Mashed Potato Pizza
|This is not real|
It doesn't exist. It is not there. It is a figment of our imagination and this is true. Because if one does find that they have made too much mashed potato, then a whole new world of possibilities awaits. Where mashed potato can be transformed into something else. Into say a fish cake, or some bubble and squeak. You can even use it to make ice cream! Although please do note, that the recipe in that link is actually a recipe on how to simply make mashed potato, and not ice cream. Stupid Canadians.
But coming back to the transcendental nature of mashed potato, the main point is that leftover creamed spuds can easily be used up and will soon disappear into the ether, by way of your gullet and become no more. Thus completing an existential circle that sparks the bigger questions of what is real and what is illusion? What is mashed potato? Is it like dark matter? Could it be a fundamental glue, that holds together the very fabric of our universe?
If I have confused you (and I suspect that I have) then please do sign up for my new course - 'Food Philosophy 101' - which will be added to the timetable of short courses, at London's Imperial College next Autumn.
Should I get the funding.
In the meantime, I suppose I better get on with the recipe and the inspiration that came out of making mashed potato pizza. Yes, that's right, mashed potato pizza. Closely related to Irish farls, along with the distant cousin of Italian gnocchi, combining potato and flour isn't too much of a stretch of the imagination. Yet it hadn't occurred to me to make a pizza with spuds until I read a recipe in The Kitchen Revolution. Namely a cheese and onion potato bread pizza, that is fairly innovative for using up supernumerary* mash.
The changes from my end came by way of using up the remains of a jar of pesto for the dough mix. Plus using up some slightly stale mushrooms. Not forgetting some Spianata Romana salami that was going a touch crispy around the edges. Oh and a small lump of cheddar that was beginning to bruise. So, this really is a good trick of clearing out all the bits and pieces that you may have ruminating in the fridge. A hot blast in the oven and no-one will be the wiser.
I also decided to give the base a swirl of garlicky tomato with oregano, which isn't essential. In fact, it might be better to keep the pizza bianco, to ensure an even baking. But still, we all wolfed down the pizza with aplomb, spongy base and all. In terms of whipping this up for quick lunchtime bite, it took all of about 25 minutes to put together. 'Brilliant!' - as they used to say on The Fast Show.
Basically, I am just happy that I've added another way of using up mashed potato to my repertoire of cooking. Of course, again, we must remember that too much mashed potato empirically does not exist and the same could be said for my repertoire. But that is an intellectual discussion to be left for another time.
In fact, I might make that a module on my course.
*Yes, I have been looking at that pesky thesaurus again.
Mashed Potato Pizza - serves four
For the base
600g leftover mashed potatoes, room temperature (floury ones, please)
150g self-raising flour
1 free range egg
1 tbs green pesto
milk, if needed
For the topping
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
Half a tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to season
Cheddar, grated (I realise this may be sacrilege but we didn't have any mozzarella)
Small sprigs of rosemary
Heat your oven to 200°C and place a small saucepan on the hob, over a medium heat and add a dash of oil.
When hot, add the garlic and fry off for 30 seconds or so, until the slivers start to turn golden and then add the tomatoes and oregano. Cook through for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and season to taste.
Whilst the sauce is bubbling, make your pizza base by adding the mash to a bowl, along with the egg and mix together to make a soft dough. Then add the pesto, mixing some more and then add the flour.
Bring the dough together using your hands and if the dough is too dry, add a touch of milk. Likewise, if it is too dry, then add some more flour. Roll or pad the dough out into a rough circle and place onto a floured baking tray.
Spread the tomato base across, leaving an edge around the outside and add your toppings, including a small drizzle of oil. Less is more and should ensure an even cooking. If you lump the ingredients up, then you might get into trouble.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the dough has puffed up a touch and browned, and the cheese has melted.
Slice and serve.
|Mash potato pizza!|
|Sliced mashed potato pizza|