A very Potato-ee post!

Sunday 15 June 2014


 I'm not sure if you are aware of it or not but Amazon has a well stocked and easy to use Grocery section on it's site, where you can buy everything from soup to nuts and anything in between.  You can often find foodstuffs that are difficult to find elsewhere.  I was recently sent several products from the biona organic line to review.


Four bags of the biona organic lightly salted potato chips, lightly salted with Himalayan Pink Salt.  These are an Artisan cooked organic  potato chip, unpeeled and carefully prepared using non-hydrogenated sunflower oil.     They have no artificial flavours, colours or additives.   There are 531 calories in 1 whole 100g bag, of which  there are 4g of protein, 56g of carbohydrates 32g of fat (6.4g of saturates), yg of fibre and less than 1g of sodium.  That's pretty good where sodium is concerned.  My sister got me turned onto Himalayan Pink Salt and I love that these chips use that.

What makes Himalayan pink salt so amazing is that because of where it comes from it is the purest salt on the earth today.   Farmed from natural crystallized sea salt beds which have lain beneath volcanic lava for thousands or years in a pristine and pure environment, surrounded by snow and ice.   Himalayan sea salt is known to have many beneficial properties. Himalayan Salt contains the same 84 trace minerals and elements that are found in the human body, that alone is quite impressive! A few of these minerals include: sodium chloride, sulphate, calcium, potassium and magnesium. When using this salt, you are actually getting less sodium intake per serving than regular table salt because it is less refined and the pieces are larger. Therefore Himalayan salt has less sodium per serving because the crystals or flakes take up less room than the highly processed table salt variety. Another cool thing about this salt is that because of its cellular structure it stores vibrational energy. The minerals in this salt exist in colloidal form, which means that they are small enough for our cells to easily absorb.

You can buy them on Amazon at £9.37 for four 100g bags, and if you sign up for subscribe and save you will get them even cheaper.

What I liked about these potato chips.  They are organic.   They use salt that is good for you.   They are cooked in non-hydogenated sunflower oil.  I like that they still have the peel.   That all works for me.  What I don't like about them is . . .  they're hard to stop eating.  ☺

They arrived at my home very well packaged and not crushed, something which I have never managed to be able to do myself when bringing potato crisps home from the store!


I also received six jars of biona organic Harissa Chilli Relish.  This is a spicy organic chilli relish containing chilli, tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, sunflower oil, cider vinegar, coriander, caraway seeds and sea salt.  Vegan, Gluten and Lactose Free.  I love, LOVE the flavour of Harissa.  It's a condiment which is widely used in North African and Middle Eastern Cuisines, and is quite nice when added to grain dishes, soups or casseroles.  I like to toss it together with sliced or chunked potatoes and roast them.   It gives them a nice touch of spice and a bit of heat that is quite delicious.

It is available in packs of six 125ml jars at the price of £15.69.  As well with this if you sign up for subscribe and save you can get it for a bit less at £13.29 for six jars.    They also arrived well packaged and intact and in a good time.

So the Amazon service gets two thumbs up from me for packaging and timeliness.  I am a member of Amazon Prime and I can tell you from experience that when they say one day delivery, it IS one day delivery.  You can count on it.

Here's a few things I have done with the Harissa Relish!  

The perfect snack to munch on while you are watching the football!  I'll admit now that with a salad on the side, I could make a meal of these.  I like to dip them into sour cream.


*Moroccan Baked Potato Skins*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

These are supposed to be a snack, but I could make a meal out of them. I love the way a potato is like a blank canvas. You can put just about anything with them and come up with a tasty and delicious dish. These are a bit spicy, but in a very wonderful way! I’m not sure how authentically Moroccan they are, only that they are mighty tasty. Serve hot or warm with sour cream for dipping.

1 ½ pounds of baking potatoes
3 ½ ounces of olive oil
1 TBS harissa paste
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp turmeric
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 220*C/425*F. Scrub your potatoes really thoroughly and then dry them really well. Cut the potatoes into thick wedges and then cut the skin off of the potatoes until it is about ¾ of an inch thick. (You can keep the rest of the potato for a few days, covered and refrigerated in a container of salted water to use for mashed potatoes another time)

Mix together the olive oil, harissa paste, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric and garlic. Add the potato skins and toss them all together really well, making sure they are well coated with the spice mixture. Place in a single layer on a shallow baking tray, season to taste with some salt and pepper, and bake for about 35 minutes until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Return to the oven and bake for a few minutes longer until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve hot or warm with some sour cream for dipping if desired.  


