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Potato Cakes with Peanut Salsa from Ecuador – Serves 4-6
From Hot & Spicy
Ecuadorian fast food, these little potato cakes have a satisfyingly rough texture that works perfectly with the grainy, nut-thickened dipping sauce called ají de maní.
4 large floury potatoes, scrubbed and quartered,
2 tbsp grated Cheddar-type cheese,
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander,
1 red of green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped,
1 large egg, beaten,
vegetable oil, for frying,
250 g/9 oz roasted peanuts or coarse peanut butter,
2 tbsp lemon juice,
1 tsp unrefined cane sugar,
4 yellow or red chillies, deseeded,
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped,
2 tbsp ricotta cheese,
½ tsp salt.
1) Cook the potatoes in their skins in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain, reserving about 150 ml/5 fl oz of the cooking water. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Reserve two of the potato quarters, then mash the remainder roughly with a fork in a bowl. Using your hands but without crushing out all the lumps, work in the cheese, coriander, chilli, egg and a little salt.
2) Put all the salsa ingredients in a blender or food processor with the reserved potato and cooking water and blend to a pureé. Transfer to a saucepan and heat gently until bubbling.
3) When ready to cook, heat a finger’s depth of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, gently drop tablespoonfuls of the potato cake mixture, in small batches, into the oil, flatten with the back of a spoon and cook until the undersides are golden and crisp. Turn carefully and cook on the other side. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
4) Serve the potato cakes hot, with the salsa separately for dipping, or drop a teaspoon of the sauce on top of each potato cake.
Meat Free Monday - Spicy Tofu
Stir things up a bit with this winner of a dish - tofu, vegetables and a touch of spice. Meat Free Monday magic!
Spicy Tofu, serves 4.
75ml/2½ fl oz vegetable stock
2 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of chilli flakes
4 tbsp groundnut oil
250g/9oz firm tofu, rinsed and drained thoroughly and cut into 1-cm/½-inch cubes
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
250g/9oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
steamed rice, to serve
1. To make the marinade, blend the vegetable stock, cornflour, soy sauce, sugar and chilli flakes together in a large bowl. Add the tofu and toss well to cover in the marinade. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
2. In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the groundnut oil and stir-fry the tofu with its marinade until brown and crispy. Remove from the wok and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil in the wok and stir-fry the ginger, garlic and spring onions for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, carrot, yellow pepper and mushrooms to the wok and cook for 5-6 minutes. Return the tofu to the wok and stir-fry to reheat. Serve immediately over freshly steamed rice.