It was St David’s day on 1st March, the patron saint of Wales. As I have strong Welsh links I wanted to celebrate by creating a recipe with distinctly Welsh elements. The most famous Welsh symbol is of course the Red Dragon flag, or Y Ddraig Goch. One theory is the tale of the dragon was founded from Merlin’s vision of a Red (The Native Britons) and a White (The Saxon Invaders) dragon battling, with the red dragon being victorious. Leeks are also the national emblem so I wanted to include these. According to legend, Saint David ordered his Welsh soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, and is worn on St David’s Day each 1 March, so I included a (bedraggled) bunch.
Taking inspiration, I created these fiery Welsh dragon leek and potato hash browns using smoked chilli to signify the dragon and leeks to represent the national emblem. These are a quick and easy gluten free alternative to toast with a cooked breakfast. The hash browns themselves are vegan, so top them with whatever suits your diet. Serves 2
- 4 medium sized potatoes
- 1 leek
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp smoked chilli
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil/ butter (non-vegan)
- Wash the potatoes and chop in half lengthways.
- Grate the raw potato into a large mixing bowl, discarding the ends. Tip the grated potato into a sieve over the sink and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. The drier the mix the better they will crisp.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a small spash of oil or butter.
- Finely chop the leek and garlic, add to the pan and saute for a minute or so until the leek begins to become translucent. Add to the potato.
- Add the smoked chilli and season generously.
- Heat the frying pan on a medium to high heat and add a generous glug of oil or butter.
- Using your hands, create a thin patty out of the potato about 2.5 – 3 inches in diameter and add to the pan. Flatten down to ensure the mix is compacted down. Repeat this process until the frying pan is full.
- After about 4-5 minutes, flip the hash brown over. It should stay together and be brown and crispy on one side. Press down and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Serve with whatever breakfast goodies you like – I like poached egg sprinkled with smoked chilli, sauted spinach and tomatoes – healthy, low fat and delicious!