By: Catherine Roth
I do apologize: my phone is busted so I was unable to take Instagram aesthetic food pics this week.
When I moved into my current apartment, I quickly realized that I was not living with boys who prided themselves in a well-stocked kitchen. There was one tea towel which also served as the only oven mitt and potholder. Forks are a constant struggle in the house: we have exactly six, and with four people sometimes that is not enough. Doc actually prides himself in often going days without needing a fork and only eating spoon-friendly foods.
Therefore, imagine my surprise when I discovered that we had three potato mashers! While I don’t make mashed potatoes very often, I do find uses for the tool.
I usually try to squeeze one day in every week when I can make a big batch of something to stay in the freezer. If I’m lucky I might be able to get a whole chicken or a pork loin from my Tesco’s “reduced to clear section,” but if not, I become a vegetarian.
This week, my batch meal was a cheap and cheerful standby: Sweet Potato Patties.
I start with 400g of sweet potato (about two medium sized ones) and cut them into smaller chunks so that I can boil them faster. I don’t remove the skin, but that is a personal choice. It takes about 15-20 minutes for the spuds to be tender and easily pierced by a fork.
At €1.29 per kg, it is just over 50ȼ for the sweet potatoes.
While the potatoes are boiling, I drain and rinse one 400g can of red kidney beans, which runs at about 25ȼ.
The magic of this food item is the spices. I always keep a stock of paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder, and cumin which run between 70ȼ and €3, depending on the brand. For argument’s sake, I’ll just say I spent €2 per spice, and €8 to get me the full list of them. Using a shot glass, I pour a tablespoon and a half of sunflower oil and make a mix of about two tablespoons of the above spices to make my own chilli paste. Even better, if I’ve cooked bacon recently I’ll use the drippings from that instead of the oil.
In a large bowl, I add my paste to the beans and sweet potatoes and start mashing. When the ingredients are sufficiently smushed, I begin making patties. Smaller than your average burger, but larger than meatballs. I put these on a baking tray and bang them in the oven for another 10-15 minutes at 200C, just until the patties start to brown.
That is it!
These freeze quite well, so I usually keep a batch of them in the freezer and just thaw when I want to eat them. I’ll pair these with some salad or rice to make it feel more like a proper meal. Using these quantities, I get about 10 patties. With two patties to a meal, that breaks down to 20ȼ per serving. Using oil, not bacon drippings, it looks like about 180 calories to this recipe.