Earthy Delight – Potato Recipe From Jonny at the Bell at Sax
Sweet velvety new potatoes, fresh from the earth are a simple treat for Jonny Nicholson, Chef-Proprietor of The Bell At Sax’
To peel or not to peel? Rather like olive oil stopped being sold by chemists and could be found in the supermarket aisles, when did we stop peeling new potatoes?! It is curious how food fashions change and we see the flavour and health benefits of things like potato skin. Who would ever imagine that we would fall in love with the American starter of stuffed potato skins, giving the muddy protective outer more value than the precious insides we should be eating. I remember as a kid seeing a mound of empty baked potato skins on our stacked plates at the end of the meal, no-one ever ate them. Now all that lovely melted cheese, crunchy bacon bits, sweetcorn kernels in a crisp-baked potato skin sounds delicious right now, even at breakfast time, how times do change!
New potatoes are such a simple thing, very easy to cook and a great foil for all manner of flavours and other textures, so flexible in what you can add to complement them in terms of condiments and accompaniments; few ingredients are as versatile and co-operative in the pan and on the plate. And you definitely don’t want to be peeling them, just a gentle soak and light scrub before preparing.
This month’s recipe is just a stylish twist on classic herby buttered new potatoes that looks great for guests.
Here are six other favourite ways of enjoying new potatoes (cooked in their skins of course!):
Salad – warm with soft-boiled eggs, petit pois, thick yoghurt and tarragon
Gratin – grilled with local Baron Bigod brie, pan-fried bacon lardons and shallots, wholegrain mustard and flat-leaf parsley
Braised – finished with shredded little gem lettuce, peas, broad beans, garlic, a little white wine, chicken stock and crème fraiche
Tortilla – in a perfect Spanish omelette with crisp chorizo sausage, onions, paprika and roasted red pepper
Hash – sauté with proper corned beef (not from a tin) and spicy sausages, red chillies, shallots and mustard and served with poached eggs and parsley
Rissole – lightly flattened and roasted with lots of oil until crispy and browned, glazed with cyder vinegar, and sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper
Jonny Nicholson, Chef – Proprietor, The Bell At Sax’
The Bell At Sax’, High Street, Saxmundham IP17 1AF
A laid-back restaurant-with-rooms with good food, proudly using local, seasonal, Suffolk ingredients
W: www.thebellatsax.co.uk T: 01728 602331
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A great lunch deal with The Bell At Sax’ – free dessert and coffee!
Book a table and order two courses per guest of a starter and a main course from our a la carte menu, and we’ll offer you complimentary dessert and coffee on us, completely free! Available Tuesdays – Saturdays 12 noon – 2pm during August 2016 by arrangement.
Hasselback new potatoes (serves 4+)
16 – 20 large new potatoes
Sea salt and black pepper
Few finely-chopped garlic cloves
Chives or mint leaves
Pre-heat the oven to 190c. Place a potato in a tablespoon and cut down every 5mm until you are almost through to the bottom but not quite.
Repeat with the remainder. Melt a couple of knobs of butter with similar amount of oil before brushing it around a gratin dish to fit the potatoes snugly. Add the potatoes as a single layer and brush with more buttery oil, then season generously before scattering with a little garlic. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until softened (test the thick part with a knife) and lightly browned.
Remove and scatter with chopped chives or mint before serving.