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NOW CLOSED: Tell us what you think of James Martin’s recipes and win a £50 Love2Shop voucher

(100 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Feb-12 16:11:59

This month, Celebrity Chef James Martin has sent our Mumsnet Potato Councillors the choice of two of his exclusive recipes that he has made for The Councillors are to make one of them for their families and feedback their thoughts on this thread.

The recipes are Goat's Cheese and Potato Tart and Chicken and Potato Kebabs - both can be prepared in around 30 minutes. Photos on my profile

We want to give all of Mumsnet the option to try these two recipes, so feel free to try them this week and add your feedback on this thread - do tell us: how easy it was to cook, whether your family enjoyed it, and if you included your own twist? Everyone who does so will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 Love2Shop voucher.

James has also given us his top potato tips; see below:

If you can add to them or suggest any other top potato tips such as cooking, chopping or slicing potatoes then share them on this thread with the community and you will also be in the running for the £50 voucher that is up for grabs this month.

If you have any further questions on potatoes, feel free to post onto the thread and we?ll endeavour to answer them asap.

James Martin top tatty tips

1 Baking small new potatoes and stuffing them with cheese and crispy bacon makes a great canapé for a party
2 Always store potatoes somewhere dark and cold as this will make them last longer
3 If your curry is too spicy when cooking, add a potato as it will take out some of the heat
4 Peeled potatoes can be stored in cold water in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking
5 Use up leftover cooked potatoes in an omelette or frittata

In addition, for 100s of 30 minute recipes or if you would like more information on which varieties of potatoes are best used with specific meals then go to

James is also helping manyfacesofpotatoes search for Britain?s Best Potato Recipe for full details and to enter see

Thanks, MNHQ

OracleInaCoracle Mon 13-Feb-12 16:15:27

marking place

Tee2072 Mon 13-Feb-12 16:30:59

I love James Martin. Just thought I'd say that. grin

No I love James Martin grin. And his beef and ale recipe is amazing.

My top tatty tip? Buy a sack of spuds. Works out so much cheaper. And alway make extra mash and freeze it for your own cheats ready made mash.

lubeybooby Mon 13-Feb-12 17:01:17

Ooh marking place. Shopping tomorrow so will make sure I can cook them smile

My top potato tip is that if you are going to the trouble of making Heston's triple cooked chips, make three times as many, they last in the fridge before the last cooking bit and you will want more and more of them. Also they take three hours to do properly FFS, so you want to eke out as many dinners out of them as you can.

Also, add potatoes to bread recipes to make super soft, super yummy bread.

Well i did ours tonight - we had the chicken and potato kebabs. We did it exactly as instructed and served it up with leafy salad, cucumber and toms as per the instructions. This was probably the most expensive of our potato dishes so farand the ingredients were not my usual stock so i was glad to have my shoppig delivered to save me the hassle.

This dish was really easy to prepare though when i was blitzing the marinade i was dubious about it and the dc declared it looked like bogey snot which kind of set the mood.......... Anyway it didnt take long to prepare at all and i did cut my new potatos in half as the ones Asda sent me with my weekly shop were a bit on the large size. Alas i par boiled them for about 8 mins and when it came to whacking them under the grill it was more like 30 minutes as oposed to 15 mminutes to cook and they probably could have done with a tiny bit longer to be honest.

Did my family like it? Well i did - it was my kind of thing, dh declared it was dry as sticks and the dc were not over keen either so i had rather a lot in the end. I would do this dish again but probably with a different marinade more spicy perhaps and owuld probably bang some toms or onions on the skewer also to add some moisture.

The only thing i can say abotu potatoes is unless your boiling them to death for a recipe im finding the cooking time needs to be longer or the potato slices/ cubes need to be smaller.

Wow is next month the last one??

Enjoy smile

I have loads of potatoes as well left so im going to give some curried potato a go...... just for the craick.

I'll try these, I love trying new recipes.
Also, DD and I saw James at the BBC Good Food show last year, and he was really hot funny and I would entertaining grin

crikeybadger Mon 13-Feb-12 19:54:02

I'm gonna give the tart a try as I'm a veggie. Would like to have suggestions for the variety of potato though as I get a bit confused between them all.

Oh and won't soaking the potatoes as per James' tip just eradicate all the vitamins?

GossipMonger Mon 13-Feb-12 20:34:05

marking my place too

gazzalw Mon 13-Feb-12 21:36:26

I'm going to try the tart too because ever since I went to that yummy Goats Cheese Cooking session I have been meaning to cook with goats cheese but the DCs seem to eat it all before I get that far.

I already have an idea of how to make the recipe my own so watch this space!

acsec Mon 13-Feb-12 21:49:31

I'm going to try the tart, it sounds great!

roquefortlover Mon 13-Feb-12 22:10:21

Will be making the tart too but we are away till the weekend so will be a bit late posting...

Fillybuster Mon 13-Feb-12 23:24:27

Going to give the tart a go if I get the chance (and have a working oven) next week....a friend gave me James Martin's dessert book last year and its surprisingly excellent, reliable and non-faffy. Ta for the link smile

TheSecondComing Tue 14-Feb-12 00:20:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheTempest Tue 14-Feb-12 08:13:13

I really like James Martin. My only potato related tip is that if you put a potato in your fruit bowl, it keeps the fruit fresher for longer smile

I properly love potatos and definitely giving the Goats cheese tart a go (although I'm not a Councillor grin )

iseenodust Tue 14-Feb-12 09:24:08

Just saw James' name so popping in. DS has been so thoroughly indoctrinated on Saturday mornings that he just refers to him by first name if we are discussing food. Love it when he puts cream in the desserts and the Amercian actresses have to hide their horror.

