When I peel potatoes I always peel at least twice as many as I need for a meal. If I’m going to invest my time at the kitchen sink peeling spuds, then I might as well make it worth my while. Once mashed, I divide the potatoes into 2 sections – 1 to cool for freezing, and 1 for the main meal. Frozen mash is one of my kitchen secrets because I keep it on standby for busy days or quick suppers.
How do I cook the mash once defrosted though? Mash and gravy are one of life’s luxuries and there is nothing like a spoon of mash made with plenty of black pepper, topped with a runny poached egg. Excuse me while I drool on my keyboard at the thought.
Sometimes I do fancy something different, and this is where the idea of the potato pizza was born. The trick is to cook the base until it’s crispy on a low heat before adding the other ingredients. This adds to the cooking time, but really it’s not long when it comes to active-cooking time as it takes only 10 minutes to assemble.
- 400g cold mashed potato
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 100g mozzarella or cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat a (fan) oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Take 2 x circular baking trays sized 15cm diameter (note you could do this with 1 large rectangular tray), line them with non-stick baking paper. Divide the mashed potato between the 2 trays. Take a large tablespoon and lightly grease the back of the spoon before using it to press down the potato into the trays. The greasing stops the potato from sticking to the spoon.
Pop the 2 baking trays into the oven for about 35 minutes so that the potato begins to turn golden at the edges. It will dry out and become crisp. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the toppings over the potato base. The toppings above are only suggestions, feel free to add your own.
Increase the oven temperature to 200 degrees Celsius, and return the baking trays to the oven for a further 10 minutes or so – this will give the cheese a chance to melt.
You’ll notice that I’ve left a wide margin around the potato pizza of baking paper in the picture. The potato base is more fragile than a classic pizza dough so I lift out the pizza still inside the baking paper casing before serving at the table.