Abi’s favourite potato dishes

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Abi's favourite potato dishes

TASTE food editor Abigail Donnelly honours the humble spud with her favourite ways to cook it.

I grew up eating the simplest dishes. For dinner we’d have cottage pie piled high with creamy mashed potato, complete with a fine crust formed by the flicks created by the prongs of a fork. Or we’d have potato bake and to this day I absolutely love the smell of cheese and onions, which is what my Gran’s potato bake would smell of.

She used to layer sliced potatoes haphazardly in a baking dish then smother them in onions, milk, grated Cheddar and salt and pepper. This was all baked until the potatoes were creamy soft and although the cheese and milk mixture often split (she blamed the onion for it but I think her oven was too hot), it’s still my favourite.

Sometimes I use stock instead of milk, but for the real McCoy I’d make it with layers of cream, knobs of butter and lots of crushed garlic – this is called potato dauphinoise, not to be confused with potato dauphine, which I will be testing out very soon and is essentially a mix of mashed potato and choux pastry then deep fried. Sounds utterly delicious and sinful.

My friends back in Ireland taught me how they prepare baked potatoes. They simply bake them whole, in the skin, then split them open at the table and serve them with a knob of butter and fresh cream.

I like to use red skin potatoes – I parboil them, also skin on, then split them open, place them on a baking tray and dot with butter, salt and a drizzle of olive oil before roasting until the skin is crisp and the middle soft.

Creamed mashed potato is the perfect comfort food. For the perfect mash, invest in a potato ricer – it ensures lump-free, light and airy mash.


The Irish love a dish of cabbage, potato and onion known as colcannon. To make, fry up some finely chopped bacon, add chopped onion and leeks, adding some butter and olive oil to keep it moist.

Add finely shredded cabbage and cook until wilted. Take care not to overcook the cabbage.

Season well and add all of this to a pot of buttery mashed potato – made with cream! – and mix in gently. It’s really good with lamb shank or pork bangers


There cannot be a more delicious combination! It’s one of my favourite, indulgent ways to serve potatoes.

I serve salted potatoes that have been thinly sliced, fried in oil until golden brown and salted, with a round of baked camembert. It’s the perfect food to nibble on with a beer and a great soundtrack playing in the background.

Abigail Donnelly Article by: Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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