Saturday, July 07, 2007

Chuck it on the Barbie: Whiteley Potatoes

My favourite friends, James and Erin, are having a BBQ today which I'm really looking forward to. I wonder if they're trying to entice me out because I have been an elusive little bookworm this past few weeks (months)!

It's been a bit of a tradition to bring potatoes round to James' whenever he has a get-together because of Owen a.k.a "Jamo I've Embarrassed Meself" so I'm

I don't know what to call this, so I'm calling them Whiteley Potatoes. Not least because they're salty and extremely well-seasoned. But also because of James.

Here's the recipe. I don't use weighing scales so I hope you'll understand the descriptions!

Ingredients for 6 : 1 hr prep to table
6 Russet Burbank potatoes about as big as your fist
8 button mushrooms
8 honey tomatoes
10 pitted black olives
2 red onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 packet of McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Marinade

1 chargrilled red pepper*
1 chargrilled green pepper*

3 stalks of spring onion
2 stalks of chinese parsley (just the leaves)
1 handful of coarsely grated parmesan
Olive oil

- Preheat the oven grill to 250 degrees Celsius
- Cut your bell peppers in half and throw away the seeds & white bits
- Put them under the grill as close as you can to the heat element, skin side up

- Get a big baking tray out, or just use the one that came with your oven (wash it first!)
- Scrub the potatoes and chop them into your favourite sized chunks. I like them about as big half my thumb-ish. Then throw them in the baking tray.
- Halve the button mushrooms. If they're really big, then quarter them. They shrink so don't make them too small! Put them in with the tatties.
- Chuck in your honey tomatoes
- Cut the onion into chunks and add them in
- Smash your garlic with the bottom of a wine bottle (or anything weighty!), peel away the skin and chop off the woody crusty whatchmacallit at the end. Then add them in the mix.
- Cut each olive in half and add them in (or leave them whole if you prefer)
-Sprinkle the McCormick seasoning onto the crazy mix
- Glug olive oil all over....I don't know how much...enough to coat everything nicely but not have it swimming in a bath!
- Use your hands and mix everything together until it's all shiny and glistening and spread everything out in an even layer

- Check the peppers and see if the skins have gone all black. If they have, take them out and put them in a little plastic bag. I just reuse the one from the supermarket that I bought the peppers in. Close the bag with a twirl and leave them aside to steam

- Turn the oven down to 200 degrees Celsius
- Slide the potatoes and stuff into the oven on the topmost rack
- Set a timer for 15 mins

In the meantime,
- Snip the spring onions and chinese parsely leaves into a bowl
- Have a glass of wine or go watch Oprah for a bit

When the timer goes off 15 mins later,
- Get a flat slotted spatula thingy and turn everything over
- Set the timer for another 15 mins

- Take those steamy chargrilled peppers out of the bag. You should be able to slip the black skins off really easily now. Don't worry if there are bits left, it's just a bit of carbon! They give you carbon pills when you've got the runs so it can't be all bad. Whatever you do, don't wash the peppers. That's just foolish!
- Slice them into slivers and pop them back into the bag where there'll probably be some juices left

When the last 15 mins are up, go back and look at the tatties. Take them out if you think they're sufficiently brown. Or leave them for a bit longer. I like them with a golden crust. The Dolphin likes them like Peter Andre. You decide!

Then pour everything into a serving bowl. Add your spring onions and parsley. Add the chargrilled peppers. Throw in the handful of parmesan. Give a few vigorous twists of the pepper grinder. Salt if you must. I had a muscle spasm and ovesalted my tatties . Better to undersalt than oversalt, believe me - my lips are still pruney.

Then get a flat serving spoon and fold everything together. Don't stir like a madman otherwise it'll turn into babyfood (which would be useful for the morning after a night at James'). Fold. Like scoop and turn, scoop and turn, scoop and turn...


*If you don't have time to buy chargrilled peppers, they're available at the deli counter. But they're a complete ripoff!!! A fresh red pepper costs $7.30/kg and a chargrilled red pepper from the deli counter costs about $40/kg. I'd rather go without the peppers and get a better bottle of wine! And so should you!

Do these instructions seem complicated? They're not - it takes 45mins prep to table. 1hr max if you keep going to the fridge for another glass of wine.

I hope my friend Shermie isn't reading this, he'd freak at the commercial spice mix. I couldn't be arsed to pound my own. I will the next time.

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