Thursday, 23 July 2015

potato wedges with seasoned salt



In this household we like potatoes. A lot. I go through periods of experimenting, especially with baked potatoes because we like the skin (it gives you fibre). My almost ten-year old reminded me of these potato wedges, which I season with home-made seasoning salt, when he asked for them, and chicken, on his birthday next Saturday. He also wants apple cake with whipped cream. Mais bien sûr, monsieur!

Did you know that the Incas were the original growers of potatoes? I had no idea until I read about the history of the potato in the Larousse Culinary Encyclopedia. It was Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conqueror of the Inca empire (and founder of the city of Lima), who brought it to Europe in 1534. The English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh made the same discovery in Virginia fifty years later and brought the potato to England. Well, that didn't stop King James I from having him imprisoned for treason in the Tower of London and later executed. But that's another story and I'm sure it has nothing to do with potatoes.



The above images are also unrelated to potatoes. I snapped them in our garden in the end of May and wanted to post them on the blog to remind me of that pretty plant in bloom. Its roots are in the neighbours' garden and right before blooming it sneaks over the fence and allows us to enjoy its beautiful white flowers. I call it 'the shawl' because of its shape.



Let us start with the spicy seasoned salt, which couldn't be simpler. For my mix I use whole pink Himalayan crystal salt, but using fine sea salt is fine. The ratio of the smoked paprika depends on my mood; its flavour can be a bit dominant so perhaps it's best to start with ¼ teaspoon. The ratio of the chilli powder depends on which type of chilli powder I use, milder or hotter version. This seasoned salt doesn't burn any tongues, at least not ours, but it has a bit of an edge.

SPICY SEASONED SALT

1½ tablespoons Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼-½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon red chilli flakes
a pinch of or ¼ teaspoon chilli powder

Put everything in a glass jar with a lid and shake well. Remember to label the jar, and perhaps add the ratios in case you want to make changes later.

You can use the seasoned salt to roast vegetables or to coat chicken. It's ideal when preparing grilled sandwhiches. You can also use it to add a bit of salty flavour to the meal you're cooking, as long as the spices go well with other ingredients of the dish.



Baked potatoes with thyme and rosemary are a classic that one cannot go wrong with, but when enjoying potatoes with, for example, burgers or chicken drumsticks my taste buds call for something different, preferably something spicy. If I can only get very large baking potatoes I usually parboil them for 7-10 minutes and let them steam dry in a colander before cutting them into wedges. Please note that I'm cooking this side dish for 5 persons so you may want to adjust the recipe.

POTATO WEDGES WITH SPICY SEASONED SALT

1 kg baking potatoes (2.2 lb)
1 tablespoon light olive oil or other vegetable oil
1 teaspoon spicy seasoned salt (see recipe above)

Scrub the potatoes clean. To make wedges, cut each potato in half lengthwise, and each half into three parts lengthwise (each potato should give you 6 wedges, but if the potatoes are very large you may want to cut the wedges in half crosswise as well). Make sure the wedges are not too thin, as you bake them in the oven with the skin facing down.

There are two ways to coat the wedges: 1) Put the ingredients in a large freezer bag, seal it and rotate it thoroughly to make sure all the wedges are coated. Then spread the wedges over a large baking tray lined with baking parchment with the skin facing down. 2) If you like coating them with your hands you can put everything in a large roasting tray and then spread the wedges with the skin facing down.

Cook in the oven at 220˚C/425˚F (200˚C fan oven) for about 25-30 minutes, or until the wedges are cooked through, golden and crisp. We like our potatoes well done so usually I lower the heat after 25 minutes and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or even longer.

Serve the potato wedges with quality mayonnaise or sour cream. You can also make a dip by adding some ground cumin to a small bowl of Greek yoghurt.

Uppskrift á íslensku.



4 comments:

  1. Yum! That looks delicious and I wish I could pick one little potato wedge through my screen:-) Happy Thursday!!

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    1. Thank you, Igor ... mission accomplished.

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  2. Thank you, I'll try it this weekend with the special salt! So far I've only tried Gordon Ramsay's plain oven baked-chips and liked the idea. Also, I think parboiling is essential from the texture point of view. By the way, love your neighbours' plant for being so generous as to visit you! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully the wedges won't disappoint. You can always adjust the ratio of the spices if my blend doesn't suit you. If I parboil baking potatoes that are just medium sized then I find the potatoes a bit too mushy, for my taste, but parboiling is ideal for the very big ones.

      We love that plant. Unfortunately, it's no longer blooming. Have a great weekend!

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