Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crainquebille Potatoes – a tummy hug like no other!

Pin It
Crainquebille Potatoes - a saucy little side
We are turning our culinary backs on the potato. In Ireland and the UK, pasta and rice are replacing the spud as the national carbohydrates. Some of the reasons offered are “too much work”,can’t do a whole lot with them”, “the family don’t like ‘em

Too much work... Depending on the dish you choose, potatoes can be very quick or take hours to cook, but often the actual preparation time is minutes.

Can’t do a whole lot with them... Oh Ye of Limited Imagination!

The family don’t like ‘em... Related to the two reasons above. If you can’t be bothered to spend a few minutes preparing them and have absolutely no imagination beyond mash, mash and more mash, the family are probably sick to death of ‘em.
Potatoes can give you a tummy hug that you just cannot get from other carbs. Smooth, buttery mash is the ultimate comfort food but what a range of dishes you can make! Tartiflette... Tortilla Española  ... Patatas Bravas... Boxty... Pandy... the most amazing chocolate cakes, bars and truffles...  chips... Pommes Anna... Gratin Dauphinoise... Boulangère... I must have at least a thousand potato recipes on my shelves.

Crainquebille Potatoes are a side dish I love to serve with roasts and while the Gruyère topping is non-traditional, I think it adds to the dish.
Potatoes are social vegetables - often seen in the company of garlic, herbs and other party vegetables
For 6 servings you will need...

50g butter
2 onions (each the size of a tennis ball) roughly chopped
500g potatoes (prepared weight), diced into 2cm cubes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
¼ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
250mls good quality chicken stock

100g fresh breadcrumbs
50g Gruyère cheese, grated

Potoates, tomatoes, herbs, crunchy breadcrumbs, melted cheese = tummy hug

Pre-heat your oven to 200°C
1                 Melt the butter in a medium sauce over a medium heat and add the chopped onions. Cook without colouring for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
2                 Add the diced potatoes, herbs, garlic and chopped tomatoes, salt and black pepper and stir until well combined. Transfer to an oven proof dish, approximately 21cm x 21cm (8½” x 8½”) and 6cm (2½”) deep. Add the stock. It should barely cover the potatoes.
3                 Transfer to the preheated oven and bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. Then, turn down the heat to 180°C and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a fork.
4                 Remove from the oven and sprinkle with an even layer of breadcrumbs. Finally, sprinkle with Gruyère and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Mmmmmmm.

If like me, you love potatoes, here are two more of my favourite potato recipes...
"In a moment of madness brought on by a rare glimpse of blue sky and sunshine, I went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. The water was wild and breathtakingly cold, so when I say “swimming” I really mean a vigorous flailing of limbs in the direction of the shore, the main purpose of which was to avoid being swept out of the gorgeous little bay, next stop America.

There is only one dish to help the post-swim thawing process – a dish well known to skiers – and one which caused me a little anxiety - Tartiflette.

‘Patatas Bravas’ with Garlic Mayonnaise – Aioli! Ole!

“Growing potatoes couldn't be easier. Pop seed potato in ground, cover with earth, and forget for several months. ..Today, I am going to celebrate the crop Spanish–style, with Patatas Bravas, a tapas dish I first tasted in Barcelona. Crispy potato chunks are topped with a ‘fierce’ tomato sauce and a cool aioli (garlic mayo) on the side. It is traditional to have a chilled glass of wine or beer ready to quench the chilli heat.” Pin It


  1. This little tummy, could use this hug big-time! What Italian doesn't love any carb?! Delicious-sounding concoction. Saved!

  2. Your links and this particular recipe definitely defeats the theory of boring potatoes. These are some really tasty and unusual recipes. I am trying to decide which to make first. Thanks for the delicious recipes!

  3. Oh, my family LOVES potatoes...and I'm always looking for new methods of preparation. Your casserole looks wonderful...and that cheesy topping is a fabulous addition. Hope you're having a lovely Saturday~

  4. Potatoes are so versatile! I also liked your links. Chorizo is wonderful! Love the flavor. My tummy loves potato hugs!

