I love potatoes. They are just the best thing. I have always been a fan, as a child I had a phase where I would eat nothing else, and I have found a myriad of things to do with them since. I grew up surrounded by potato fields and we would collect the unwanted baby ones to make things with at home. Now of course they are trendy and more expensive than the bigger ones. Life is a funny thing.
My potato joy expanded when I discovered that there were more types than just the potato that grew in the field behind my house. There were waxy and floury, red skinned and blue fleshed. There are even yellow fleshed potatoes from Peru. Of course all potatoes are from Peru originally, but you know.
Occasionally I can get my mitts on purple potatoes at my farmers market. They used to be at the supermarket too but I guess maybe I was the only person buying them as they don’t sell them anymore. It is hard to beat a purple potato, both for visuals and flavour. They have wonderful sweet rich flesh (although nowhere near as sweet as a sweet potato, they are still quite savoury too).
I have made crisps with them before (I love crisps), and served them with a chilli mayo dip. This time I went the hasselback route, cutting the potato into thin long wedges and roasting until crisp. Increasing the surface area this way not only looks superb, but it tastes great too. Especially when you baste them with butter relentlessly. And I did. They also look a lot more complex than they are. They are just potatoes that are not quite sliced through, and carefully.
Of course you can use normal white potatoes and they will be just as good, but do keep an eye peeled for the purple ones just to try them. They are addictive and I think would be perfect for Halloween too, no?
Recipe: Hasselback Purple Potatoes with Chorizo, Squash, Green Chilli and Cheddar
Serves 2 (or you know one for now and one for lunch the next day as I did)
4 medium potatoes, skin on, washed
125g butter (yes it is a a lot but the potatoes don’t absorb all of it)
75g chorizo, sliced in half lengthways and then chopped into horizontal slices
1 small pumpkin or squash (not a munchkin though!), deseeded, peeled and diced
1 mild green chilli
a few sprigs of thyme
100g cheddar, finely grated
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
Prepare your potatoes by slicing them with a sharp knife not quite through to the end every 3mm or so.
Grease a baking tray and place the potatoes in. Divide the butter in 5 and firmly squish one fifth on top of each potato. Leave the remaining to the side. Sprinkle with sea salt and some of the pepper.
Put in the oven for 20 minutes, after which you should baste the potatoes with the melted butter, and continue to do this every 20 minutes. They should be finished after 60 minutes but this will depend on the size of your potatoes. They will be done when nice and crisp on top and soft within (test with your sharp knife gently).
While the potatoes are cooking, in a separate oven proof dish add the remaining butter, chorizo, chilli, pumpkin, thyme and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix well and put in the oven once the potatoes have been in a half an hour or so. Take them out after 10 minutes and give them a good stir. These should be cooked (when the pumpkin is tender), once the potatoes are done. If done before the potatoes, remove them and put back in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve when done with a quarter of the cheese on each and the chorizo and pumpkin mix.