These Fancy Poor Man’s Potatoes are great as a side dish but are loaded with extras as to make them more than enough for a main.
Patatas a lo Pobre, poor man’s potatoes, is a traditional Spanish dish that can be found on many a tapas menu. Variations of it can probably be found in Irish, Greek and Italian tavernas too. The potato is the great equaliser isn’t it? Most can afford it, many can cook it and everyone loves it. Even the elf. Chipped, smashed, mashed, baked; she loves the humble spud in all its forms making it the perfect beard for other vegetables.
We are currently camped at the husband’s work site while our builders work on the floor at our house. We have lived through most of the renovation but it doesn’t take the all-seeing powers of Cassandra to know a doofus Great Dane, a two-year old and curing floors spells disaster. We live in a late 1800s guest house, one of the first built in our area, and have been gently peeling back the layers for four years now. Gentle is a relative term and I could gently kick some of the previous owners for their design decisions. Rule of thumb, if you have to bend to go down the stairs, they might not go there. The lady-house has endured a lot and getting her back to her roots has taken some doing. And because Midas isn’t camped in our front yard we’ve done a lot of the work ourselves. So there is pride mixed with exhaustion, joy with frustration but hey, we’ve almost finished the top floor. Four years people.
So it is with a little sense of luxury that I sit here away from the smell of newly lacquered floors, feeling toasty warm, happily noshing a bowl of Fancy Poor Man’s Potatoes. Check the segue on this girl.
Cooking in a kitchen that’s not your own can be a challenge so having a few go-to recipes in your back pocket is just smart. The husband doesn’t keep a kitchen like I do. The husband doesn’t keep a kitchen period. So simple, honest, quick food is the order of the day. These fancy poor man’s potatoes are more than a go-to though, they are familiar and comforting in the way only potatoes can be. And while the weather here is definitely leaving us in need of comfort, this potato dish is just as wonderful served at room temperature as a salad. Forget the sandwiches, this is easy picnic food too.
I call this Fancy Poor Man’s Potato because the traditional recipe is potato, onion and sometimes pepper. This recipe introduces the added flavours and textures of artichoke and salty olives. I also cook the dish in a small amount of stock to bring it all together and add depth. Goodness me, I am eating the stuff and still salivating. The beauty of this dish, besides its complete deliciousness, is that almost all ingredients are from the pantry if you keep your potatoes and onions in the pantry, which I do. I bought a small tub of mixed olives from the deli and a fresh bunch of curly green parsley but that’s it, the rest we already had. Who doesn’t love that?
I haven’t included it in this recipe, but I often finely slice baby spinach or kale and add it towards the end of the cook for the Elf’s benefit. What she doesn’t know won’t kill her and I know the addition will make her stronger. Enjoy.
- 1/2 kilogram baby potatoes (I chose Baby Red and Baby Creams)
- 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers from a jar (preferably in oil)
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, sliced
- 1/3 cup black olives
- 1/4 cup vegetable or vegan chicken-style stock
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- parsley, finely chopped
- Put a large pot of water on a medium heat.
- Cut the potatoes in to halves.
- Cook the potatoes for 10 minutes and strain.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil on low.
- Add the onion and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the paprika and oregano and stir.
- Place the potatoes, cut side down, in the pan.
- Season the potatoes with sea salt and black pepper
- Sprinkle the sliced peppers over the potato and then the artichoke hearts.
- Add the olives.
- Pour in the stock and continue to cook on low for 20 minutes.
- The dish is ready when the potatoes can be pierced with a fork but still hold their shape.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley to serve.