At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

golden garlicy gorgousness...

Now THIS is summer food. The barbecue may be sizzling, but hey, the barbacue can't do everything to make that perfect summery meal truly special!! Yes, the meat or the fish or whatver may be cooked al fresco, but surely that's not the only thing that's required? What about the salad, the potatoes, or whatever you fancy to accompany your grilled delicacies?
I love the fact that potatoes can be utilised in so many different equally delicious ways. If it’s a barbecue, of course, my heart usually inclines towards the more summery sort of options of cooking them. Potato wedges with rosemary roasted in olive oil. Boiled new potatoes tossed in melted butter and sprinkled with fresh new chives. And then, of course, these little fellows in the pics below.
Like the wedges these are cooked in extra virgin olive oil…but something happens to the olive oil before it is poured over the potatoes. Several cloves of garlic – well, nearly a whole bulb, to be precise – are crushed into the oil in a jug before; and then tenderly applied to the cut-up potatoes with a loving hand. Another thing I love about these potatoes, is that alongside their garlicy scrumptiousness, they develop an irresistible crispiness while they are roasting: meaning they they remain soft and floury on the inside, but with a beautiful crunchiness to the exterior. I always make sure that a sliced side of each potato shape is resting on the baking tray to ensure that this process occurs. 

Here they are, before and after roasting. (no, they're the wrong way round, just noticed now - sorry guys.) Just olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper, and garlic. that's all you need. So never mind the fact that it's raining - get out the rusty old barbecue guys. You need an excuse to try these out for yourself. That said, you don't have to do these with barbecues... I do them all year round. Honestly, doing these will certainly save you alot of freezer space won't ever feel the need to buy shop-bought wedges or potato shapes ever again. ;)  

Sorry, what's that? What's that I hear you say? You DO want to do them for yourself?
Well, here is a quick little guide to making YOUR OWN gorgeous garlicy potatoes then :) but don't worry too much about the amounts I've given - these are just a guide only.
To make Ganache-Elf's gorgeous garlicy potatoes to serve 4 you only need...

  • about 6-8 big potatoes, or the equivalent of.
  • LOTS of garlic...well I use about a whole bulb, but it really depends on how garlicy you like your potatoes to be. :)
  • about 125 ml extra virgin olive oil (but normal olive oil will be fine if you don't have any. Just make sure it's olive oil :)
  • salt and pepper.

  • Preheat oven to 190c/fan oven 170c. Wash the potatoes and then cut them into wedges, or, if they are small, perhaps quarter them. Place on a baking tray.
  •   Mix together the crushed garlic and the olive oil, then pour over the potatoes. Try to make sure the garlic bits are distributed evenly amongst the potato pieces.
  •  With a spoon toss the potatoes in the garlicy oil. Add a bit more oil if necessary – you want them to be well coated and oily, with no dry parts. Once you have done this, position the potato pieces on the tray cut side down. Season well with plenty of salt and pepper.
  •  Roast in the oven for about 45 – 50 minutes. After about half an hour take them out of the oven and turn any pieces that have developed a nice crispy bottom with a spoon – position them again so that another cut side is facing down for extra crispiness. ;) (Usually, these will be the ones that are on the edges of the baking tray…the ones in the entre might not yet have formed a crispy skin and so it’s better to NOT turn these ones as if you do you might risk damaging the crispy bit that is beginning to form. ;) If the potatoes seem a little dry, or if they are sticking too much to the tray, drizzle over a bit more oil before returning to the oven.
  •  Keep a good eye on the potatoes towards the end of the cooking time - if they are browning too much you might need to place them at the bottom of the oven.
  •  Dish up the potatoes into a serving dish: it’s best to perhaps use a spoon or sharp-edged metal spatula to remove them from the tray so that you don’t lose any of those lovely crispy skins! Scrape or pour any oil left in the tray over the potatoes in the dish, and serve immediately while they are nice and warm. :) And before the temptation to break off a few of those crispy bits and eat them there and then becomes too overwhelming. ;)

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