Mexican Inspired Dinner

The great thing about long weekends is that you get time to cook! MrFodder and I went to an engagement party for one of his co-workers, and it was at a Mexican bar. The food was amazing, and I’ve been craving it ever since. I also wanted roast potatoes.

I have been a bit distracted from my original plan of cooking my way through the Serious Eats book: The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, but had time to do it this weekend. I picked a fairly simple one, the roast potatoes recipe. It’s time consuming since you have to wait for the potatoes to roast, but the actual prep time is pretty short. The one in the book is slightly different, but the idea behind the process is the same.

First you boil the potatoes until they’re soft, with salt and baking soda in the water. The idea is to pre-cook the potatoes, but also increase the surface area for extra crispiness!

While the potatoes are boiling, create the infused oil by heating the oil and the garlic and herbs together.

Strain the oil into a large bowl (stressing the large part, as even my largest bowl wasn’t really big enough) – keep the herb mix! As soon as the potatoes are done (when you can poke them with a knife without meeting much resistance), put them into the bowl, add salt and pepper, and toss to coat. I couldn’t actually toss them properly while they were all in there, so I ended up taking half out and putting them back in the pot.

Grease a baking tray and put the potatoes in a single layer (again, my tray was too small, so I had to split it into two batches). You can’t use baking paper here, as you won’t get the crispy potato crust if you do use it.

After 20 minutes. It really would have helped to have a metal spatula, but unfortunately, we don’t have one. The metal spatula would have helped to get underneath the potatoes and turn them without the crispy skin coming off.

And after 60 minutes (I flipped them again at 40, but didn’t think it was worth taking another photo).

Once it’s done, add to the herb and garlic mix, season with a bit more salt and pepper, and eat while it’s hot!

For the chicken, I just used the Serious Eats Southern Fried Chicken recipe, except instead of creating the batter, I put all the spices in with the buttermilk mix (except it was vegan buttermilk, i.e. 1 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar, whisk and leave to sit for 5 minutes). Marinate chicken in this overnight.

I wanted to BBQ this, but was too lazy after being out in the sun all day, so ended up cooking it on the liney frying pan we have. I turned the stove to the highest heat setting, and grilled each side.

The buttermilk helps stop the chicken from becoming dry. See? Nice and juicy.

OK, I guess you can’t really tell from that photo, but it was!

Next, the corn, which was super simple. I just cut it into cobs, and put on a rack below the potatoes. I know Lucien would be super sad to know I didn’t add butter, which you can do if you like, but I really enjoy the taste of corn on its own, so I chose not to.

And for the salsa…. well, I was too lazy to do everything!

 

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