It’s always the simple things.
In cooking, at least in my experience, a single ingredient cooked simply can steal the show even if it’s the “side” thing. If you like potatoes, this is usually the case. I never thought I’d be writing about baked potatoes on my blog… but I got over myself and did it! It’s all part of the same thing. Simple or complex preparations, the whole point of cooking is to nurture ourselves and the ones we love, to eat well, and if you can have some fun while doing it and share some thoughts and pics about it even better. Potatoes are pretty much at the top of list of favourite ingredients anyways. I love them and have been cooking them for a long time so they do deserve a space of their own in here I think.
Long before I got into cooking more seriously a few years ago, I was already cooking potatoes. Specially, mashed potatoes. Love love love mashed potatoes. Nothing more comforting than a creamy potato puree with copious parmesan cheese grated on top and broiled to golden brown deliciousness. I seriously don’t need anything else to go with that.
This post should be one of my quickest. I really wanted to get this written down for.. well, for my own sake. The original purpose of this blog was to document my own cooking learning curve so there.
Brining potatoes? probably a weird concept. I’ve been brining things for years but never potatoes. So why the hell not. It seasons the potato throughly and it also helps remove a lot of the starch in it which helps in making them crispy. If you have been making french fries for a while. Soaking the potato wedges for a couple of hours before deep frying should sound familiar and the purpose of that is to remove that extra starch. Russet potatoes have more starch than creamer potatoes so they will need longer soaking times. To play it safe I did a 24 hour soak in salty water. Take that russet taters!
4 large russet potatoes.
4 Tbsp kosher salt.
4 quarts of water.
How does this go? Cut the potatoes into wedges. Leave the skin on. Dissolve the salt into the water and add the potatoes. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours up to 48 hours. Remove from the fridge and lay on a baking tray. Place in the oven under the broiler about 10 minutes. This is the dehydrating phase. We need the potatoes as dry as possible before we crips them up. Remove from the oven. Apply vegetable oil with a brush and make sure they’re coated well. Return to the oven and broil until the skin is golden brown but not too dark. You could flip them over and brown both sides. I only did one side this time.
Switch from broiling to baking. Bake the potatoes at 350F for about 10 minutes or until fork tender. I kept checking until I was happy and that’s it. Eat right away but if you can’t, store them in the fridge. When you’re ready, pop them back in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes until warm. They will go from soggy boredom to awesome crispiness in no time. See yah! Wish I had more pics to share! Happy ‘tater baking! Take care y’all!
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Interesting idea to brine potatoes. I’ve never even soaked them before baking before — but I have done a post on baked potatoes.
What is it with Americans and kosher salt? If the salt is dissolved in the water, there will be Na+ and Cl- ions in the water no matter what salt you started out with 😉
haha true, but the relative densities isn’t negligible and does call for specifying the amount in a recipe. Table salt is saltier than kosher salt so the quantities used in a recipe will vary, plus I dont have any other salt at home, just kosher so that’s why my recipe uses it. 🙂
1 Tbsp table salt is not the same as 1 Tbsp kosher salt, that is true. That is why in Europe we use grams 😉 I was merely referring to specifying kosher salt in the title of the post 😉
i’ll have to whip out my precision digital scale next time Stefan! haha but I get what you’re saying. thanks for pointing that out!
This is the same procedure (although with sea salt) that is used by a gifted cook (and cheesemaker) in the hills of Garfagnana, Tuscany. She also sprinkled the potatoes with chopped fresh rosemary before roasting. We had her roast potatoes with a fabulous meal last summer. I was an immediate convert and I’ve roasted my potatoes this way ever since. Amazing what brining can do for the humble spud!
hey Debi! thanks for your comment! i will add other seasonings to the brine next time. i was thinking of garlic and vinegar. maybe even rosemary tea could go in the brine! 🙂
Excellent Paul. I could not manage to write so well or so prolifically on such a simple subject. A great read and an excellent idea.
Hi Conor, I meant to reply earlier but my phone lost signal and my message got lost. Anyways, thank you for leaving such a kind comment on my page. I am really glad you enjoyed the post. I do love potatoes, and sometimes can get carried away with the subject hahaha 🙂