This isn't a great picture but I also like to fry potatoes in a spicy mixture containing Harissa. These are just lovely with lots of nice crunchy bits.   Soooo tasty!  They go great with grilled meats and fish.  (Yes, I do like my potatoes!)


*Harissa Potatoes*
Serves 4
LinkPrintable Recipe

Spicy and delicious with little crispy bits. These go very well with roasted meats, poultry or grilled fish.

3 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
750g of waxy potatoes (salad type), thickly sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds) (I used pink fir today)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 heaped tsp of harissa, or more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
a large handful of coriander leaves, chopped (cilantro)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Add the potatoes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, harissa, cumin and sea salt. Mix together well. Add enough boiling water to barely come halfway up the potatoes. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes, gently. Remove the lid and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes longer, until cooked through, tender, beginning to turn golden and the water has all been absorbed. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander and serve.  

(If you are unable to buy Harissa anywhere, you can also make your own.    


Again, not a great photograph, but something else you can do with the Harissa Chilli Relish, make your own Harissa Oven Chips!  I have used baking potatoes sliced into wedges here, but you can also toss the ingredients with frozen oven chips and get a very similar effect.  These are delicious served with a zesty lime and lemon sour cream sauce  for dipping and snacking.  Another Footie treat to munch on while you watch the game!


*Harissa Spiced Chips*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A tasty oven chip, chunky and crisp and tastily spiced with a homemade harissa paste. You may want to make the harissa paste the day before. You can use a commercially prepared harissa paste if you wish, but I like to make my own. It makes more than you need, but it stores well and comes in handy for lots of things.

6 large baking potatoes, peeled or not as you like, and
cut into chunky sized chips
(you can use one 907g bake of oven chips if you like)
For the paste:
4 ounces dried hot red chili peppers
2 tsp sea salt
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tsp freshly ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground black cumin seeds
2 tsp freshly ground caraway seeds
1 skinned, deseeded and chopped red pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp tomato puree
the juice and zest of 1/2 a lime
1/2 of a preserved lemon (optional)
olive oil to cover
To serve:
8 ounces of dairy sour cream
the juice and zest of half a lime

First make the Harissa paste. Place the dried chilies in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for one hour. At the end of the hour, drain them well and place them into a food processor along with the salt, garlic, cumin, black cumin, caraway, red pepper, paprika, vinegar, tomato puree, the preserved lemon, if using, and the juice and zest of the lime. Blend to a smooth paste. Scrape into a jar and cover with some olive oil, to help protect it from the air. Cover and chill until you are ready to use.

When you are ready to make your chips, preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Place the chipped potatoes into a large shallow roasting tin. Toss with 2 TBS of the prepared Harissa paste to cover and then place them into the heated oven.

Roast, stirring every once in a while, for about 20 to 25 minutes, until nicely crisped on the outside and tender on the inside. Remove from the oven and serve hot with your choice of dip.

If you choose to use oven chips the procedure is much the same, except you toss the bag of oven chips with the harissa paste to coat lightly and bake as per the package instructions.

While the chips are baking, whisk together the sour cream and the lime juice and zest. Serve the hot chips with the sour cream mixture for dipping. Delicious!  

This Harissa relish is also great for brushing onto steaks, chops or chicken prior to throwing them on the Barbecue for an extra special flavour.   The chips also go down great when served along side of burgers and dogs.  Oh, and try stirring a bit of Harissa into your burger mixture for some really fab flavours!  I like to mix it into slice potatoes and onions, wrapped in foil and barbecue them along with every thing else.  Fabulous!  Actually you can do that with a whole mix of vegetables.  Try sliced peppers, courgettes, aubergines and tomatoes.  FAB-U-LOUS!  You can also stir it into a vinaigrette dressing to add some zip to your salads!

Many thanks to Alice and Amazon for sending these along.  I hope I have gotten your tastebuds tingling!

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