Tuesday, 13 November 2012

In which I run away with a recipe

I found this recipe quite a while ago and saved it. I kept meaning to try it so finally decided to do it this week, a slight problem of I couldn't remember what it was supposed to look like reared its head so I slightly made it up as I went. 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
4 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise
Coarse salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
8 sprigs thyme
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine butter and oil. Brush bottom of a round 9-inch baking dish with some butter mixture. With a sharp knife, slice potatoes very thinly.
2. Arrange potato slices vertically in dish. Wedge shallots throughout. Sprinkle with salt and red-pepper flakes (if using); brush with remaining butter mixture. Bake 1 1/4 hours. Add thyme and bake until potatoes are cooked through with a crisp top, about 35 minutes more.

Seems simple enough, I was missing the pepper flakes and the thyme but I substituted the Pepper for paprika as I know they're made out of red pepper, no red pepper corns as I think this recipe intended but oh well. 

The first bit went well I preheated the oven to 275 instead of 375 as that seemed far too high to be right. Then I added the olive oil to the bowl, then realised I was supposed to add melted butter so just threw in the butter and slapped it in the microwave for twenty seconds on high.

I brushed the pan neatly. I wasn't too optimistic the butter oil mix did not look appetising. 

Now cutting the potatoes was my biggest mistake, I started cutting them thinly then remembered this recipe was for hasselback potatoes. I then failed to slice them slice thinly across the top. as though the potatoes where supposed to be crisps but hadn't been cut all the way through.  I laid out my sliced potatoes on the tray so they didn't go to waste. 

I then attempted to slice the shallots and wedge them in the potatoes, the problem I faced is there was no room to accommodate the shallots so I ended up breaking bits of the patatoe and throwing shallots everywhere. I gave up and just diced and sprinkled the entire pan with them. Then I sprinkled with salt and paprika, even I can't manage to mess that up. 

Then I doused them in the left over butter mix. They didn't exactly look the most beautiful thing in the world.

Then I baked them for an hour when I noticed they had begun to burn at the edges so I rescued them and served them with peppered salmon and spinach with herring pickle over. After all that they actually tasted amazing and looked really appetising so I think I'll try this recipe again.

Belinda Stepford

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