So, Punched Potatoes! Before these little morsels came into my life, I don't think I'd ever considered punching food as a legit technique - I'm not sure that Le Cordon Bleu have it it in their curriculum, but it's pretty real in South America, so I've been told. And it's easy to see why. They're utterly delicious!
Why are Argentinians punching potatoes?
So, what is a punched potato? Primarily, it's a regular potato; cooked then assaulted, then cooked some more. This creates a lovely crisp and creamy combination with the flavour highlighted by olive oil.
In my recipe (which I've perfected over many months) the magic happens with the use of oil. Top notch extra virgin olive oil to be precise - the late addition of this shows the potato some love and in turn creates the other-worldly texture you've ever experienced in a potato! Heaven.
Strictly speaking, punched potatoes are essentially a side dish usually playing second fiddle to some kind of meat or fish. However, they featured centre stage this afternoon as I scoffed a sizeable portion of leftovers at the kitchen counter alongside a bowl of Chimicurri - because of utter boredom and greed. I devoured the entire plate as Shirley, my excitable Maltese/Jack Russell mix, circled me like a jealous shark.
How to make my Punched Potatoes
- 1 kg red potatoes
- Salt & pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Paying attention to these potatoes is key. So often, potatoes are just treated as an accidental accompaniment - we need to show some love to get the best from them. This is my top tip!
- Heat oven to 180ºC
- With a sharp paring knife deeply pierce each potato. Place all the potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle over some olive oil. Toss the potatoes around to cover evenly.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes before turning the potatoes - then, using a paper towel to protect your hands from the heat, firmly press down on each potato with the palm of your hand to flatten them slightly.
- Drizzle over 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over each potato and season generously with salt & pepper.
- Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve.
- Serve alongside a delicious steak, some BBQ chicken or a grilled fish. But let's get real - they're potatoes - they go with everything!
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