Growing up in Belfast you couldn’t fail to come across an Ulster Fry. Traditionally served in the morning it is reminiscent of a full English breakfast with its bacon, eggs, sausages, fried tomato and black pudding. Usually the option of beans and fried mushrooms is available with plenty of tea, toast and orange juice. What makes it different is the addition of soda bread, usually fried and potato bread. It makes a very satisfying and filling breakfast, keeping you full until dinner time. It probably evolved from the times when people had to go out and do demanding physical labour all day, it would make them ready to face this.
When I first moved to England I remember being taken aback that I could not buy potato bread anywhere. This was my favourite part of a fried breakfast, the thin flat slices fried in butter have a very unique taste. If you are lucky you can now find potato bread in some stores, but soda bread remains something I make myself.
Recently I was sent some Greenvale potatoes to try, these are an all rounder potato so can be used for boiling, roasting, mashing or chips. They come in a old style 2kg sack which actually keeps the potatoes fresher longer. I find when they are in plastic bags I end up with the potatoes growing sprouts. You can find Greenvale potatoes in Tesco, Booths in the North East and also Ocado for RRP £2.50 a bag. I decided to use the opportunity to create an Ulster Fry. Instead of potato bread I made potato cakes which actually worked well with the meal.
It certainly kept me full till dinner time, but not my son. I sometimes think he had hollow legs the amount of food he eats. It is as if he has never been fed. It was a perfect breakfast for a lazy Sunday morning.
- 350 g cold mashed potatoes
- 4 spring onions finely sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg beaten
- 100 g plain flour plus some for dusting
- In a large bowl mix the mash with the spring onions. Season with salt and black pepper
- Add the egg and flour and mix together until the mixture starts to form a ball.
- Place the dough of a floured work top and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each into a ball then flatten to form a cake no thicker than 15mm.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan. Add the cakes to the hot oil and fry for six to eight minutes until they are crispy and golden.
The potato cakes could also be served topped with smoked salmon and creme fraiche for a more sophisticated breakfast.