Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PO-TAY-TOH!

I think everyone who follows this blog is a Facebook friend, but on the off chance I have lurkers (hello lurkers!) or you don’t pay attention to my FB updates, let me tell you that I have been sick. I had a fever and the aches last weekend and now I have a subsequent respiratory infection and I just do not feel at all good. To make matters worse, I normally do my homework over the weekends, but aforementioned sickness made me put that off until Monday. I also usually plan my bloggable meal over the weekend. Again, sickness made that plan go poof.
So come Monday I was scrambling to finish my homework (due at midnight) and didn’t turn my attention to bloggable foods until it was far too late to go grocery shopping. All of this, friends, made me wish I could just do something ultimately simple.
Enter the potato.
What is a potato but a blank canvas? It can be a side or the base of an entree. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can roast it, fry it, bake it, and now with modern technology- microwave it. And toppings! Don’t even get me started on toppings! Mostly because I’ll get to issues of toppings later and I don’t want to say it all twice!
Also, I’m a wee bit Irish. Just a tad. What with St. Paddy’s day coming up, I figured I’d practice my potatoing.
In case you’re keeping track, I have invented TWO new words so far in this post. Okay, maybe I’m not the first person to say “bloggable” but “potatoing”? Oh yeah, that’s all me.
Anyway, back to potatoing.
Even though I went for a simple recipe this week, I wanted something that looked elegant. Something that looks like way more effort than it really took. I keep seeing these recipes for Hasselback potatoes and they just completely fit the bill this week: simple, elegant, versatile. The original recipe I worked from can be found here . I both cut and altered the recipe.
Ingredients:
2 roasting potatoes
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic garlic garlic
Of course what makes Hasselback potatoes so distinctive is the style they are cut into. They are evenly cut almost all the way through every quarter inch or so. I should have known it was easier said than done, but it's not something that you can't perfect with a little practice.
Don't do that.
Go slowly and you will easier time avoiding the mistake I made with potato number one up there.
Melt the butter and the olive oil together and then add the garlic. I didn't specify the amount of garlic in the ingredients list because I think you should use as much as you want. I'm sort of a garlic fanatic, so I used a lot. Like, a lot. Take the garlic, oil, butter mixture and pour it over the potatoes in a baking pan.


The original recipe says to make sure you spread the garlic inside all of the cuts. I thought "yeah right, too much work". But um, if you do use a lot of garlic? Go ahead and at least push it into the slits because I ended up burning some garlic chunks that were on top.
Bake at 425 covered with tinfoil for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook another 45 minutes, or until the very center piece yields easily to a fork.
Now, toppings. Think about it! These potatoes are just perfect for toppings! I especially wanted to cover these with some broccoli cheese sauce, but you could do chili, and a whole bunch of other things! I just did basic sour cream and cheese.
One of these is not a potato.

I can't wait to make these for company, let me tell you. They taste like potatoes, honestly, but they look just plain fantastic.

3 comments:

  1. I'm so proud that you didn't just say "screw it". I totally would have if I were that sick.

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