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Simple Things You Put Effort Into Making Perfectly


Gotters
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9 minutes ago, Gotters said:

I don't think I've ever had a 'good' roast potato out in a restaurant or pub, just degrees of disappointing. Only my mum ever home cooked a decent roast spud that I've been given also.

 

They aren't hard but do just need a little bit of care and respect to make them exceptional. I've got to the point where there are the 'over faff' methods, with bicarb, flavoured oil but my preferred method is low faff and I'm willing to do them for a mid-week dinner, not kept special for weekends.

 

Been using Harry & Percy roasting spuds from Ocado - they are a good company and sell spuds tailored to a use (roasters, mashers etc)

 

 

 

Agreed on all counts.

 

Never be seduced by roast potatoes out. Because even if someone got it right there wouldn't be even nearly enough to satisfy the craving for more that would start.

 

And yes, find the simplest way to get as close to perfection as possible. Different for an occasion but you can have a great roast for so little extra effort it's insane.

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Tom Kerridge recently talked about how to do roast spuds. His method was quite simple but a bit delicate so I want to try it. I am just curious because he did not use any fancy ingredients or methods really.

 

- He boils them relatively gentle, but for a long time, so they are basically soft and cooked through

- He then very carefully lifts them out with a slotted spoon, and carefully and delicately places them on a wire drying rack to dry out.

- He bakes them with vegetable oil. He seems to think that's fine, the neutral flavour is good and it doesn't need to be a mix of fancy fats

 

Halfway through he gives them a turn. they did look pretty good to be fair, and it's a lot less faff the only real difference was don't rough them up, don't par boil them. If you roughed them up being fully cooked they would disintegrate because it's almost mashed potato at that point, but his argument is that the full steam drying forms a bit of a skin that can go crunchy and textured.

 

The only thing I want to try is Felicity Cloake in one of her 'guide to perfect...' articles said that if you boil them with the peelings (in a muslin bag for easy retrieval) it adds lovely flavour to the potatoes.

 

So I want to try a combination because I think when I've tried more involved, faffy methods with different fats they were good and all but I mean, I'd prefer simple for something that is part of a bigger more complicated cook.

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yeah that taking spuds as far as you dare on the boil stage definitely helps, but the risk is you can lose half of them as soggy wet mash before you even start - good fun to experiment with but not helpful if you are using spuds you don't know and got family coming round.

 

I think the potato is a huge variable as temp, time even the method really need to be in line with it's characteristics.

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I couldn't be bothered with that Kerridge method generally. Carefully extracting with a spoon and drying  just seems like too much effort for me (for what I cannot imagine is a much different return) and all the extra washing up! Maybe I'll give it a go to compare at some point.

 

But yes to veg oil. I typically just use whatever my main oil is at the moment, don't even think about it. Sometimes it's veg, sometimes sunflower.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 07/04/2022 at 12:26, thesnwmn said:

I couldn't be bothered with that Kerridge method generally. Carefully extracting with a spoon and drying  just seems like too much effort for me (for what I cannot imagine is a much different return) and all the extra washing up! Maybe I'll give it a go to compare at some point.

 

But yes to veg oil. I typically just use whatever my main oil is at the moment, don't even think about it. Sometimes it's veg, sometimes sunflower.


pre-heated Crisp’N’Dry works brilliantly. Never got olive oil to work that well.

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Missed this thread before. Tarka dal. I make it every day for breakfast and have iterated it towards perfection. Weirdly rather than adding anything it’s taken me literally years to gradually strip almost everything away in terms of spices etc as it was never “right”. Think it’s nailed now.
 

1. Salt well and boil red lentils until done. Not to sludge. Needs a little bit of body but no bite. Say 30 mins. Add plenty of salt and lots of water, when done it should have consistency of soup. I make 400g lentils for 5 portions, kept in the fridge during the week as plain boiled lentils.

 

2. The next steps I do fresh each day with the boiled lentils from step 1. Finely chop 2 large cloves of garlic while heating frying pan.

 

3. Add knob of butter to frying pan and wait for it to brown. Needs to be not quite smoking but close. This is extremely important and where a lot of the flavour comes from.

 

4. add garlic to butter and stir. Should start to colour nicely, add 0.5tsp whole cumin seeds. Keep frying until garlic properly golden brown, but not catching.

 

5. throw in portion of lentils to much fanfare! Add chopped fresh coriander and the boil for 2 mins. This will bring the flavours together and reduce slightly to the correct consistency.

 

6. Serve with naan or other bread. Make sure it’s salty enough, it really, really needs enough salt.

 

Lentils, water, salt, garlic, butter, cumin, fresh coriander. Nothing else! Except sometimes chillies. 
 

This is also pretty good for the budget food thread as it costs nowt.

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  • 5 months later...

Garlic Bread - I've been attempting this recently using a few methods in the oven/grill and settled on the best solution by accident when I didn't have any fresh bread in the house..

