them, I just love them. I can eat potatoes everyday of the week. The easiest way to cook a potato is to bake it. I like my baked potatoes with tuna and shallots in mayonnaise. Here is the recipe:

Baked Potato
1 large russet potato per person
Olive oil

Clean the potato thoroughly with a stiff brush under running water. Preheat oven to 250C. Use a fork to poke holes all over the potato so that moisture can escape during baking. Lightly coat with olive oil and salt. Place potato on rack and bake for 1 hour. Cut lengthwise and serve with toppings of your choice.

Potato Facts:
Potatoes come in every size, shape and colour. This humble tuber has come a long way. The Natives of Peru have been cultivating the potato as a staple food for thousands of years. After the Conquistadors conquered the Incas, they brought it back to Europe. The potato made its way back across the Atlantic when the Europeans started to explore and colonise America.

Besides complex carbohydrates, the potato is a good source of potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and folic acid iron. It is virtually fat free. One potato provides 3g of dietary fibre, which comes up to about 10% of daily dietary fibre needs. One medium sized potato contains about 100 calories.

Butterless Eggless Vanilla Cake

It does not brown like a regular cake. It does not smell like a regular cake. It does not taste like a regular cake. This is one cake I will not be baking often. Here is the recipe anyway.

350g flour
200g castor sugar
2/3 cup cooking oil
1and 1/2 cup water
2tsp baking powder
2tsp baking soda
2tsp essence of vanilla

Grease two 14cm round cake tins. Mix the flour and sugar. Combine cooking oil, water, baking powder and baking soda and stir just enough to mix the ingredients well. Spread mixture into prepared tin. Bake in 180C for 50 minutes. Turn onto wire rack to cool.

Butter Cake – The Sequel

The modified ingredients:
(the original recipe is here)

125g butter, chopped
200g castor sugar
2 eggs
150g plain flour
75g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tbsp water

I used two 14cm tins instead this time. This cake is passable but a little dry and too sweet to my liking. At least it did rise. It still does not taste as good as Mum’s. I will add in the half cup milk the next time and hope the moistness will be just right. Thanks Prema for helping to troubleshoot the problem.

The next cooking project after this will be Mum’s Fermented Bean Curd Pork. I have yet to come across a restaurant, shop or economy rice stall cooking this. It is one my favourite Hakka dishes that Mum would whip up whenever I had a craving.