Hedgehog potatoes and other animals

It’s quite depressing to see Christmas merchandise in the supermarkets before I’ve even cooked my first roast of the Autumn. We’ve gone from tropical monsoon to Indian summer in the space of a week, no one knows what to wear and it’s all a bit discombobulating. What on earth to cook? Today I went for cold baked beans eaten with a fork directly from the tin but this was more to do with the demands of a teething baby than the weather. In order to restore some sort of normality to my life, I turn to this photograph from a roast of Christmas past* and a much-loved recipe donated by a good friend.

I enjoy a classic roast potato as much as the next woman but the ratio of salty, crunchy goodness to bland unseasoned fluff is all out. Roasties shouldn’t just be there to soak up the juices and here’s where the hedgehog comes in:

I recommend using King Edwards and plenty of them – people tend to want seconds and thirds of these. Turn your oven up as hot as it goes. Leaving the skin on, slice each potato in half lengthways and lay each half, flat side down, on a chopping board. Using a small and very sharp knife, make slits a pound coin’s width apart, being sure not to cut all the way through. Pour a generous few glugs of groundnut or sunflower oil into a baking tray and heat in the oven until smoking. Remove the tray and carefully slide in the hedgehogs, basting them well while they sizzle so the hot oil can work its way into the cracks. Chuck in half a bulb of garlic broken into cloves (no need to peel), some pepper and a very generous handful of sea salt – resisting the urge to crush the flakes too much between your fingers. Roast for 45 minutes-1 hour until the hedgehogs are golden brown and wonderfully crisp. As soon as the weather returns to normal, try these instead of your normal roasties and you’ll never look back.

*We’ve grown rather fond of the tea towel in this photo, so much so that a few of its winged creatures are up there in our header and down there on our smart new business cards. We’re not going back to school but we do have new stationery!


This entry was posted in A bit on the side, Hearty fare, Nowt about the fridge and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Hedgehog potatoes and other animals

  1. Gary says:

    I love hasselbacks – a good tip I read to get the slits down just far enough is to lay your spud between two wooden spoons. When your knife comes down it hits the spoons and goes no further, and no worries about cutting through!

    I like mine roasted with garlic butter.

  2. Dominic says:

    ah… mum used to make these back n the 80’s… what a lovely reminder, thank you. Also, congratulations on the OFM win…you should be really proud!… i’m recently new to blogging… (check it out, would love your opinion…http://belleaukitchen.blogspot.com/) but I love your blog, really like your sense of humour and the photo’s are beautiful… some great inspiration x

  3. Isobel Curtis says:

    Congrats on the OFM! Very well deserved! On a side note, where is that tea towel from? I want one! x

  4. pip says:

    congrats on the OFM win :)… your potatoes look fab!

  5. moel faban secret supper club says:

    Congratulations on the OFM award…well deserved! You’ve certainly been an inspiration to me.

    Made the hedgehog roasties for tea tonight, the kids said they were the best roast potatoes EVER! I think I will be making them again, and again….

    Denise x

  6. Leontina Lange says:

    Love your way of eating look forward to receiving your updates


  7. Elisabeth says:

    Congratulations on winning the Observer Food Monthly 2010 award for best UK blog.

    I feel pathetically proud that I started reading this blog since it first started.

    I did relate to the cold baked beans – thanks for your honesty. Why do people assume that because you love real good food, you get to eat it all the time?

    So, anyway, once again, well done.

  8. kam81 says:

    u guys are awesome :)) congrats !!

  9. saladclub says:

    Thank you all so much for your lovely comments. It’s amazing to know that people actually read our waffle!

    Cold baked beans should never be underestimated, Elisabeth. Isobel, I’m afraid the tea towel was a gift so we have no idea where it’s from. So glad your kids approved of the hedgehogs, Denise – no looking back now!

    Love R & E xxx

  10. Jo Romero says:

    Those potatoes look gorgeous – I can’t wait to try them. My children love roast potatoes so I am sure they will love these – and I think you can never cook too many roasties, everyone always asks for more! Congratulations on your award!

  11. Mrs Valentine says:

    They look lovely! Do you turn the oven down when you put them back in or leave it on thermo-nuclear?


  12. Vix says:

    Cute! I will have to try these out sometime.

  13. Pingback: on my plate: tomato tarte tatin and hedgehog potatoes « and all that's in between

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