Thursday, 21 November 2013

Potato Fans turn into Potato Fire

Lesson Learned:
1. Never buy from Store X.
2. Don't assume that a baking sheet will be more effective than plate.
2. It is not safe to step away from the oven whilst using the broiler.

Potato fans were originally planned as my first meal for the blog. It seemed like it would be the easiest, and so far it has been, besides certain setbacks. The process started off bad and so it seems appropriate that it ended bad. Good--but bad.

Let me explain...

For the sake of privacy and not wanting to bash anyone, I'll refer to a certain store as Store X.
I went to Store X last night after classes to buy 4 russet potatoes for this recipe. I had no idea what russet potatoes were so I simply looked around, confused. Eventually, my eyes randomly fell upon a pack of 4 wrapped potatoes--russet potatoes. Awesome.
So I drove all the way home (40 minutes). I began cooking only to find that the potatoes were rotten! Of course, I didn't figure that out on my own. My dad needed to tell me that. But still, the point was I could no longer cook potato fans which is why my first blog is about potato smashers.

Last night I finally found time to go back to the Store X, get my money back, drive to another store, and buy some proper, healthy russet potatoes. That is how this process started badly.

The potato fan recipe I chose is from You can find it here!

The suggest ingredients that I followed for once!

1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
The Process
1. Go to Store X, bring back potatoes, go to another store, get better potatoes.
2. After having learned my lesson during the potato smashers, I remembered to scrub the potatoes clean. At this point I also preheated the oven to 450°.
3. Next, I cut a sliver off the lengthwise bottom of each potato so that when I set them down, they wouldn't roll. I then cut 1/4 inch off of each edge of the potatoes. I could then proceed to cut slices in each potato. These slices were about 1/4 inch apart and about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the potato. Thankfully, there were hardly any mishaps during the slicing portion of my evening. Only a couple edges needed trimming. I swear it's what they needed.
4. Once they were all cut, I ran some water over them, making sure to get in between the slices. This part is important according to the recipe. I then placed them sliced-side down on a plate and put them in the microwave for about 12 minutes. I even remembered to flip them halfway through.
5. After preparing a baking sheet with foil over it, I found a way to put the very hot potatoes, sliced-side up, on it. I was then supposed to brush the olive oil over each potato. Like the last time, I did not have a little brush to do this effectively. And like the last time, I do not recommend the method that I chose to do. With the twice baked potato potatoes, I dropped them on an olive oil filled plate in order to lather them with olive oil. Since that was a lesson learned for what not to do, I did not use a plate. I thought I could simply put pour olive oil on the foil and roll the potatoes around on that since that would be where they need to be cooked anyways. That was wrong in so many ways. Not only could I not get in between the slices of the potatoes, which resulted in me having to pour more oil, it may have been the reason behind the drama at the end of this process. But I digress. After the potatoes had been thoroughly soaked in oil (you don't actually need to soak the potatoes), I added a tad of salt and pepper and placed them in the oven for about 30 minutes.
6. While the potatoes were cooking, I started making the bread crumb mixture. All I needed to do was mix the breadcrumbs, paprika, butter, parmesan, salt, garlic powder and Monterey Jack cheese. This was simple until I came to the cheese. Instead of a block or shredded, I had bought slices of the cheese. But I needed shredded. So, I did what I had to do. I stacked up the slices of cheese so that it was like a block of cheese, and shredded. All we need to establish is that it worked well enough.
7. Finally, the 30 minutes was up and I was able to put the breadcrumb mixture on top of all the potatoes. I didn't even push the mixture too hard in between the slices like the recipe warned me about. Disaster averted!
8. The last part of the recipe: broil the potatoes so the breadcrumb mixture can cook and become crispy. So, I did that and went to set the table. Remember the oil all over the baking sheet and foil? Well, I did too. But, I did not know it was flammable.
I am just going to downplay how dramatic this moment was to lessen my embarrassment and say that luckily, when I arrived at the scene, the oil was the main thing on fire and the potatoes just got extra crispy in some places.

Voila! Another mainly successful meal! Although not as uneventful as my last meal, it was still less eventful than the potato smashers.

Is it possible that I'm getting better? 

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