Potato Snackage

There seems to be a growing trend towards leaving the potato peel on the vegetable as part of cooking. Chips/fries can be cooked with the skin left on, and obviously, potato wedges and jacket potatoes retain the outer covering. Potato peelings contain lots of flavour and nutrients, so for those dishes where the peel is not required, why throw away all that goodness?

Thanks to the BBC Good Food magazine, I was inspired by a recent article to produce what I call “Potato Snackage”; it is straightforward to do, gives a wonderfully tasty alternative to the potato crisp and a fantastic accompaniment to a nice bottle of beer (or four).


  • Potato Peelings
  • Rapeseed Oil

For the Spice Blend

  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • Tomato Powder
  • Citric Acid
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Rock Salt
  • Pinch of Granulated White Sugar



  1. This recipe works best if large potato peelings are used; I guess that small ones would taste just as good but would be fiddly to work with. Wash the strips in cold water and pat dry on some kitchen roll.Potato Snackage (4)

2.  Prepare the spice blend using all the ingredients and grind with a mortar and pestle. The mix of ingredients listed above is fantastic, but you could use anything you like, really. Even simple salt-and-pepper works well.

Potato Snackage (2)

3.  Spread the peelings over a baking tray trying not to overlap them. I find that an excellent New Zealand pale ale assists in this process.

Potato Snackage (6)

4.  Brush the strips with the rapeseed oil and sprinkle the spice blend over the top. Turn them all over and repeat. A Camden Town lager is the preferred beverage at this point.

Potato Snackage (5)

5.  Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes at a medium/high heat setting until some of the peelings start to bubble, and they crisp up. By the time they come out of the oven, you will be ready for a continental white beer.

Potato Snackage (3)

6.  Serve in a small bowl with a Guinness! Enjoy.

Potato Snackage (1)


Potato Snackage is so tasty that it is tempting to peel a potato just to obtain the strips of peel and throw away the rest of the vegetable.


Korean Kung Po

In a break from my usual storytelling blogs, I feel I need to share my latest culinary success with the world (OK, maybe not the whole world, maybe just the handful of people who will read this).

A Kung Po is one of my favourite Chinese meals; I have tried to replicate this restaurant-quality dish many times at home without much success… until yesterday! Here is my secret recipe, but before you read it, I make no excuse for not entering actual quantities; if you like something in the list of ingredients, put more of it in, if you don’t, use less. You are unlikely to see measurements and more likely to read words such as ‘dollop’, ‘splodge’, ‘sprinkling’, ‘splash’ and ‘dash’.


  • pork steaks
  • green pepper
  • red pepper
  • yellow pepper
  • red onion
  • red chilli pepper
  • water chestnuts
  • cashew nuts
  • pineapple

For the Sauce

  • Korean Gochujang Sauce/Paste
  • pomegranate molasses
  • scotch bonnet hot pepper sauce
  • dark soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • cider vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • tomato purée
  • Chinese five spice
  • sesame seeds

Korean Kung Po Sauce


1.       Cut the pork steaks into half inch cubes. Place in a bowl and mix in the Korean paste, the pomegranate molasses to give sweetness and the hot pepper sauce to give heat. Mix everything together and allow to marinate in the fridge for an hour.

2.       Chop the peppers, onion and pineapple into roughly the same size as the pork cubes. Finally, thinly slice the chilli pepper. Slice the water chestnuts and add all the ingredients into a separate bowl with the cashew nuts.

3.       Add sesame oil to a frying pan or wok, heat it until quite hot and add the pork mixture.

4.       From here onwards, there are no delicate instructions. Slap in all the mixed up chopped vegetables and pineapple and continually give it all a good stir round. Add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, a dash of cider vinegar, a squirt of lemon juice, a dollop of tomato purée, and a sprinkling of five spice. Keep stirring until it looks like a proper Kung Po.

5.       Serve in a bowl and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. I chose to accompany mine with hot white pitta bread.


I regret not taking a photograph of the final rainbow-coloured result. It tasted as stunning as it looked, even if I say so myself. I almost wanted to cook it again today just to take a photograph, but I resisted the urge.

You need to trust me on this one. In words taken directly from Father Ted, “Go on, go on, go on…”