Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Garlicky Crispy Baked Potato Wedges!

Forbidden food.

I hate those words.

See, it's one thing for food to be forbidden by law or medicine. For example, pork isn't halal or kosher. Gluten and lactose are off-limits to the intolerant. Puffer fish can be lethal and caffeine isn't recommended for the pregnant and those prone to migraines. All of that makes sense.

What doesn't make sense? Things like Mayonnaise being explicitly forbidden for being sky-high in calories (57 calories in one tablespoon, for the sake of General Knowledge). Having to feel guilty for having had a pizza dinner. Sneaking in cookie dough in when no one is looking. Feeling like a social pariah for being the only one who asks for chocolate-chips on Frozen Yogurt (nothing beats Kiwi Kiss's strawberry Fro-Yo with heaps of dark chocolate-chips. On a half-waffle. With Nutella. And teeny bit of Maple Syrup).
Forbidden food (or men, for that matter) have an unnecessary allure to them.

OK. Enough of my chatter. Let's just do you all a favour and get to the recipe of the day week.

Guilt-free French Fries! That was what I was building up to. French fries have been implicated in everything. America's Obesity Epidemic (Pandemic now, thanks to Globalisation) have McD's skinny fries written all over them. "Intha Peeja-Pargar-Finger chips avoid pannunga" (Picked it up from the hospital).

Should you write them off forever? Probably not. An occasional chunky potato wedge, crispy with salt, should be eaten along with fish fingers/tartar sauce/ketchup. You use those golden fries to pick up the last bits of the breaded chicken, hot sauce and the lettuce that escapes out of the Zinger. But these should be far, far and very few, in between.

However. Old habits die hard (the number of times I've blitzed cocoa powder, bananas and Splenda to make "Nutella". Right). So when I came across this kickass recipe for Baked Garlic French Fries, I did an impromptu fatchild jig and proceeded to modify it for the Madras kitchen. Make it. You will be shocked and satiated and happy. I was.

Garlicky Baked Wedges:

(adapted from Purple Foodie, who adapted it from Lottie+Doof)


12 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
240 grams potato, cut into chunky wedges, skin on
3 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (or 1 tsp regular salt)
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used red chilli powder)


Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius.

Cut the potato into medium-sized wedges, leaving the skin on.
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, heat the olive oil and minced garlic for around one minute on Med-High. The garlic should be fragrant.

Transfer most of the oil (save one tbsp) to a baking dish and grease it well. Leave the garlic in the microwave safe bowl.

Add the potatoes to the garlic-oil mix. Toss around well.

Cover with a microwave-safe tight lid or saran/plastic wrap. Cook on Med to Medium High for at least 3 to 6 minutes. Don't forget to toss the bowl once or twice, midway, so the cooking is even.

It should be translucent around the edges.

In another bowl, combine cornflour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne and mix well.

Sprinkle it over the hot potatoes. Toss well, so the powder coats most of the potato.

Arrange the potato on the prepared baking dish. Make sure it's all out in one line, not one on top of the other. Bake for around 35-40 minutes, until golden and crisp. Turn over the fries midway during the baking process. Taste one, after it's been slightly cooled; see if it's crisp enough for you. Toss with some salt if you like grainy salt on your fries.

The little garlic bits? Mindblowing deliciousness.

If you do not wish to microwave, just parboil the potatoes, before you coat them with the cornflour mix. The garlic can be sauteed in the olive oil for 30 seconds, tossed about the cut potato and thrown into the cornflour mix.

Serve HOT with ketchup, mayo, red chilli sauce, burgers, steak, donner kebabs or even a paneer roll. The world, my lovelies, is your plate.

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