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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Monday, December 13, 2004

Crash Hot Potatoes

Crash hot potatoes

This is a much-loved, much discussed roast potato recipe of Jill Dupleix's making; Jill is an expat Australian food writer, now living in London as cookery editor of The Times newspaper. She is sorely missed back here in Australia, particularly Melbourne, where she is from. Jill has published some excellent cook books; Take Three, Simple Food (from whence this goodly recipe came), Very Simple Food etc and her website http://www.jilldupleix.com has a recipe section with a good selection from her various books and newspaper columns.

I didn't have any small potatoes, as the recipe requires, so cut up some larger potatoes into chunks. I encountered some difficulty when crushing them with the potato smasher as they kept getting all caught up in the prongs, and making a big mush. This wouldn't happen if using small potatoes. Next time....
These are just SO yummy. They're still soft and fluffy inside, but outside they're really crisp and tasty. The thyme and salt make excellent flavourings.

Crash-hot potatoes
Jill Dupleix - Simple Food

This is one of those crazy little recipes that once tried, is immediately incorporated into your own repertoire. It's what you want when you want a crisp, roast potato, only better. And all you have to do is boil a few small potatoes, smash them flat and blast them in a hot oven until they are terminally crisp. Serve with lamb, pan-fried fish, grilled sausages, or even on their own, or topped with smoked salmon and creme fraiche, with drinks.
Serves 4

16 small, round potatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fennel or caraway seeds
1 tbsp thyme or rosemary sprigs

Heat oven to 230 or 250C - yes, hot. Don't peel the potatoes. Just bung them into a pot of salted water, bring to the boil, and simmer for around 15 minutes until they'll take a skewer without too much resistance. They should be just about cooked, without being soft.
Drain, and arrange on a lightly oiled baking tray or sheet. Use a potato masher to squash each potato flat, until it is twice its original diameter.
Brush the tops with olive oil, and scatter with sea salt, pepper, fennel seeds and thyme.
Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until terminally crisp and golden. Serve hot.


  • Niki - I just printed this out, I can't wait to try it!


    By Blogger Cathy, at 12/14/2004 10:55:00 am  

  • Hope you enjoy them - they really are a great idea! Jill has a version in Very Simple Food called Drunken Potatoes, which essentially follows the same method, but you pour over some white wine then put them in the oven. That also sounds really good!
    Don't forget that the oven temperature in the recipe is in celsius (what the rest of the world uses! ;-) ).
    Did you know you can use Google to do conversions?
    Just type "250 celsius to fahrenheit" or "400 grams to ounces" or whatever, and it perform the calculation for you!

    By Blogger Niki, at 12/14/2004 11:11:00 am  

  • Niki - that white wine variation sounds amazing as well! Thanks for the tip on doing conversions in Google - I didn't know that. I sent this recipe to my brother and he commented on some of the unfamiliar wording - I'm guessing "terminally crisp" just means very crisp and "bung" means toss.

    By Blogger Cathy, at 12/16/2004 12:14:00 pm  

  • Yes, you're right in both your "translation". They're more Jill's peculiar turn of phrase, than anything else; mainly used to convince readers that it really isn't hard to cook well and you really can just "bung" things in a pot etc.
    Incidentally, if you go to the recipe on her site you can see a photo of what the potatoes should look like when you use the proper small ones.

    By Blogger Niki, at 12/16/2004 12:25:00 pm  

  • wow, niki, i am really amazed by how your blog has taken off - i am especially impressed with the pictures!!! it looks like you're blessed with sunshine every day, very envious!!! johanna (www.thepassionatecook.com)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/20/2004 10:00:00 pm  

  • Wow! I got to try this one soon! Sounds yummm.

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