These semolina baked potatoes are so good your family will love them.
Add Some Crunch
Potatoes don’t have to be plain and boring!
My brother-in-law has been making something like this for years. It isn’t his original creation. I believe he said it came from a famous British chef–I think either Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson.
The trick here is that you take a cooked or partially cooked potato, rough it up a bit with the tines of a fork, then roll them in some semolina flour.
You heat some olive oil in an oven-proof pan, throw in a sprig of your favorite herb which in my case is thyme; my brother-in-law’s is rosemary. That flavors the oil. Then you put the potatoes in the pan and turn them once during cooking.
The extra crunch is wonderful as is the flavor!
Fancy Variety Potatoes? You Bet!
Of course you can use any old potatoes you want. Big ones you can cut into quarters so they’re all uniform in size.
However, I wanted to make something a little more special because I was serving these with prime rib. My store had fingerlings on sale so I used those.
I also decided not to peel them because I wanted a more “rustic” look. If they’re not peeled they won’t coat heavily with the semolina. Mine did have a bit of crispy crunch but if you want more of that texture, then do peel the potatoes.
Metal Is Best
I always feel that it’s best to use metal or cast iron pans for recipes such as this.
Since you have to put the oil in the pan and heat it in the oven before adding the potatoes, you risk thermal shock with anything breakable. The potatoes should be room temperature and not stone cold, but they are still cool in relation to the oil.
I saw this happen once when I was younger and my mother put cooled potatoes in a hot Pyrex dish that had hot fat in it. It was like a bomb exploding and we were very lucky neither of us got hurt. Ever since then, I’m loathe to do this and make sure to use something non-breakable–for safety sake.
- 2 lbs cooked or partially cooked potatoes (cut large potatoes into quarters)
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1-2 sprigs of your favorite fresh herb--rosemary or thyme are good
- ¼ cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- Peeling the potatoes is optional, but you will get a better coating by peeling and the potatoes will be a bit more crunchy.
- Preheat oven to 400 ℉. Place the oil in a deep oven-proof pan and put the pan in the oven while it pre-heats.
- Rough up the potatoes by scraping them with the tines of a fork. Then roll them in the semolina.
- When oil is hot and the oven has come up to the proper temperature, add the sprig(s) of fresh herbs--they will sizzle.
- Then put the potatoes in the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes then turn. Bale for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely browned and crisp.
- Serve immediately.