Baked Potato-Parmesan Wedges
This is one of the recipes I cooked from The Art of Breakfast: How to Bring B & B Entertaining Home, by Dana Moos. There are links at the bottom of the page to the other recipes I tried. If you would like to read my full review of her book and an interview with the author, please click here.
I am more of a savoury breakfast and brunch eater, with an unquenchable desire to manipulate potato into ever more delicious formats, so I thought I’d give this a go. It had a couple of interesting techniques that I was not currently applying to my go-to, oven-baked, brunch potatoes, so I was intrigued.
Dana’s recipe calls for soaking the potatoes in the fridge overnight – the key, she says, to achieving a crisp outside and creamy centre. I had read previously of this technique used when making chips (fries to my north American readers!) on Fine Cooking. However they had said that refrigerating the cut potatoes while soaking turned the starches into sugars and interfered with the crisping, so I decided to soak them at room temperature instead. The wedges were indeed moist and creamy inside after baking – the soaking plumps the water molecules in the potato – and wonderfully crunchy on the outside – the soaking also helps wash away excess starch.
In case it’s an impromptu wedge-feast you have in mind, you should know that I have also made these wedges after soaking them for only an hour, and although they were not quite as good, they were still scrummy. Not everyone remembers to plan the night before!
The recipe also called for tossing the wedges in a little Parmesan (read more about Parmesan and vegetarianism here). As they would be baking for a fairly long time on a high heat I was worried that the cheese would burn. Instead it added a beautiful, savoury caramelisation which really ramped up the flavour and crispiness – an excellent addition to roasted savouries that I will definitely be repeating.
As this recipe uses more oil than I would usually go for, I tried making this recipe both as directed and with half the olive oil. I thought they turned out well both ways, although that extra oil most likely brought a little more crunch to that batch.
I don’t think I need to suggest what to serve these with – they go with everything!
- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons 'Parmesan', freshly grated
- Dissolve the tablespoon of salt in one litre of water.
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and then cut each half into four wedges (eight in total). Immerse in the salted water and soak overnight.
- When you are ready to cook the wedges, preheat the oven to 200c. Drain the potatoes and dry them well on a clean tea towel.
- Toss in the oil, garlic, Parmesan and the remaining half a teaspoon salt (I also added a very liberal amount of freshly-ground black pepper at this point).
- Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, turning once, for about 45 minutes. As the Parmesan and potato may stick, use an overturned, sharp-edged spatula to firmly scrape them off. It may take more or less time than this, depending on your oven and potatoes - they are ready when all sides are browned and very crispy.
- Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
- Maybe we are a bit greedy, but you may want to increase the amount you make here as when we divided this recipe among three, it got ugly.
Check out the other recipes I cooked from The Art of Breakfast:
Grapefruit Brûlée with Vanilla Bean Crème
Blueberry Oatmeal Streusel French Toast With Warm Maple-Rum Sauce
Is your ideal brunch complete without crispy potato in some delectable form? Or do you have something completely different? Do let me know what gets you out of bed on the weekend!