I like to put cubes of potato in a fish curry for texture <better say something potatoey to hide crush>.

MandyT68 Tue 14-Feb-12 11:51:44

Potato tip. If you accidentally make soup or a stew too salty, put a raw potato in for a while and it will absorb the salt.

FoofFighter Tue 14-Feb-12 13:45:16

I will try out the kebabs tomorrow and report back smile

My potato tip is for extra crunchy roasties, parboil for ten mins, drain, cover with a tea towel and pop lid on for 5-10 mins, then shake to ruff them up, toss in dry seasoned semolina - I tend to use Schwartz Season-All for this - and then whack into a hot tray of smoking hot fat and roast for 45 mins or so.


rosie17 Tue 14-Feb-12 14:21:30

Rightyo, going to try the Chicken and Potato kebabs tonight.

mamij Tue 14-Feb-12 15:02:21

We had the chicken and potato kebabs for lunch. DD1 loved watching me prepare it, but when it was done, she wasn't keen on them at all as it wasn't saucy/moist enough (she usually loves chicken!). I had to tempt DD1 with ketchup and mayo to get her to eat more.

I added cherry tomatoes and courgettes to try and get more veggies into this recipe. Will definitely try again with a different sauce.

Mashed potatoes with milk and butter/cheese. Makes the potatoes nice and smooth, and gets in your calcium too!

aristocat Tue 14-Feb-12 17:06:20

will try the kebabs tomorrow and come back with my views ......

best potato tip is to oven bake them on a skewer smile they turn out delish!

mamababa Tue 14-Feb-12 20:14:37

I would leave home for James grin

AlwaysWild Tue 14-Feb-12 21:35:49

James Martin who thinks it's funny to run over cyclists? angry I think I'll give his recipes a miss thanks.


rosie17 Wed 15-Feb-12 09:06:01

We love jacket potatoes but never organised enough to put them in the oven for an hour and a half. Instead - prick them with a folk and microwave for 6 mins then pop in a hot oven for just 15 mins.

cornskilt Wed 15-Feb-12 14:57:52

I don't know who James Martin is, but love potatoes and fancy the idea of chicken and potato kebabs so will try that one.

babster Wed 15-Feb-12 17:40:48

I haven't made my recipe yet and tbh I think they're a bit rubbish this time around. To make the kebabs you need a blender for the marinade, and for the tart you need an oven-proof frying pan. I have neither. This is the first time that equipment has been a barrier. I'm going to have a go at the tart using the oven with the door open and the frying pan handle sticking out... here's hoping melted plastic adds a certain piquancy hmm.

aristocat Wed 15-Feb-12 18:03:32

We tried the kebeb recipe smile

how easy it was to cook, whether your family enjoyed it, and if you included your own twist?

Very simple to prepare and cook this recipe, my DCs enjoyed helping make /prepare the food as usual however they didn't like the kebabs, DH ate them but thought that they were too dry . Personally I didnt mind the dryness and ate most of them blush
On our skewers I did add onion chunks too for extra texture and flavour.

Anyway the potatoes needed cooking longer than the time stated. I would definitely add some more spice/chilli to the marinade if I make thid recipe again.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 15-Feb-12 19:03:30

babster - I'm sure you could make the marinade by chopping the relevant ingredients and mixing in a small bowl? And I think you could do the frying pan stages in normal frying pan then assemble it all on a baking tray/ dish or shallow lasagne style dish and put that under the grill? Or I make omelettes with the frying pan handle sticking out of the grill and it's fine (no smouldering plastic handles here!)

cornskilt Wed 15-Feb-12 19:07:53

I want to make chicken kebabs tonight now.

BelleDameSansMerci Wed 15-Feb-12 20:17:24

Can we just say what we think of James Martin? <swoons>

MrsWembley Wed 15-Feb-12 21:37:35

He's from Yorkshire, isn't he?

<wanders away, whistling innocently>

GrownUp2012 Thu 16-Feb-12 10:47:58

We're having the kebabs tonight, I will report back. Going to have something on the side ready if it's as dry as everyone has reported so far. Love the idea of putting it all on a stick though, food tastes better off a stick.

nickelDorritt Thu 16-Feb-12 14:16:24

printed them out.
DH will try the meat one alone.

Lotstodo Thu 16-Feb-12 14:21:05

I made the chicken and potato kebabs and they were simple to make and tasted wonderful. I love these recipes, step by step easy instructions and they can be adapted to include other ingredients.

PepeLePew Thu 16-Feb-12 20:36:07

My children adored the chicken and potato kebab - quite an achievement as they claim not to like chicken or potato. Result. It was very simple - I did serve it with a yoghurt and mint sauce which was good.

Potato recipes all welcome. I bought a sack last week - 12kg for £4. Bargain, but I'm now struggling for ways to use them all up. We've just had curried pea and potato fritters, which were delicious but quite hard work.

babyinacorner Thu 16-Feb-12 20:38:15

Pan roasted potato tart with goats cheese and red onion

Ease of cooking. Very easy, as the recipe suggested took a few minutes to prepare ingredients and overall about half hour to cook.

Did you and your family enjoy the recipe? Only myself and my dh ate it and we both really enjoyed it although a few of the potato slices were a bit hard so perhaps would have been better to par boil for a few minutes first.

Since taking part in this activity have you found anything surprising?

No, not really

Will u be cooking it again?
Yes, worked well as an extra to the chilli we were having. Would not be filling enough on its own. We would also parboil the potatoes next time.

Any other comments about the recipe?