  5. How cool! I've never heard of this dish before. I don't know about other people, but I personally think that potatoes are the best! :D

  6. Guilty as charged.......we do not eat a lot of potatoes in this house at all, maybe once a week at most, but I.Love.Potatoes. The chef, being a yank, did not grow up eating a lot of potatoes, so leans more towards brown rice or pasta. He has a new found love this year though for baby new potatoes because he has grown his own. I love this recipe Hester, especially with the tomatoes. Great shots too, as always!

  7. Hester this looks so good. I have moved away from potatoes a little myself.
    I remember my mother buying 4 stone (56lbs) bags of potatoes and this was the common way for people to buy them in Ireland at the time.
    Ireland turning away from potatoes?? Next thing they will be drinking coffee instead of tea..LOL

  8. I just picked up a huge bag of potatoes at the market so this came at the perfect time- lovely recipe!!

  9. @ Rosemary - I must be half Italian. I adore my carbs.
    @ Tiny - fabulous Top 9 (actually Top 1 - congrats!)
    @ Mike - my mum too! And they only lasted a week!

  10. I love potatoes! This dish looks incredible. Buzzed and saved!

  11. Oh yes, proper tummy hug. Love the Mediterranean twist. Comfort food at it's best... do you know anyone that doesn't like potatoes?! ;)

  12. I adore your recipe! My family, too love potatoes, and we are having it few times a week..this is next on my list..It simply look too tasty! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Sunday evening!

  13. Now this is quite a potato dish! It looks so delicious and flavorful!

  14. You're's a tummy hug! What a GREAT dish! I've never paired potatoes and tomatoes outside of soup. Thanks!

  15. These potatoes look amazing! I love that you call the potato social - so true! Always most tasty when joined by other veggies!

  16. Hester, this is the first time I've heard of Crainquebille (Cranky Bill?) tatties. They look wonderful and lovely addition of the tomatoes - like a winter version of a spud ratatouille! Love your other dishes, too. That chorizo tartiflette is perfect for a freezing winter day!
    Love the tummy hug. J xo

  17. I definitely love a variety of potato dishes, but have never seen anything quite like this! Gonna have to try it soon =)

  18. this sounds and looks delicious!!! we love potatoes at my house!

  19. First off, I love the phrase "tummy hug" - so accurate and expressive. I also love this dish, and your plea for potatoes. I'm guilty of opting for pasta out of laziness, and you're inspiring me to brave the peeler...

  20. I'm pretty sure that I could live on potatoes alone for the rest of my life, and never get bored... they're definitely high up on the list of comfort foods for me.
    I've yet to try potatoes made this way, but they look utterly comforting and wonderful and flavourful. And there's cheese on top! I think I'm in love!
    PS - I am totally stealing the phrase "tummy hug" to describe that warm, happy feeling after eating a good meal. :)

  21. You don't need to sell me on spuds - though I don't think I've ever made this particular little number, so on it goes to my ever-growing list of potato recipes to try!

  22. OMygosh do I love this Hester! I'm always looking for new ways to serve potatoes and this one is such a winner. I especially love the addition of tomatoes! Thanks for another fantastic recipe!! :)

  23. I looove potatoes! I actually find rice a boring and uninspiring starch, unless its drowning in curry or some other rich sauce. Brown rice, which (being health and nutrition conscious) I eat more of, is particularly dull... Got any amazing rice-based recipes up your sleeve that can change my mind?

  24. I adore potatoes and love seeing creative recipes featuring delicious!

  25. For some reason foodbuzz would not let me comment on your blog. So I tricked them and found you through google. Lol. I love potatoes. I know they get a bad rep but I just can't eat them enough. This looks positively mouthwatering delicious. I am applauding right now. Just thought you should know. Congrats on top 9!

  26. Oh yes, I love me some potatoes. We have a very intimate relationship. We will soon be trying out the crainquebille technique...droooooool

  27. Ohhhh. yeah. tummy hug galore. Being of Irish descent, my mother would gasp knowing that Ireland is turning their back on the lovely potato. I noticed in the restaurants last summer the potatoes took a back seat. I'm glad you are letting them steer in this dish!


Share your thoughts - I'd love to hear from you!