Tag Archives: Potatoes

Potatoes: A Recipe and Tips for Roasting

Here is a recipe and some tips for roasting potatoes. This dish is extremely versatile. I often make these as a snack or as a side dish.

Plated Potatoes

Ingredients

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes | 1/2 inch thick slices.
  • Olive Oil.
  • Salt.
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

It does not get much simpler than that.

Potato Ingredients

Method

  1. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes in some salted cold water in a pot on high heat.
  3. Once brought to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain potatoes well and transfer to large bowl.
  5. Toss in salt and olive oil until the outsides of the potatoes are coated in a starchy paste (1-2 minutes).
  6. Quickly remove baking sheet from the oven, drizzle olive oil on the baking sheet and arrange the potatoes evenly before putting back in the oven.
  7. Bake until potatoes are crispy on the outside (around 20 minutes flipping after 10 minutes).
  8. Adjust seasoning and then finish with black pepper and/or herbs.
  9. Serve immediately.

Why boil the potatoes most of the way?

Boiling Potatoes

Gently simmering draws sugars and starch towards the surface of the potato. This will help the caramelization in the oven.

Why toss the potatoes roughly?

Tossing the potatoes roughly increases the surface area. It does this by roughing up the surface and creating imperfections. This speeds up the evaporation. Caramelization can only occur after the surface water content has evaporated. This also increases the rate at which fat can be absorbed.

Why Yukon Gold?

The cooking method relies on water evaporation in order to create a crispy exterior. Yukon gold has enough moisture that it won’t dry out completely even though we’ve maximized the evaporation rate. We therefore end up with a crispy exterior and a creamy interior.

 

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Bò Kho | Vietnamese Stewed Beef

Every Saturday growing up I would wake up to a big pot of food that would last the weekend. The two most popular pots of food that I would wake up to were Pho and Mi, but every once in a while I’d wake up to Bò Kho (Vietnamese Stewed Beef). Usually it would be a big pot filled with tons of stewing beef with large chunks of potatoes and carrots enjoyed with freshly baked bread. Admittedly, stewed beef was always my least favourite of the three. I decided that I would try giving the classic a bit of a facelift while trying to keep as much of what made the dish a classic intact.

Stewed Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1kg – Beef Brisket (cut into chunks).
  • 1.5 L – Coconut Water.
  • 1 large onion (diced).
  • 5 cloves garlic (diced).
  • 2 stalks lemongrass.
  • 1 stick cinnamon.
  • 2 roma tomatoes (peeled and diced).
  • juice of 1 lemon.
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce.
  • 2 potatoes (julienned).
  • 4 carrots (julienned).
  • Chives for garnish.

Method:

  1. Brown the chunks of brisket and reserve.
  2. In the same pot add the onions, garlic, lemongrass and cinnamon.
  3. Cook the onions until translucent and then add the tomatoes.
  4. Add the brisket back to the pot and cover with all the liquid ingredients (fish sauce, coconut water, lemon juice).
  5. Simmer for 2.5 hours.

Meanwhile:

  1. Cut carrots and potatoes into little matchsticks.
  2. Fry the potatoes until crispy and golden.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and toss together and reserve.

I like to sit the salad of potatoes and carrots on top of the beef stew. The crunchiness of the potatoes and carrots adds some textural contrast to the rich and succulent brisket. I finish the dish with chives here but you can toss any herb you want over this. My favourites include thai basil, thyme, and cilantro.

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Butternut Squash Soup w/ Fried Potatoes and Fresh Sage

After coming home and eating Pho 3 meals in a row I decided it was time for a change. Having had so much beef in the last 48 hours I decided to do something vegetarian. In the Mai household, vegetarian meals are not considered complete so it was to my surprise when everyone said they were on board for a soup.

I started off by roasting some butternut squash and some garlic in a 400f oven for an hour. After it cooled down I put everything in with a handful of chopped sage and a cup of cooking cream into a pot to incorporate. After all the flavours have gotten to know each other I blend it until smooth and serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Soup

 

I finish the smooth soup with some crunchy fried potatoes which I made while the squash was roasting away in the oven. The contrast in texture and the bold creamy flavours make this a great holiday starter.

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Timing

The tricky thing about cooking more than one ingredient is that they often do not take the same time to finish cooking. For instance, in this dish I serve carrots, asparagus, and potatoes along with the steak and all three cook at different times. This makes timing difficult as the goal is to have everything finish around the same time. This way nothing becomes dry or gets cold.

Attachment-4

Little things to note when calculating when to start what ingredient are things like the time it takes for meats to rest, the time it takes for potatoes to reach an edible temperature, etc. When everything finishes at the same time you get the maximum flavour out of every ingredient. Timing is often overlooked and underrated. Getting it right makes a massive difference.

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