The flavours of the thyme, goats cheese and red onion in balsamic vinegar worked extremely well together.

yUMMYmUMMYb Fri 17-Feb-12 07:45:12

My potato tip is if you have left over mash then simply turn it into potato scones. All you do is add enough flour to the mash until the consistency is like dough. then roll out into smallish circles and cook on a hot frying pan (no oil). they are delicious hot with butter, yum

Ooh, one thing I have picked up is that you should roast your potato skins when you cook them with olive oil and see salt for about an hour and a half and they turn into these amazing crisps. Really. Unexpectedly. Nice.

Sea salt, not see salt. blush

babster Fri 17-Feb-12 19:50:48

My tart is in the oven. It looks like glorified cheese and onion crisps! Will report back once eaten!

babster Fri 17-Feb-12 20:16:18

OK, tart demolished. I used cheddar instead of goats' cheese, and we had it with omelette as it's not really a main dish on its own. I added seasoning, and a sausage that was lurking in the fridge. It tasted lovely but looked a bit of a hotchpotch!

Ease? Very easy. I used a normal frying pan with the handle sticking out of the oven, to no ill effects smile

Enjoyed? Yes, it goes well with omelette and salad. Might be greasy on its own, as well as not very filling.

Will you cook it again? Yes. Next time I'll use an ovenproof dish, fry some peppers with the onions, then crack eggs over it before baking in oven. The basic potatoes/cheese/onion combo is a winner.

Learn anything new about potatoes? No.

gazzalw Fri 17-Feb-12 20:19:40

Haven't mad the goat's cheese and potato tart yet because I forgot to buy the goat's cheese when last shopping blush but do have to say that the list of ingredients/recipe seem a little short of robust.....

CheeryCherry Sat 18-Feb-12 00:38:41

Mmmmmm love goats cheese, the 'tarts' should be named something else as I think of tarts being pastry.....however they were delicious, my fave ingredients, but I added a sprinkle of sweetcorn and ate them with salad. Very easy to cook, I kept the heat low so they cooked slowly. Tips for spuds....when using sliced potatoes in a recipe don't bother peeling them, lifes too short!

GrownUp2012 Sat 18-Feb-12 01:14:11

The kebabs were too dry for my kids as predicted, so I ended up with a couple more. It was okay, I do like the idea of dinner on a stick, but I think I'd fiddle with the recipe a lot.

moomoo1967 Sat 18-Feb-12 09:26:00

DD decided on the Chicken and Potato kebab.
Potatoes took about 10 mins longer to cook than stated in the recipe. I don't have a grill and they were too long for my small George Forman so I ended up using the oven for the final cooking stages. I served them with a mint and yoghurt dip as I knew DD would say they were too dry. Loved the combination of the marinade though.
We had them with rice as DD is a salad dodger smile
I think next time I would add more veg to the skewers or maybe serve with corn on the cob

CoffeeGoneColdAgain Sat 18-Feb-12 10:46:51

My potato tip is save your peelings, give them a rinse and pat dry, put them on a baking tray with a slug of olive oil and sea salt place in the oven at 220/gas 6 for 45 mins, leave to cool and use them for dips with homemade hummus/tomato salsa/onion & garlic (or shop bought) grin Delish

TheTempest Sat 18-Feb-12 17:43:32

We did the kebabs and the tart last night with the DSC and DD's. All ate the Kebabs and generally consesus was yummy, and seconds. Goats chees tart not quite so popular as it felt quite greasy in your mouth. I enjoyed it though!

It was easy enough I felt, I'm no James Martin but it was a yummy heealthy (with a salad) dinner that made us all happy.

I have another (very basic) potato tip in that if you use an apple corer in potatos, you can then put bits of cheese/herbs/garlic in them and then replace the potato with the corer. Simple but effective.

I Proper love Potato's I do grin

FromGirders Sat 18-Feb-12 18:44:58

We did the potato and chicken kebabs tonight. Yummy!

Preparation-wise, the recipe seemed about right. My potatoes were a bit on the big side, so I chopped them quite small, maybe about an inch in diameter. Whizzing up the marinade was no problem, I just used my hand blender though ds wrinkled his nose at the colour.
Had a minor panic when I couldn't find enough skewers! I was sure I should have more! Used some long handled teaspoons too, they worked just fine.
We have a gas grill which is quite fierce, so the cooking time was just perfect. Luckily, I also thought to line the grill pan with foil, as the marinade dripped off the chicken and burnt on to the pan.
Ds and I loved them, dh thought they were nice, but quite delicately flavoured. I think he'd prefer a bit more robust marinade, but then of course the kids wouldn't eat them. DD turned up her nose as usual <sigh>. She doesn't like even a hint of burning on anything, but she did eat up most of the chicken, under threat of no pudding. However, on further interrogation, although kebab potatoes aren't as good as baked (her favourite) or chips, they were better than boiled or mashed spuds. Does anyone else's 7yo dd have to rank everything in favourite, second favourite, third etc? I didn't find them dry at all, perhaps because they were cooked fast?
All in all, I'd say this recipe was quite a success. However, the kebab making was a bit too fiddly for mid-week when I'm always in a hurry, so I'd save it for the weekend.
Also, I had some potatoes left over when I'd run out of skewer space and chicken, so I put them in the marinade and popped them in the space under the grill pan. They cooked a bit more slowly so weren't charred at all and were really scrummy - a bit like a hot potato salad.
I might try out the cheese tarts too, but I'd use cheddar or smoked cheese I think. I can't even cope with blue cheese, and frankly, i'm scared of goat's cheese.

Gethsemane Sat 18-Feb-12 20:17:12

Good potato tips. I'll be trying the kebabs....

