Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Food that my Mum made ...

So lately I am clearly going through a little spate of making food from my childhood, because just the other day I asked my Mum how to make potato pancakes and now I've attempted potato fans, which I distinctly remember having as a kid. Now that I think hard about it, I have no clear recollection of any specific occasion that I had these and I can't even remember if Mum made them often or not, or even if it was Mum or Dad that made them. I just remember potatoes, cut into fans and baked until golden. I tried to make them once before, a long time ago, and was not impressed. Recently I saw a blog about this exact thing, but called by a different name: hasselbackspotatis, and I was inspired to try them again. This time around, however, I used plenty of salt and oil and had the patience to wait for them to cook properly (I hate baking potatoes in the oven, it takes so long!). They were good - really good. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and each piece of the 'fan' peeled away to give you a bite-sized potato slice. I get the feeling that maybe my Mum used to use smaller potatoes, like new potatoes perhaps, and I reckon that next time I will peel them, though the skin was really yummy and crispy. They are sort of like a cross between roast potatoes and baked potatoes, but more interesting than both.

Potato Fans

Potatoes
Oil
Salt

At their most basic, this is an incredibly easy snack or side dish with only three ingredients. You could, of course, add more seasoning, like a sprinkling of mixed herbs or some sort of spice or seasoning mix.

The first thing you must do is wash your potatoes, and peel them if you want them peeled, but the skin is good for you and will become really crispy so you might want to keep it. The only thing was that the bottoms of the potatoes got really crispy, so if you don't like that, then you should peel them.

To turn ordinary, boring potatoes into delicious potato fans you need to cut slices three-quarters of the way through the potatoes (crosswise, not lengthwise). They should not be so deep that the slices just break off, but they do need to be deep enough to fan out a little. They will probably need your help to fan out, but be careful  with them or they will go from being potato fans to potato slices.

Finally, you need to coat the potatoes with oil and salt. You could just drizzle the oil over, but I rubbed it over with my hands so that I could encourage the potatoes to fan out a little more. In my experience, the slices don't really separate that well on their own as they cook, so I tried to push each slice away from it's neighbour and make sure that the oil and salt got in between all of the pieces. However, I was only making a few, so it didn't take long. If you are making a lot, it would be easier to just drizzle oil over the whole lot and sprinkle salt over (and maybe herbs and other seasonings) and then just throw them in the oven. But be sure to be very generous with the oil and salt, it will make them golden and crispy.

Of course, as I should have said earlier, the oven should be preheated to about 200 degrees celsius. The potatoes will take between 30 minutes and an hour to cook, depending on their size. Mine took an hour, and halfway through I rolled them all around in the oil that had collected on the bottom of the pan, because they seemed to be drying out a bit. And here they are:


They were delicious! Who needs a full meal when you can just have potatoes?!

1 comment:

  1. These look wonderful!!

    -Heather
    @ www.made-famous-by.com

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