 

I started with slices of various bread, which I was buttering both sides and cooking at 180-190c for 8-10m, for some I also tried turning on the grill at the end but it was a bit aggressive for the butter. Works quite well with sourdough and you can either make a compound butter up with real microplaned garlic in or just sprinkle on granules on top of the butter, I found the granules pretty good as give that punchy flavour. I favour salted butter and also sprinkle on some Italian herb mix.

 

The real moment came though when I tried using those part bake rolls supermarkets sell, sainsbury sour dough in the pic below, the bread is designed to be baked so doesn't dry out as much and you get lovely fresh bread taste and all the butter/garlic/herbs/salt on top.

 

So settled on this as my fave solution, slice the rolls, layer on a thick coating of butter on open side, sprinkle on some garlic powder & italian herbs then just bake for 8-10m directly on a non stick sheet, drizzle any lost melted butter back on before eating - best garlic bread I've ever had. 

 

Screenshot_13_10_2022__08_22.thumb.jpg.6ea5ed144c403477eb01188fe8fa377a.jpg

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On 13/10/2022 at 08:28, Gotters said:

Garlic Bread - I've been attempting this recently using a few methods in the oven/grill and settled on the best solution by accident when I didn't have any fresh bread in the house..

 

I started with slices of various bread, which I was buttering both sides and cooking at 180-190c for 8-10m, for some I also tried turning on the grill at the end but it was a bit aggressive for the butter. Works quite well with sourdough and you can either make a compound butter up with real microplaned garlic in or just sprinkle on granules on top of the butter, I found the granules pretty good as give that punchy flavour. I favour salted butter and also sprinkle on some Italian herb mix.

 

The real moment came though when I tried using those part bake rolls supermarkets sell, sainsbury sour dough in the pic below, the bread is designed to be baked so doesn't dry out as much and you get lovely fresh bread taste and all the butter/garlic/herbs/salt on top.

 

So settled on this as my fave solution, slice the rolls, layer on a thick coating of butter on open side, sprinkle on some garlic powder & italian herbs then just bake for 8-10m directly on a non stick sheet, drizzle any lost melted butter back on before eating - best garlic bread I've ever had. 

 

Screenshot_13_10_2022__08_22.thumb.jpg.6ea5ed144c403477eb01188fe8fa377a.jpg

 

I saw this garlic bread recipe and I've always been intrigued by it. I know it's not traditional, but the idea of it definitely sounds appealing:

 

 

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On 10/09/2021 at 13:01, Gotters said:

Seems it's only me that obsesses over this stuff.

 

 

I know there have been plenty of replies since, but I just wanted to say that although I have nothing to add personally, I'm finding all the posts fascinating and very helpful.

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On 13/10/2022 at 08:28, Gotters said:

Garlic Bread - I've been attempting this recently using a few methods in the oven/grill and settled on the best solution by accident when I didn't have any fresh bread in the house..

 

I started with slices of various bread, which I was buttering both sides and cooking at 180-190c for 8-10m, for some I also tried turning on the grill at the end but it was a bit aggressive for the butter. Works quite well with sourdough and you can either make a compound butter up with real microplaned garlic in or just sprinkle on granules on top of the butter, I found the granules pretty good as give that punchy flavour. I favour salted butter and also sprinkle on some Italian herb mix.

 

The real moment came though when I tried using those part bake rolls supermarkets sell, sainsbury sour dough in the pic below, the bread is designed to be baked so doesn't dry out as much and you get lovely fresh bread taste and all the butter/garlic/herbs/salt on top.

 

So settled on this as my fave solution, slice the rolls, layer on a thick coating of butter on open side, sprinkle on some garlic powder & italian herbs then just bake for 8-10m directly on a non stick sheet, drizzle any lost melted butter back on before eating - best garlic bread I've ever had. 

 

 

That looks and sounds fantastic. Never thought of using granules before. Sounds ideal - easy, and always in the store cupboard.  The bake-at-home bread is a great idea too. Definitely giving that a pop at some point. Cheers.

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The only warning on the garlic bread is it's so easy and quick that you end up eating a lot more than you did previously.

 

I've continued my obsession with roast spuds in last 3 weeks, my method is locked now as detailed previously (don't skip the light press with the masher if you want really craggy gnarled roasts).

 

I wanted to see how much difference the actual spud made, so I tested using King Edwards, Maris Pipers & the Harry & Percy Roasters (annoyingly they don't specify a variety but it's red skinned and the raw spud texture is noticeably different).

 

All 3 made great but quite different roasts. The King Eds were much paler with a thinner lighter crust and light fluffy but drier inner texture, the maris coloured a bit more and were moister inside, the Harry & Percy were by far my faves, a golden crunchy outer with light fluffy/moist inner. 

 

I knew they were different as had tried them all before, but never in quick succession like this. There is no 'best' but you can definitely tailor what you end up with to your preference a lot thru the choice of potato.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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