Low-cost, easy to prepare and versatile, our celebrity chef columnist Gary Rhodes’ potato fritters are the perfect dinner party-starter.

Often I will be reading a foodie magazine, and it will have a couple of recipes. A little while ago I saw a fritter recipe; it had been made with lightly grated marrow, and they mixed it with potato and added all kinds of flavours. I liked the way that the mix was made, but I didn’t want the marrow flavour; I wanted something sweeter. So I used courgette. Then I added the onion as well, for that little bite. First I tried this with a spring onion, but I changed my mind and decided to grate everything and mix it all together with a batter mix. Fantastic. I couldn’t believe how quickly the fritters pan-fried, then a couple of minutes in the oven – that’s all.

They are absolutely delightful to eat. I introduced them on the menu at Rhodes In Residence as a vegetarian snack: courgette and potato fritters with a mint jelly and yoghurt dip. Most people will have that mint jelly sitting in the cupboard that they only bring out when they have lamb. This is a way you can use it for something else. You get a sweet and sour flavour from that jelly, because you’re picking up that vinegar with the lovely mint flavour behind it.

But I needed to calm all of that, so I used the yoghurt. You could turn it into a little Irish champ: just throw spring onion and potato into that batter. You could finish that with something buttery, maybe a little butter sauce. You could also do something like a courgette Provençal, so you have that French-Spanish touch, with a touch of olive, the onion, some cherry tomatoes – quarter them, take out the seeds – and mix that in to the batter with your potato and maybe some fresh basil. You’re taking on another theme, but whatever direction you go in, it’s all born from one simple idea.

For the fritters: two small to medium-sized potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated; two medium courgettes, coarsely grated; one large onion, coarsely grated; 50g self-raising flour; two eggs, lightly beaten; a generous twist of black pepper, salt; vegetable oil, for frying. For the dip: 150ml natural yoghurt, two to three tbsp mint jelly, several fresh mint leaves (optional).

Using kitchen paper, squeeze the excess liquid from the potatoes, courgettes and onions. mix together the potatoes, courgettes, onions, flour and eggs and season with pepper and a pinch of salt. Pre heat the oven to 170 ̊C. Warm enough oil in a large frying pan to almost cover the base. once hot, shallow fry heaped tablespoons of fritter mix to a golden brown on each side. once coloured, put the fritters on a baking tray and finish in the oven for eight to ten minutes. For the dip, simply whisk all the ingredients together.