Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spicy Grilled Potatoes

I was a stubborn child, and I hated being told what to do. So I was a “difficult” child. Even my grandmother didn’t like me. My mother, smart woman that she is, eventually discovered that reverse psychology worked well on me. If she said, “Honey, don’t play in the street,” I’d go prance around in the middle of Main. If she said, “Honey, go play in the street. I want you to get hit by a car,” I refused to leave the yard.

I’m a tad more reasonable as an adult, but some of that stubborness still carried over. And I think that’s why I dislike Valentine’s Day so much. I don’t like someone telling me that I have to be all hearts and flowers today, acting romantic and buying gifts. It's no fun when someone tells me I have to, and when everyone else does it. (Besides, shouldn’t you show your appreciation for the one you love every day?)

There are other reasons I don't like Valentine's Day, but I'll try to stay off the soapbox. Needless to say, we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’m against the concept, and the hubby is laid-back and follows my lead. We still usually spend the day together, and I always ask the hubby if there’s anything he wants. (This year it was, “I’d like you not to yell at me today.” It’s the intangible gifts that mean the most.) But we tend to treat the day like any other.

So the hubby and I are definitely staying home this evening. Even if I could get past my hate-on for the occasion, every restaurant will be packed. Also, we love to cook, and we usually think our food rivals what we eat in restaurants. (It suits our own particular tastes.) And it often exceeds restaurant food, which is the case with the hubby’s steak and potatoes.

This evening, he’s grilling up some ribeyes and spicy grilled potatoes, an amazing invention of the hubby's. We make them throughout the summer. Friends and family request them. People travel across the country to eat them at reunions (or so they claim).

You need just a few ingredients for these, and it only takes about three minutes to throw together, despite the length of this post. I can only guess at the quantities, so I’ll photograph the occasion thoroughly for a pictorial tutorial.
  • First, you need plenty of aluminum foil. Don’t be stingy.
  • You also need butter, margarine, spread, or any other butter-like substance.
  • Then you need potatoes. You can use any kind you like. We’ve tried a variety, but we typically use red potatoes. I think it’s because we live in North Dakota, where people (like my Grandpa Don) grow red potatoes. That’s what we grew up with. You can peel them or leave the skins on. I prefer the flavor with the skins on, and it’s so much simpler and less time-consuming.
  • Lastly, you need Creole seasoning. Use your favorite brand. We’ve been addicted to Tony Chachere’s for years. We have bottles scattered at everyone’s houses, so we’re never without it. It’s amazing. And it’s like the best bargain in the grocery store (I think it’s under two bucks). Get ye some.

Equipment-wise, I highly recommend a mandolin slicer. You don’t need one of those pricey $150 models – even a cheap plastic one works well. (I don’t think we’ve ever invested more than $8 in one; like the Tony Chachere’s, we have these strategically placed at houses we visit often. They’re also good for easily making scalloped potatoes.)

Be very careful when using a mandolin, and always use the spiky doo-dad that comes with it.

The hubby has cut the tips of his fingers on multiple occasions (when he was too cool for the spiky doo-dad).

I received stitches from a mandolin incident several years ago. You can still see my scar. It's the only real time I've had stitches, so I'm proud of it. I think most food blogs need more scar pics.

Of course, I wasn’t actually using the mandolin when I cut my hand. I happened to brush against it while reaching for the nutmeg. I’m special. But enough about scars. (Alas, my why-you-shouldn’t-slice-bagels-while-driving story will have to wait.) On to the potatoes.

1. You’ll need about one potato per person. Scrub them – potatoes can be very dirty – and cut off any eyes that are sticking out. That sounds so graphic.

2. Using the mandolin slicer, cut your potatoes into thin slices. The hubby does this in hyperspeed.

You want them about this thin.

3. Lay out a large piece of tin foil. Place one layer of potatoes on the foil.

4. Sprinkle with Creole seasoning.

If you don't like spice, you can just use salt and pepper. We do this for my dad, because he’s sensitive to spices; Creole seasoning might kill him.

5. Flip the potatoes, and repeat.

6. Top with another layer of potatoes, and sprinkle with Creole seasoning. (No need to flip again; that’s too much Creole seasoning.)

7. Dot with butter.

The hubby says this is a three-quarters V-formation, or something like that. In any case, it’s strategic. You get equal butter distribution on every potato. (The hubby individually places his chocolate chips when he makes bars. He’s deliberate.)

That’s it, two layers per packet. Any more, and it won’t cook evenly. We’ve tried.

8. Fold in the sides and ends of the foil.

9. Then wrap in a second sheet of foil.

This, too, is done strategically; it allows you to test your potatoes while they’re cooking, without having to unwrap the entire packet. You can just peek, like this.

Then wrap it up all nice and tight.

10. Heat an outdoor grill to medium heat. Place the potatoes on the top rack of the grill (or use indirect heat). Cook about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. (Because of your sensible wrapping, you can open them easily and poke them with a fork to check.)

Use the bottom rack of the grill for something yummy to go with the potatoes.

11. Let cool slightly before serving.

12. Preferably eat with steak and grilled bread.


Sarah K said...

#1 I didn't discover Tony's until I moved to Chicago, and was surprised we sell it here! I was introduced to it by a friend who went to New Orleans for college. OMG. LOVE IT. I call it "Lawry's for Southerners". They use it on everything, including popcorn.

#2 You can use a packet (or 2 for more potatoes) of the Hidden Valley Ranch packets and it's unbelievably delish...

#3 Have you tried Yukon Gold potatoes for this? They're kinda buttery. AWESOMELY GOOD.

#4 love the blog :0)

angelinthekitchen said...

Thanks for the tip! Yup, we've tried these with pretty much any kind of potato, and you're right, the Yukon Golds are fabulous, as well. They go really well with all the butter. :)

Anonymous said...

i think your Hubby stumbled on a great idea for a valentine's day card... the "All i ask is please, just don't yell at me today" valentine's day card from Hallmark.

Melisa said...

Yummy! I will definitely be trying this. I use the Tony's when I make sweet potato fries. My kids and I can eat gobs and gobs of sweet potato fries and I absolutely LOVE Ribeyes. Typically grill asparagus to go with them but these potatoes are what I will make the next time we fire up the grill. Thx so much.

Melisa said...

Well, we tried them and these seemily so simple potatoes were a smashing success here in our household. My husband, not typically one for leftovers, ate the remainder of them the very next day and has already asked that we make them again! Thanks again for doing such a great job sharing recipes, how to, and most importantly the pictures on your blog.

ps, hope you dont mind. I linked to your blog on my pic a day blog. Your potatoes make an appearance on Day 53.