It will take another two weeks before it is officially blue Monday and I therefore have absolutely got nothing to complain about (yet;)). Nevertheless, I feel the overwhelming need to curl up inside my home, preferrably on the couch with as little contact with the outer world as possible.
It might be the extra layer of well, ehhm comfort, I built up over Christmas, or simply the daunting reality of a new year with all its good intentions.
I would like to take a stance against all the green smoothies, detox concoctions and kale salads that seem to flood the web. In my opinion all months should have a little of the three mentioned before, but I would like to argue that that should not be January. January on its own, being dark, cold, harsh and without a glimpse of spring is tough enough already, without the added river of green bitter liver-cleansing measures.
Admittedly, I have my new year’s resolution set out as well, and it might not involve loads of cake, but it does definitely involve simple and wholesome meals for the upcoming year.
- good quality, waxy potatoes, scrubbed (leave peel on if preferred)
- 1 tablespoon duck fat or olive oil per potato
- sprigs of woody herbs, such as thyme or rosemary
- cloves of garlic
- good sprinkling of salt
Buy nice quality waxy potatoes, and pick out the long-shaped pretty ones if possible, this will make it easier to cut. Scrub the potatoes clean, and peel them if needed.
Make incisions in the tops of the potatoes, placing the incisions close to each other, not cutting through the potato completely. A nice trick to do so, is to place chopsticks on both sides of the potato before you slice it. This will form a safety barrier so you won’t cut through completely.
Carving the potato like this will create more surface on your potato, making it a beautiful contrast of soft inside and crispy outside. Place the herbs and garlic around the potatoes in the baking tray and and sprinkle or pour over the duck fat or olive oil. Duck or goose fat will give the best result here as it makes the potatoes crisp up beautifully but, olive oil will do just fine.
Bake the potatoes in a moderately hot oven on 180 degrees Celsius for as long as they need to brown and crisp up. In my case it took 45 minutes, but it will completely depend on the size of your potatoes and oven, so simply trust your eyes.
After the potatoes are ready, pour the excess fat out of the oven tray. The potatoes will start to absorb the fat once they cool down. By then the fat has already done its fabulous job of making your potato look incredibly pretty and irresistebly crispy (hah!).
These make a really nice single meal, but are also really good as a side dish at a dinner with friends or a date.
Happy new year!