ClaimedByMe Sat 18-Feb-12 21:02:36

We were supposed to having the kebabs tonight but I forgot to get Greek yogurt so we are having these tomorrow and I will review them tomorrow night!

Oooh, have only just seen this and it is perfect, I have a gap for Wednesday in my weekly menu plan so the chicken and potato kebabs will fit perfectly.

Is there a deadline on this or can I cook them on Weds and report back that evening??

OvO Sat 18-Feb-12 23:09:33

I made the chicken and potato kebabs.

It took much longer than the supposed 10 minutes prep time - more like 25 minutes.

The potatoes really needed much longer cooking time than 6 minutes.
The marinade was okay but not okay enough that I would make this again. My 7 year old loved it but no one else was that fussed. I'd much rather a spicy marinade for the chicken.
I did like the basic idea of the chicken and potatoes on skewers so will definitely tweak the recipe and try it again.

I hate it when recipes say "a large bunch" for the herbs. What's a large bunch??? I'd much rather a measurable amount. I have no idea if the marinade would have been more pleasant if I'd had more or less of certain herbs.

Hulababy Sun 19-Feb-12 09:31:22

When do they need to have been made for?

I generally like James martin's recipes and have a couple of his books, so would like to try.

gazzalw Sun 19-Feb-12 17:37:34

Thought the Goat's Cheese and Potato 'Tart' recipe was very simple to make. However it wasn't really big enough for a 'hearty' family meal (and our DCs don't even have big appetites). I used rosemary instead of thyme as the DCs don't like the latter. It was delicious though and I would definitely make it again but for two rather than four unless as a starter!

Think it would be nice with asparagus spears too!

Thanks for the recipe!

ClaimedByMe Sun 19-Feb-12 19:27:02

We had the chicken and potato kebabs tonight

Very easy to prepare, I marinated the chicken after lunch time and left it in the fridge until tea time, I read the reviews on here and made sure I boiled the potatoes for a bit longer.

I am not a fan of mint in food so i modified it slightly by only adding a very small quantity of mint, I also served it with cous cous as I had predicted the DC wouldnt like it and they didnt like the chicken, but ate the potatoes.

Me and Dp loved it, im glad i didnt put in a load of mint as i wouldnt have enjoyed it, i loved the potatoes, like mini baked potatoes, gorgeous!

I am surprised the potatoes were so tasty done like that, I am def making this recipe again, just without the marinade for the DC!

roquefortlover Sun 19-Feb-12 21:23:20

I have now done the goats cheese and potato tart. When i looked at my copy of the recipe it said it served 2 not 4 and there was plenty for me and dh served with salad. Very easy to prepare although a bit of a faff having to use 2 frying pans for onions and potatoes - i like one pan dishes, being a bit lazy when it comes to washing up. Potatoes took longer to cook than stated, maybe 10 mins extra. To save time I cooked the onions ahead of time and they reheated nicely on top of the spuds - did this bit under the grill as no oven proof frying pan.

When I dished it up it fell apart rather, so was more of a hash than a tart!We both thought it was tasty if a little dry (i used a cooking spray to fry potatoes instead of olive oil so no greasiness). Onions and goats cheese always a winner here. DH felt it needed something extra though - he suggested cream, or bacon - so i might try it again with one or both of those, as well as more onion.

Looking forward to our next recipe, can't believe it is the last one already!

gazzalw Sun 19-Feb-12 21:52:43

Oops so much for reading the recipes thoroughly....I always assume recipes are for four.......particularly on something like Mumsnet - 1/10 for paying full attention....blush

roquefortlover Sun 19-Feb-12 21:56:22

No no gazza, you did read it properly - the MN recipe says for 4 but the Potato Councillor hard copy which I got in the post says for 2! MN fault not you...grin

gazzalw Sun 19-Feb-12 22:05:10

Well my DW was beginning to worry that we were just plain greedy! We are not!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 19-Feb-12 23:18:58

Apologies....the goat's cheese recipe does serve 2, not 4 blush - my fault...and it will be duly amended.

zipzap Mon 20-Feb-12 00:55:17

Half term rather got in the way of doing these during the week. However in penance I did make (and photo) both of them over the weekend, I just haven't made it to my pc to switch it on let alone type up comments (sorry, on the phone at the moment and it's a real pain answering long questions properly on it). Will put the answers to the questions up tomorrow (mon).

nannipigg Mon 20-Feb-12 14:36:48

I enjoy watching him cook on Saturday Kitchen x

zipzap Tue 21-Feb-12 00:36:24

OK finally made it to put the comments up. Should be some photos up soon too.

Firstly made the potato and goats cheese tart.
1. how easy it was to cook...
It wasn't particularly difficult but it wasn't particularly quick. Having had experience of undercooked potatoes on previous recipes and others on here saying about potatoes being a bit hard, I sliced the potatoes then zapped them in the microwave for about 4 minutes to give them a head start. I do think it helped but it then meant I had very hot potato slices to handle and put down in the pan.

It would have been handy to have known how the potatoes should have been put down - I just did concentric circles but it meant that some bits were significantly thicker than other bits. Or if we were aiming for a single layer of potatoes rather than overlapping bits...

Recipe seemed a bit out of order - would have been better to get the onions started first as they are the bit that takes the longest and then get onto the potatoes. Plus it should have mentioned the size of the onion needed and the size as well as the type of potatoes to aim for - I wasn't sure if I needed big ones or little ones. I used big ones sliced thinly but I think if you used little ones you would end up taking ages to lie them out, especially if they were par cooked and hot - unless a random layer was acceptable. Oh and there was no gas equivalent temperature.

