Side Dishes

Hot, cold, everything on the side!!!

Oven Baked Mixed Potato Fries

Mixed Potato Fries

Mixed Potato Fries, perfect with BBQ!

We threw out our chip pan years ago, it was doing us no good at all and one day we went to a restaurant in Caernarfon called the Black Buoy where they serve the most amazing tasting chips. I spent ages trying to figure out what it was that made them taste so good until I realised that it wasn’t the potato or the way it was cooked, but rather the OIL it was cooked IN.  Turns out that frying chips in rapeseed oil is not only better for you health-wise but it makes them taste amazing too and I recommend that you try it immediately!

Of course, deep frying in rapeseed oil is a pretty costly way to cook chips, so, I came up with a great, simple way to make great tasting chips that have a lovely flavour and go well with almost anything! I don’t fry my chips, I bake them in the oven!

The thing about my fries is that I don’t just use white potato, I also use sweet potato, the two combined make for a great taste experience and together with the olive oil and my special seasoning are a great overall side dish for any BBQ, I always make them with my Honey Jack BBQ Pulled Pork as well as my Lime and Coriander Peri Peri Chicken and they go really well with a side of Homemade ‘Slaw.

This recipe makes enough for 2-3 people but if you want to feed more then simply make more! Also, if you like a heat kick, pop 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper into the seasoning mix. Avoid using fresh garlic over the garlic powder as fresh garlic (though it may well sound more appealing) actually burns in this hot of an oven and tastes bitter and horrible whereas the powder survives the heat and tastes great.

INGREDIENTS

THE FRIES

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about the size of both of your fists together)
  • 2 large white potatoes (Maris Piper are my preference, again, the size of two fists)

THE SEASONING

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil

METHOD

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to a massively hot 230C/210C Fan/Gas Mark 8.
  2. Wash your potatoes and peel them if you wish (I don’t bother, the skins add flavour and texture and they contain most of the nutritional value of the potato), then cut the edges of of them until they resemble a rough square or rectangular block.  If you don’t do this then you will end up with horrible skinny brunt edge fries which do not taste good!
  3. Slice the blocks of potato into fries that are just over 1.5cm in thickness, then pop them in a colander and drain them for a few minutes.
  4. While the fries are drying off a little after rinsing, mix your spices together in a bowl, you can experiment with your spices by all means, but I love this particular mix, the five spice really does something special to the sweet potatoes in particular!
  5. Spread your fries over a couple of large baking trays or roasting tines, don’t crowd them or overlap them, if you do this you will end up with soggy fries, they need room to breath in the oven so if you on’y have 1 tray or tin, do the fries in 2 batches.
  6. Sprinkle the seasoning and oil over the fries then pop them into the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, take the trays out of the oven and give them a shake, loosen the fries from the bottom of the tray and turn them over with a fish slice. Then pop them in the oven once again for a further 15 minutes.
  8. When the buzzer goes, take the fries out of the oven, place them on some kitchen towel for a few moments to get rid of any excess oil (of which there should be none really if you have done everything correctly), then mix them together in a serving bowl and serve with a nice dip or sauce.
Categories: Hot Sides, Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Homemade ‘Slaw

Homemade 'Slaw

Homemade 'Slaw - Delicious with BBQ!

A well made, creamy coleslaw goes well with a lot of hot dishes, BBQ in particular. I like to use mine with my Honey Jack BBQ Pulled Pork in a nice cheese topped roll and some BBQ sauce or my Lime and Coriander Peri Peri Chicken… gorgeous!

Most people will tell you that the basic coleslaw recipe contains carrots, cabbage and onions, but as I cannot stand raw onion, I prefer to use celery instead, I also make use of red and white cabbage to give a bit of colour and if I can get my hands on them, different coloured carrots are great too!  Finally I add an apple to give a tangy sweetness which goes so well with the other vegetables in the ‘slaw.  Many people will also use some for of vinegar to give a bit of acidity, but I promise you that some lemon juice, freshly squeezed if possible, or some lime juice if you prefer, is so much nicer.

As far as mayonnaise goes, don’t scrimp on it, cheap mayo is nowhere near as nice as good quality mayo, so get a smaller jar if you have to, just don’t buy cheap.

I use a julienne peeler to slice my carrots and apple, but if you don’t have one you can easily use a cheese grater, though julienne looks so much nicer. My peeler was only £1.65 on eBay and I’ve had it an age, so it’s worth spending those few pennies for that special touch.  A lot of food processors have the attachment nowadays too, if you have one, check to see if you have it before starting, it saves so much time!

Try and make your ‘slaw the morning that you need it so that it can relax in the fridge for at least 2 hours, this lets the sauce soak into the veggies and makes it all that much creamier when you go to eat it, if I want it for an evening meal or late afternoon BBQ, I always make it that morning.

This is a basic recipe, but, don’t feel tied down by it, you can add onions if you like, a bit of cayenne pepper or Tabasco to the sauce for a bit of a kick, grapes or strawberries for a bit of a summer flair, some radish or beetroot for some added colour or fennel root… the list is endless…

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 head red cabbage
  • 1/4 head white cabbage
  • 1 apple
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 3 tablespoons good mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (caster sugar is best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • A good pinch of salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. On a large chopping board and using your julienne peeler or cheese grater, grate strips from your carrots and your apple and place in a large mixing bowl (it gets messy so the bigger the better at this point).
  2. Shred your cabbages using a large sharp knife – watch those fingers! Add this to the other vegetables in the bowl.
  3. Thinly slice up the celery using quick smooth knife skills! Make your slices no more than 3-5mm thick and add these to the bowl also.
  4. In a new smaller bowl, add all the wet ingredients and spices together and stir until thoroughly mixed together and pour the mixture on top of the shredded vegetables in the larger bowl.
  5. Using your hands (clean please!), mixe the sauce and the vegetables up well, so that the sauce covers everything and the vegetables are all nicely jumbled together.
  6. Pop the whole lot (which will look like it has reduced considerably now you’ve mixed it together) into a smaller bowl or the dish you will be serving it in, cover with cling film and pop into the fridge for at least 2 hours. And that’s it!
Categories: Cold Sides, Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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