Sunday, 10 April 2011

My musings on roast potatoes.

Most who know me well will know that I have been on a three year long quest for my dream roast potato. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy and mash-like on the inside. I have tried different types of spuds, duck fat, all kinds of oils and flavor combinations. My latest method is here for your enjoyment. I think it's pretty bloody good.
Pre heat oven to 180c. Fist step is to peel yourself some Dutch Creams. (or a good spud that is half way between floury and waxy) chop into quarters or thirds, I am very pedantic about them being an even size, and it pays off. Then chuck them in COLD water, enough to cover and pop them on a high heat to par boil. At this point, pour 1cm of pure olive oil into a baking tray and pop it in the oven to heat up. Parboil spuds until a fork can be easily inserted to about a cm. You don't want them cooked all the way through. 

Drain potatoes and put them back into the (still hot) pot. put the pot back on the heat and stir your spuds with a wooden spoon, work quickly as you don't want them to burn. The idea is to have the potatoes very dry and a little fluffy. 

Then it is time to add whatever seasoning you want. I tend to add salt, pepper, dried rosemary and a little dried chicken stock powder. Cheating, I know, but it's yummy and Anthony Bourdaine says it's ok. (enjoy the action shot of me adding the dried rosemary)

Carefully remove the hot oil from the oven and pour in the spuds, they will sizzle and fry a little. Give them a good stir around and add some more oil if needed. I like to chuck in a few whole garlic cloves too. 

Baste them and jiggle them around every now and then. Eventually they will look like this. 40min-1hour.You can go a bit crispier if you like. 

And the yummy looking close up......

And maybe serve them with a perfectly roasted free range chook. 

Hope you give it a try and come up with some variations and changes. This really is the best method I've come across. happy roasting! 

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

This year I put in 13 tomato plants. We grew 9 different varieties with dreams of bottling our own passata, chutneys and sauces. Sadly, this was not to be as we may have overestimated our gardening abilities.  We did, however, enjoy some truly amazing fruit in pastas and salads. Here we have Beefsteak, Roma, English Tomatos, Heritage Yellow, Cherries and Black Russian. 
When I was little my Dad worked from home. Being and artist, musician, Irish and generally eccentric, he would sing with my sisters and I continually. One of my favorite songs we would sing together was "Paper and Pins" which is a traditional Irish song. I would happily sit on the floor of his studio for hours painting, making, singing and building all kinds of things.

My Mum is an amazing cook. I know everybody thinks that about their Mum, but mine actually is. She taught me the importance of food in life. To be shared, adored, enjoyed, appreciated and prepared with love. 

So I dedicate my attempt at Blogging to my parents, the people who taught me the importance of making things.