Growing up in Austria, potatoes were obviously a staple diet - to accompany meals, but sometimes even on their own, cooked or baked in foil and eaten just with butter and salt... which is probably the closest my Mum ever came to serving us fast food! Back then, I thought potatoes very plain and boring, but now that I am eating less of them, I sometimes get real cravings.
The best way to give into this craving is something I've adopted for cocktail parties. Mini-potatoes are a great thing - the variations for toppings are endless! Salmon or smoked trout, or a variety of cold meats, like ham, gammon or pastrami, with freshly grated horseradish in cream cheese. And if you think that's not fancy enough, try the ultimate for adding a touch of indulgence to something so earthy and cheap: top the potatoes with wasabi crème fraîche to give it a slightly spicy note, then top it with caviar... with all that smooth luxuriousness of the cream and the roe, potatoes will never be boring again!
Caviar & wasabi-cream mini-potatoes
2 tbsp crème fraîche
½ tsp wasabi paste
small jar caviar / herring roe
Cook the potatoes in salt water for ca. 15 minutes, depening on their size - you want them soft, but firm enough not to fall apart when you cut them.
Cut a level base on each of them so they will stand firmly on a plate, then scoop out a little dip on the top with a melon baller or teaspoon, to nestle the cream and caviar.
Work the wasabi into the crème fraîche (the texture of this French sour cream varies greatly from supermarket to supermarket, but you need to find one that is quite firm and won't run down your potato as soon as you serve them - Sainsbury's here in the UK produce a good one, elsewhere try to find a glass jar of Isigny Ste Mère).
When ready to serve, scoop some of the cream onto the potato and top with a dollop of caviar.
* I buy mine at Marks & Spencer, but if you have a good relationship with your greengrocer, you might be able to convince him to just separate out the tiny ones for you - which without doubt will work out much cheaper...