I just did the onions in a saucepan - I tend to do onions in a saucepan for things like spag bog a lot as ds1 hates onions so I do them separately and add them after taking his portion off. Also easier to stick a lid on to them initially if they are in a saucepan - so if the heat is low (which it would be useful if the recipe mentioned) you can put a lid on them and let them sweat a bit which means they don't need quite so much looking after and they do a bit more quickly but taste just as sweet. The onions were yummy though, even though they only had dried thyme in (shop was out of fresh thyme). I could quite easily eat the onions themselves as a side dish; despite doing two large red onions in order to pick at as chef's perks quality control them, I think the tart could have handled more of them.

Having been lucky enough to go on the goats cheese tasting event, I am now lucky enough to know that there are loads of different goat's cheeses around so it would have been nice to have a little direction as to the type of goat's cheese that would have worked best. I ended up with a small log with rind that I cut small slices from, popped them around a bit like you would on a pizza which worked well (plus the packet said it was one that was good for cooking).

Took longer in the oven to melt the cheese than the recipe said and longer for the potatoes to look cooked - probably took 10 mins on the hob and 8 mins in the oven.

2. whether your family enjoyed it...
DP ended up unexpectedly having to rush off out the evening that I made it and whilst I left him a portion when he got back he wasn't that bothered about trying it, not least because he isn't a fan of goat's cheese particularly and is trying to eat very healthily so the fact it was out of a frying pan made him automatically think it was unhealthy.

I enjoyed it - but as others have said it was a pain to get out of the pan nicely so it just ended up as a heap on my plate. If I had been serving up for dh would have made a bit more of an effort but as it had all taken longer than I expected I was tired and hungry so just left it and ate it as it was. I had salad on the table that the dc were eating so ate it with some of that which went well. I also warmed up a portion the next day for lunch as we were having a bit of a tapas-y pick and mix selection and it went down well in that. Would have been very nice with a bit of my mum's home made cranberry sauce but I've run out of my christmas stash of that so used red currant jelly instead, which gave it a nice extra dimension. It would have been even nicer with lots more onions on!

3. if you included your own twist...
I used a bit of butter and some local cold pressed rapeseed oil instead of olive oil to cook with - I prefer the taste plus I had it in and I figure that of all the people to switch to butter in a recipe - well it has to be a James Martin recipe really grin

It was a bit of a funny tart, not least because my potatoes ended up being thickest in the middle (I'd started layering my potatoes around the outside first) which meant it was more of a pile than a tart - I think of tarts having edges to contain the filling whereas on this you were putting the filling onto the thickest bit and there was no edge to contain it. Saying that, some of the underneath bits of the potato got a bit more burnt than I was expecting, not least as they still looked fine on top.

It would have been nice to have had a clearer picture of what the tart was supposed to look like on the printed recipe.

I would also have been nice with the onions and then 'british breakfast stuff' on top - bacon bits, sweet cherry tomatoes, egg each that baked whilst in the oven - might give that a go as a weekend brunch soon. Would also work with other roasted veggies on too. And for all of them with nice red pepper chopped up and cooked with the onion to be all tasty within it.

zipzap Tue 21-Feb-12 01:08:23

And now for the potato and chicken kebabs... Again, photos soon on my profile.

1. how easy it was to cook...
Nothing difficult, just a bit messy - especially with raw chicken thrown into the equation.

Regarding the recipe:
- would be nice to know how many chunks to aim to cut the chicken into or the approximate chunk size (I cheated and got the ready chopped chicken breast chunks as they were on offer and just needed to halve a couple of the bigger ones which made it lots easier). Guess this will ultimately reflect on cooking times too.

- How big is a large bunch of herbs? The large bunches my local market stall man sells are a lot bigger and a lot cheaper than those sold in my local supermarkets. And sod's law being what it is these days - last week was the week they only had parsley in rather than their usual wide selection. Buying small quantities from the supermarket at their inflated prices could make it a very pricy dish.

- didn't have a food processor so just finely chopped the herbs and hoped it would be ok.

- didn't have metal skewers so used the bamboo ones I did have tucked away in a drawer - soaked them for a good half our but they still charred on the ends. Would this have affected cooking times?

- didn't have a bbq or hot grill so stuck them in the oven instead for about 25 mins which worked fine.

- ingredients list for serving doesn't include oil or seasoning

Back to the cooking:
Again, i par-zapped the potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes - I've just got used to cooking them this way rather than on the hob as it's more convenient in my kitchen.

Once I'd realised it was a lot easier to have a fork to fish out the bits of chicken from the marinade and skewer through it was a lot easier and faster to do. I wasn't sure how many skewers I was aiming to make (ended up with 8) or how close together the chicken and potatoes needed to be to ensure the chicken cooked properly and the potatoes didn't over cook.

Popped them over a roasting tray so they weren't sitting in their own juices, worked well.

Having read the rest of the thread before cooking them, I made sure I scooped up the rest of the marinade in the bowl and added it to the chicken to provide extra moisture during cooking.

I assembled the salad on the plate and drizzled nice rapeseed oil (rather than olive oil) over the salad rather than tossing it in a bowl as I couldn't be bothered to wash the salad bowl up for a bit of simple salad.

2. whether your family enjoyed it...
DH and I both enjoyed the kebabs but as others have said, would have been nice to have had something juicy and tasty on there as well, such as pepper and onion.

My chicken stayed moist and was tasty although I'm not sure if in everyday cooking I would go out and buy three expensive packs of herbs to blitz for the marinade - would buy a big bunch of whatever is nice in the market or pick a handful of whatever is growing well in the garden.

