Posts Tagged With: spices

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.
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Categories: Hot Sides, Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gyros-Souvlaki Herb Mix

Gyros-Souvlaki Herb Mix - These gorgeous little airtight jars are available everywhere for a few pence, mine cost me 95 pence each from B&M!!!

If you like to holiday regularly in Greece like the girls and I, then you will undoubtedly already know what both Gyros and Souvlaki are… And if you don’t, then I shall tell you!  A Gyros is not a thing you pick up every week if you don’t have a job, rather it is the quintessential Greek fast food, ground pork, lamb or chicken, mixed with herbs and cooked on a spit, sliced thinly and served on a flatbread with salad and chips, sort of like a donor kebab – but nicer.  A Souvlaki is also a kebab, but more like a shish kebab, where cubes of pork, lamb or chicken are cooked on skewers over a flame and served, again with flatbread, salad and chips, and of course the optional – yet delicious, Tzatziki!

The herbs used in the cooking of these meats are extremely simple to find over here in supermarkets and just as easy to mix together yourself for use on pork chops or Souvlaki of your own at your Sunday afternoon family BBQ.  You can buy them ready mixed in Greek deli stores or online on websites like eBay (just search for Gyros seasoning), but as I said, it is easy as Gyros to mix your own together, and here’s how…

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper OR paprika (either sweet smoked or plain)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground unrefined sea salt (or normal salt if unrefined sea salt is not available)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Pop all of the above ingredients into a airtight container or jar, close the lid tightly and shake like mad!
  2. This mix will store nicely in a cool dry place for up to 6 months in an airtight container, but if you use it as much as I do, it won’t need to last that long!
Categories: Dishes of the World, Greek Dishes, Herbs & Spices | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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