Per­fect pota­toes

Pota­toes are the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to any main course. Here are three of our favourites

Taste - - Contents -

Best-ever roast pota­toes

The best roast pota­toes are crispy, golden and sticky on the out­side and fluffy in­side. For su­per lux­u­ri­ous, rich roasties, duck fat is the key. It’s avail­able in jars in the su­per­mar­ket, but be warned, it’s the crack co­caine of cook­ing – your roast vege will be so crispy and se­duc­tive it will be hard to go back to oil.

1 medium potato per per­son or more if feed­ing teenagers (choose a floury or an all-pur­pose va­ri­ety – Agria are my favourites) A de­cent slosh oil Gen­er­ous 1-2 Tbsp but­ter or 3 Tbsp duck fat

1 Pre­heat oven to 200°C. Peel the pota­toes and cut into big­gish, even-sized pieces – too small and you will end up with all crispy crust and no fluffy spud. 2 Place the pota­toes in a large pot of cold wa­ter, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Boil for 2-3 min­utes then drain. Re­turn the pot of pota­toes to the heat to dry out, shak­ing the pot to turn the spuds and rough up the sides. 3 Put the oil and but­ter or duck fat into a roast­ing pan in the oven to heat. Care­fully tip the pota­toes into the hot pan, coat­ing them in the hot fat. Bake, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til they are crisp and golden. 4 If you are cook­ing the pota­toes with a joint of meat the oven tem­per­a­ture will likely be lower. When the meat is cooked, re­move it from the oven to rest, crank the tem­per­a­ture up high and give the spuds a blast while the meat rests. The gen­tle cook­ing will have made them ten­der on the in­side and the hot fin­ish will crisp them.

Salad days

Make a warm new-potato salad by boil­ing new pota­toes in salted wa­ter for 10-15 min­utes un­til they are ten­der when pricked with a fork. Drain and toss in a dol­lop of pesto, aioli and a hand­ful of chopped mint. Mix well and serve.

On the boil

Toss boiled new pota­toes with but­ter and salt to taste, then serve with a lit­tle sour cream or crème fraîche and finely minced chives on top. Al­ter­na­tively, toss with your favourite herb but­ter, or make a Ger­man-style salad by toss­ing warm boiled pota­toes with any vinai­grette dress­ing you have on hand.

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