Didn't manage to persuade the dc to try the kebabs - they didn't like the look of the bits on them. Then they spotted the skewers and thought they would make good things for sword fighting and jousting. As dh and I were enjoying them it seemed far more sense to keep them for us to have a second meal from that we would enjoy and give the boys something different.

3. if you included your own twist...
First night did it more or less by the recipe aside from the tweaks mentioned above. I did make a second smaller batch of the marinade to use as a dipping sauce for the kebabs given the thread had mentioned the kebabs could be dry. It was very nice as a dip and the contrast between the hot kebab and cold sauce also worked well.

the kebabs were very nice the second night, despite being warmed up briefly in the microwave. Tired so just grabbed the first bits that came to hand to have something to go with them - ended up with a pile of salad of chopped fennel, chicory and sharon fruit which all went surprisingly well with it and made a change from the regular lettuce/cucumber/tomato salad that I can end up eating lots of (especially during the summer). I also had some of the herby marinade-as-dipping sauce left which was equally as good if not better the second night when the flavours had had a chance to blend well.

I definitely will be making kebabs again as they are something I do make, particularly in the summer. I don't usually think of putting potatoes on which I may well do now. However I think if I was doing them I would maybe do a kebab just with chicken (or lamb), pepper, onion etc and a separate set of kebabs with just lots of little potatoes on, I think they would be great too.

zipzap Tue 21-Feb-12 01:13:28

The letter we got also asked about other potato based questions.

I've got a couple this time...

1. Are there any slow cook potato recipes around? I use my slow cooker a lot, especially in winter but tend to avoid potatoes as I don't want them hard and have read they can take longer to cook than the meat. So any tips or good recipes for using them in the slow cooker please.

2. Are there any sweet recipes - or maybe not specifically savoury recipes is maybe a better way of putting it - for potatoes? Maybe for cakes or muffins or I don't know - just something a bit different or surprising...

Hope this is the sort of question you were thinking of!

sherbetpips Tue 21-Feb-12 06:20:40

tried the potato and chicken kebab but it was a bit bland for me so last night did it again but with chorizo and put paprika on the potatoes, much tastier.

Potato tip - when making fresh chips soak them first, drain the water away, soak again, drain the water away and give them a really good spin in a salad spinner before putting them in the hot oil. Cook them on a lower heat first in the deep fat fryer so they stay pale white but start to get squidgy. Then wack the heat up and plunge them in the hot oil again for a few minutes for a lovely crispy plate of chips.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 21-Feb-12 10:24:03

thanks for all the keep it coming! Will definitely leave this open til the weekend to give you chance to try them should you want to...

nickelDorritt Tue 21-Feb-12 11:07:13

We tried the Potato thing last night.

I have to say, although it tasted really yummy, it was a proper ball-ache of a recipe.
First, you need an oven-proof frying pan, which I can't imagine many people own!
Secondly, whilst you're cooking in one pan, you have to get another frying pan to do the onions!
DH made it and he was getting really frustrated with it. He follows instructions to the letter, so he ended up burning the onions because it didn't tell him how hot the ring needed to be. And he ended up doing the last part under the grill, because if he'd done it in the oven, he would have had to transfer the whole thing in to a baking tray.
And he couldn't understand where the "tart" came from, because as far as he was aware, there was a pan full of potatoes and a pan full of onions. no tart in sight.
(i explained that I thought the tart was the pan full of potatoes, and he said "but it's just potatoes confused" )

We wouldn't make this again, just because it's too complicated, but we might use the ideas in our own recipes - I liked the Goat's cheese, but I think it was a bit too strong for DH.

nickelDorritt Tue 21-Feb-12 11:21:03

oh, yes, like zipzap's comment on the type of goat's cheese.
I didn't read the recipe before we bought the ingredients, so we just got he first goat's cheese that was on the shelf, and it wasn't a cooking one - it was very like Boursin in consistency, so we used the whole thing and it didn't melt, but it tasted very nice.

Ettiketti Wed 22-Feb-12 22:23:08

I did the tart....

It took about the correct time to prep and cook, I used large ish new potatoes, red onion but into big rounds and Monterey Jack cheese as nobody likes goats cheese.

Very easy to make, but my frying pans are oven proof as I adore tarte tatin grin I love the ingredients, so hoped it would work.

Only my husband and I ate it, he's not keen on onion but enjoyed this. I served it with salad....garnish as he calls it! I loved it!

My only twist was the cheese....

I'll definitely make it again, really enjoyed it. Might change onion for bacon and give it to the kids too.

nickelDorritt Thu 23-Feb-12 11:26:54

DH looked through the chicken recipe and thought it sounded awful.
so we used the greek yoghurt on this instead (we had no ricotta, so he did greek yoghurt mixed with normal cheese).
it was yummy.

stephgr Fri 24-Feb-12 00:25:50

My family loved the tart which was really easy to make. I've made it twice and I'll keep making it throughout the year. I didn't have any thyme the second time I made it so I used chives instead and it was just as delicious. It's great with a tomato salad.

pombear Sat 25-Feb-12 00:22:11

Oops - half term got in the way, then we cooked it last weekend - the recipes almost screamed "not for a school night" overload of ingredients and the week got in the way of leaving feedback!

Kebabs here:
How easy were they to cook?
OK, but as usual it seems for me and these recipes, I think I must prepare much more slowly than anyone else (or a professional chef!). The massive amount of herbs felt like a bit of a hassle, but smelt good. Did the potatoes a little bit beforehand after reading the warnings on the thread already.

Did we enjoy them?
They were quite tasty (added some yoghurt on the top...again, had the benefit of pre-warning from earlier posters at them being a little dry) The potatoes were good and I'd never normally thread them on a kebab. Everyone ate them, so that's always a good sign of success in my book.

