Carbo-loading Isn’t Just For Athletes

I like my food. People who know me well know that food is very important to me. In fact, a good rule of thumb is feed me on the hour every three hours.

Mr. Fairweather used to turn up at my parents’ doorstep to collect me for a fancy date and the following conversation would generally ensue.

Mr. Fairweather: When did you feed her last?

My Mother: She ate about an hour ago.

Mr. Fairweather: So I have about an hour and a half before I have to start worrying then.

In fact, that reminds me of my wedding day. It was a gorgeous day. I was so relaxed and happy; grinning from ear to ear as my dad walked me up the aisle of my parish church. I saw only people I knew and loved. It was perfect. The photos are stunning. But they don’t tell the full story. We got to the top where Mr. Fairweather waited. As he turned, he shook my dad’s hand. My dad said, She’s all yours now. To which Mr. Fairweather replied, I hope you fed her recently. Much hilarity.

Afterwards, we left the church and stayed outside chatting to well wishers before getting back in to the car and going off to get photos taken. My bridesmaid ran over and ducked her head in through the window – surely to say something deep and meaningful. She flung a couple of granola bars my way and headed off again.

My reputation precedes me.

You may have gueesed already that I have never been one to worry too much about diets. I eat rings around me – as much for the safety of those in my company as for sheer enjoyment of food. In fact, if I ma honest, diets scare me a little. Why would you go around the place hangry hungry all the time? How would you have the energy to get out and do stuff? As for diets that ban carbohydrates altogether – don’t get me started. I need my energy. Especially with a toddler. Coffee and chocolate won’t cut it on their own. Everyone knows you need cake too. (I jest – but not really.) Not that I am planning on running any marathons but surely there’s a reason marathon runners carbo-load before a big race? And what better way to carbo-load than to wrap carbohydrates in carbohydrates. And then fry it.

Athletes everywhere are choking as they read this. Fry it?

Can you tell I don’t run marathons? But bear with me. Forget about your arteries for a minute. Is there anything more comforting really than delicious fried food? My mom used to make these sometimes as a special treat especially if she had leftover potatoes. We would nearly fight over them if they weren’t shared out equally. “She got more than me.” “He got all the big ones.” Now, they are a special treat here. Mr. Fairweather and friends would probably eat them all the time if I made them more often. Let me stress that I’m not advocating eating them all the time. I’m not a total nutjob. Everything in moderation. Don’t have these for breakfast, lunch and dinner – no matter how tempted you are. But every now and then, to keep the system fuelled up on a tough day. Fry them up and dig in.

Did I mention they are delicious and use up leftovers? So that has to be a plus point too.

 

Aloo Pies

all you need (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
all you need
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

2 cups plain flour

2 tsps. baking powder

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup water

1 lb potatoes

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 cup of oil for frying

 

Mix flour, baking powder, pinch of the salt and water together. Knead just enough till it all comes together. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave for a half hour or so to relax.

If you are using raw potatoes – boil, peel and mash them. If using leftover potatoes, I suggest heating them a little bit to make mixing in the seasonings easier. Whichever you have opted for, season now with pepper, cumin, garlic and a little hot pepper or chilli sauce if you like it spicy.

nine balls roughly rolled out (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
nine balls roughly rolled out
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

Divide your dough into nine balls and flatten each ball out into roughly a 4″ circle. If the dough is too thick, it won’t cook through properly and if it’s too thin, the potato filling will burst through it in the frying.

keep filling away from the edges and resist the temptation to overfill - trust me (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
keep filling away from the edges and resist the temptation to overfill – trust me
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

Place two tablespoons of seasoned potato mix on half of each dough circle.

fold edges over onto themselves - or press down with a fork (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
fold edges over onto themselves – or press down with a fork
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

Wet the edges of the dough, fold over and seal well.

aloo pies puffing up in the oil (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
aloo pies puffing up in the oil
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

Fry in hot oil for a minute or two before flipping it over. You want the pies to puff up and go a lovely golden colour.

Drain before serving. I suggest serving these either with butter to put into the centre of the pie once you have bitten it open. Or mango chutney. One of Mr. Fairweather’s nieces advocates mayonnaise in on top of the potatoes. Jury is out on that for me.

these are sooo good (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
these are sooo good
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

Just for the record, this is a pie to be eaten with your hands. No cutlery please.

Also, if like me, in the process of quality control, you accidentally eat too much of the potato filling and have more dough than filling, just fry the flattened dough circles – still delicious.

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7 thoughts on “Carbo-loading Isn’t Just For Athletes

  1. Oh my gosh–I can’t wait to try them—back in the day when I did write more novel post about my obsession with butter—I too shared my lack of desire to diet..rather instead my desire to eat and to eat well—and if I need any more proof as to my Irish heritage other than two great grandparents from up in Co Donegal—it is the potato, or actually love of that, which is proof positive—I will try these ASAP!!!

    Like

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