Aphorisms from the Professor: Brillat-Savarin

Friday, November 26, 2010

secrets to perfect oven-baked potato wedges

Earlier this year, we patted ourselves on the back for mastering french fries. Tonight, with a little help from The New Best Recipe, the potato was conquered again.

As with french fries, a perfect potato wedge is soft and fluffy on the inside, but crispy on the outside. This brings us to Wedge Secret #1: for the first 5 minutes of baking, cover the pan with aluminum foil. This effectively steams the potatoes, ensuring that the inside is moist and fluffy even after the outside has been crisped. This also ensures that the outside doesn't get burnt in an attempt to get the insides cooked. Everyone wins.

Wedge Secret #2 is less about the final product, more about practicality. The most frustrating part about oven-baked wedges (or fries, for that matter) is that they have a horribly annoying tendency to stick to the pan. The solution? Salt the pan, not the potatoes. The best way to understand why this works is to imagine zooming in to your baking pan with salt and then potatoes on top - the potatoes are literally sitting on top of the salt...so they can't stick to the pan! Seriously, isn't that genius?!?! And it works!

On a completely unrelated note, I need to mention my slaw (were it not for the clever plating you would be able to tell that this was my doing based on the wildly uneven and inconsistent cutting).  At some point, the tv (top chef? iron chef?) said to me "Pork chop, apple, fennel. This is something you must do". Sure enough, this is a magical combination. The slaw was tasty on its own, but when eaten with a piece of the pork chop...unbelievable.

Seared pork chop on a cabbage, apple & fennel slaw (dressing: olive oil, apple cider vinegar & whole grain mustard), served with perfect baked potato wedges and wasabi mayo for dipping


  1. Wow, strange combination. Guess I have to try this my own. Also thanks for the tips!!!

  2. I've been following your blog for a bit & your tip for perfect wedges is the only thing I tried myself. They were absolutely delicious.

  3. Thanks for the tip about the potato fries! Salt on the pan=sheer genius, I agree!

  4. OK - so after you'd given us a preview of our Christmas present to come - I've been craving these potato wedges. So rather than wait to get the book in the mail I decided I'd google for the instructions online. Who knew - google would point me to your site as the first link. Should have thought to look here first! Can't wait to see more of the recipes when the books arrive. Thanks again for the gift. Talk to you two soon.