Will we be cooking it again?
Probably with a different marinade but liked the potato on a stick theme.

Surprising things about potatoes?
No, but thanks for giving us a recipe that's more in the spirit of trying something a little bit different with them, rather than a carrot and potato mash this month! That's the sort of thing I was hoping for - now for the holy trinity next month - something a bit different, with not too many ingredients and that's right for the mid-week dinner rush? Neither recipe looked like that from the description, particularly the goats cheese tart one, though I'll probably be trying that one over the next few weeks too, just for interest.

TeamEdward Sat 25-Feb-12 08:08:01

We had the kebabs

How easy were they to cook?
It took a while to prepare the marinade as I don't have a food processor, only one of those hand held thingies with a chopping attachment/bowl.
Couldn't get 200ml of yoghurt, only 500 or 170. i got 500ml to be on the safe side, but there was so much marinage that 170 would have done.
I used mini chicken fillets sliced in half, rather than large chicken breasts.
I used small charlotte pots and they cooked well. Not too crunchy IYKWIM.

Did we enjoy them?
Everyone really liked them. DS1 has asked for them again, but they are time consuming for a mid week meal.
Although we all ate our fill, it was only 2 adults 6yo and 3yo. I don't think the recipe would have provided a filling main course for 4 adults.

Will we be cooking it again?
A very different marinade to the kind I would normally use, and we really liked it, so yes I would cook it again.

Surprising things about potatoes?
I would never of thought to put potatoes on a skewer!

johnworf Sat 25-Feb-12 22:35:23

Glad that these were really easy to prepare. Hardly any time at all in fact. Good job with the children being off!

Goat's Cheese and Potato Tart

My lot don't like goat's cheese so I used crumbly lancashire instead. It was lovely and even the children had a go. The potatoes were lovely and crispy. Loved the balsamic vinegar touch. Added extra flavour and I wouldn't have thought of putting it in myself. Have already made it again for the hungry hoards in this house. Result!

Chicken and Potato Kebabs

Bit of a disaster with this one first time round. Six minutes doesn't seem to be long enough for the potatoes as mine were still a bit hard which ruined the overall effect. However, I did them again but this time I put them in the oven on a tray and they were lovely. Seems to keep much more of the moisture in. I also added peppers and onions as we thought just the chicken and potato was slightly bland (even with the marinade).

Loved both recipes and will definitely do them again. smile

alorsmum Mon 27-Feb-12 07:25:42

Oooh I have all the ingredients for the goats cheese tart in the house (for once when looking at a recipe). I bought the goats cheese to do a complicated veggie shephard's pie which uses three different types of pulses and requires overnight soaking; surprise suprise I haven't got round to it. Looks a really simple veggie recipe so will be cooking tonight - leave time for the draw please!
I'm veggie so won't be doing the kebabs.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Feb-12 11:32:02

Hello. Have some responses to questions for you - more to come!

crikeybadger asked "I'm gonna give the tart a try as I'm a veggie. Would like to have suggestions for the variety of potato though as I get a bit confused between them all"

The Potato council say "James' delicious recipe suggests using firm potatoes, such as the Charlotte variety - great for baking, boiling, steaming or sautéing. For more information on the different potato varieties check out"

zipzap asked "Are there any slow cook potato recipes around? I use my slow cooker a lot, especially in winter but tend to avoid potatoes as I don't want them hard and have read they can take longer to cook than the meat. So any tips or good recipes for using them in the slow cooker please".

The Potato council say "The perfect thing about potatoes is that they're quick and easy to cook and, from prep to plate, can be ready in no time... a jacket takes just 6 minutes in the microwave and mash can be rustled up in a mere 20 minutes. So whilst slow cookers are great for some recipes, they're not a necessity for potatoes".

And she also asked "Are there any sweet recipes - or maybe not specifically savoury recipes is maybe a better way of putting it - for potatoes? Maybe for cakes or muffins or I don't know - just something a bit different or surprising..."

And they say "From a Chocolate Potato Cake to a Potato & Lemon Cheesecake, there are lots of sweet recipes out there for you to explore. Check out for details on how to create these different dishes"

Fillybuster Mon 27-Feb-12 11:47:59

Made the tart yesterday and it was a total hit....I was hoping some would be left to take to work for lunch today but <sniff!> the dcs polished it off! I served it with a green salad and a warm green bean & tomato salad, and it made a lovely change from pizza express for Sunday lunch smile


TeamEdward Mon 27-Feb-12 12:05:20

The point of a slow cooker is that you don't have to do any last minute faffing - I want to stick the slow cooker timer on and come home to a well cooked, one-pot dinner that can be on the table in less than 5min!
I reckon a potato curry would be good in the slow cooker.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Feb-12 12:35:24

I make a casserole in my slow cooker quite a bit and pop in the New Potatoes - with the meat they always seem to be ok! Maybe the skin helps?

thisnickname Mon 27-Feb-12 15:42:09

@AlwaysWild thought I was the only one who remembered smile

thisnickname Mon 27-Feb-12 15:44:21

@AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) why did you just remove AlwaysWild's post? it was not offensive shame on you!

Hulababy Mon 27-Feb-12 16:24:11

Going to try both on Friday, serving both with the salad.

silverfrog Mon 27-Feb-12 19:40:47

I struggled a bit this month, as we are a (largely) dairy free household!

I did try the kebabs, using oatly cream instead of yoghurt. it was a bit runny!, but worked overall I htink.

like others, the potatoes (charlotte) were a little underdone.

it was easy enough to do, but I wouldn't do it again. not really enough bite/spice, or variety - I would have added a couple of different veg to the kebabs fo variety/flavour.

it's a shame both recipes were dairy based (and not really easily substituted). I will try th goats cheese tart for my supper next time dh is away on a business trip, as ti does sound like somehting I would like (and I am the only one who can eat dairy!)

the dds were a bit dubious about the kebabs. dd1 ate it, but then she will hoover most things at the moment (growth spurt!). dd2 nibbled the chicken and declared /normal/ chicken is much nicer!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Feb-12 19:53:46

thisnickname - not sure what you mean?

OvO Mon 27-Feb-12 20:20:50

This seems like the perfect thread to have a laugh about James Martin and his "delicious looking dick." grin

He said it on Saturday Kitchen. I'd link to a you tube clip but can't figure it out on iPad. I have been proper lol'ing at it. grin

Later again this month!

I did the potato and goats cheese tart .

How easy was it to cook?
Slighty more complicated than normal, and as someone else said, I didn't have an oven safe frying pan, luckily git a loan from dm! Ingredients were l simple to get and prepare, had most of them already. Cooking time was pretty much as stated.

Did we enjoy them?

Well, only Dh and I had them, and neither of us had ever had goats cheese before, so was a tad apprehensive! I liked the potato case, although it was definitely a wee bit greasy, loved the onion, thyme and goats cheese filling, which is good because Dh hated the whole thing, so I got the lot. Mostly because of the goats cheese I suspect.

Would you make it again?

Probably not in this incarnation, but possibley with a different cheese filling, and maybe less oil.

Anything surprising about potatoes?

Well, I suppose I'd never thought of using them as a tart case before, so yes!

zipzap Tue 28-Feb-12 23:53:00

Thanks AnnMumsnet for the answers to the questions and the tip about the new potatoes in casserole.

But yes - TeamEdward you hit the nail on the head - I know how quick potatoes can be to cook if you do them from scratch and they can be ready a few minutes later. But with a slow cooker if it is nice to be able to just spoon out the contents as you need them and come in to lovely dinner-ready smells, so having to stop and cook potatoes at that point defeats the object somewhat! Will try a slow cook potato curry, dh would love that.

Guess I was just hoping they would say that you could do a potato and cheesy bake or something (the something being the thing I was hoping they would know!) in it that came out beautifully and could be prepared in advance, stuck in the slow cooker and then be ready within moments of getting in rather than minutes!

Intrigued by the sweet recipes - thanks for them. Very tempted to try the potato cheesecake just to see the look on bil's face when served up to him - whilst he adores cheesecake, he is seriously unadventurous when it comes to food (spaghetti bolognaise is considered to be adventurous foreign cookery and as for a basic chicken korma - he complains when my sis buys one to eat for herself when he is out that it is a step too far and not proper food shockgrin

Hulababy Sat 03-Mar-12 19:10:04

I did the potato and goats cheese tart last night for a friend and myself.

How easy was it to cook?
Easy to prepare, but clearly not easy to get right as my potatoes were not cooked at all. And there was no way it would have all stuck together enough to get out of the pan in one piece, even if they were cooked.

I am a reasonable good cook and cook a lot but got this totally wrong.

And I managed to burn both my hands, one quite badly and it now has 3 small blisters on it as a result. I had put the pan in the oven but the potatoes weren't cooking enough, so removed the pan and put on hob to see if it would help a bit. Forgot pan had been in oven and held the handle sad Big burn resulting in lots of running water and then an ice pack all night! And 2 minutes later did same but not so bad on other hand! Ouch.

Did we enjoy them?

No idea. Never tried the tarts in the end. The potatoes were just not done enough and by the stage where they were getting there the onions and goat cheese were overcooked. I binned them.

Would you make it again?

Not sure - maybe if I parboiled the potatoes first.

Anything surprising about potatoes?

Not really. I should have realised before that there was no way the potatoes would cook in that little time.

Hulababy Sat 03-Mar-12 19:14:32

I also made the potato and chicken kebabs last night for three girls - DD (9), DD's friend (9) and another friend (6) - and later on DH and friend.

How easy was it to cook?

Pretty easy. Prep didn't take long although I did the potatoes for a little longer than the recipe initially, so the grilling worked fine.

Did we enjoy them?

The three girls appeared to enjoy them although found the potatoes a little dry. One girl wasn't sure about the dressing.

Dh and friend enjoyed theirs but I used more oil on the potatoes under the grill, and I served it with additional marinade as a sauce. Dh and friend both said the marinade sauce was tasty.

Would you make it again?

Yes, I think so. May try with tuna or quorn for myself too.

Anything surprising about potatoes?

No really. The marinade smelt nice and made the potatoes taste nice too.

TheTempest Mon 05-Mar-12 18:35:29

CoffeesGoneColdAgain Thank you o much for the peelings tip. I tried this and really enjoyed it, will definitely be doing that again grin

TheTempest Mon 05-Mar-12 18:35:54

Oh rubbish, that was obviously meant to be so.

moomoo1967 Mon 12-Mar-12 11:16:11

Have I missed the link for March's feedback ?

ClaimedByMe Wed 14-Mar-12 21:20:54

Are we adding our feedback to this thread or are we getting a March thread?

moomoo1967 Thu 15-Mar-12 07:11:36

CBM I emailed Ann at MNHQ and she is looking into it as was not aware that we had been sent another recipe

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 15-Mar-12 09:55:23

Sorry - guys new feedback thread coming soon for the fishcakes! Best A

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 15-Mar-12 10:52:45

Sorry for the delay - sherbetpips was selected as the winner of the £50 Love2Shop voucher. Well done. New feedback thread coming soon with another chance to win a voucher.

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