Reader, I have a confession to make. There isn't actually any onion in this recipe. But, when I produced these crispy, loaded potatoes for my partner for dinner one night, she took a bite and her eyes widened with delight. "These taste just like sour cream and onion chips," she declared. And so, a star was born.
Like so many of our recipes, this one was refined from a quick dinner I made with whatever I could find in the pantry and in the fridge. I had recently bought some Apache potatoes from Woolworths out of curiosity, intrigued by their warm, rusty red skins and advertised roasting qualities. I don't recall the last time I was so handsomely rewarded for my curiosity.
Rest assured that this recipe would be just as delicious with any humble potato. But, if you do find yourself within range of a Woolworths, I highly recommend giving this potato a try. Their rich, buttery yellow insides are unfailingly floury, and their pied russet and cream skins add an intriguing splash of colour to any dish.
Enough about the potato. Onto the recipe.
These loaded potatoes are a great low-budget, low-effort midweek dinner, or a divine entrée for a well-catered dinner party. If you have a microwave on hand, they're ready to go in just twenty minutes.
What you'll need from the shops:
Potatoes of choice
Sour cream or crème fraîche (make sure it's thick and spreadable)
How to make sour cream and onion roast potatoes
Step One: Prep your kak
First, preheat your oven grill to 200 degrees Celcius.
Then, give your potatoes a good rinse under the tap in a colander to get rid of any lurking dirt. Set them aside and get to chopping.
First, slice your leeks down the side and give them a thorough rinse — secret soil is inevitably trapped in its many folds. Now that they are half-cylinders, turn them flat-side down and chop them into half-moons.
(You can actually chop your leeks however you please, but this is as good a way as any to do it.)
Set your leeks aside and start on the bacon, which should be diced into little squares that can be sprinkled over your potatoes.
Step Two: Prep your potatoes
My favourite way to prepare roast potatoes is to par-cook them, squash them, and roast them under the grill. The flattened potato creates more surface area for crispy bits and also creates a convenient platter for all the delicious toppings.
To achieve this, microwave your potatoes for four minutes. If you don't have a microwave, you can boil the potatoes for about fifteen minutes to soften them before squashing.
First, place your microwaved or boiled potato on a roasting tray.
Then, using the flat end of a mug or a glass, squash the soft potatoes flat. Drizzle them with some olive oil before popping them under the hot grill.
Once they've had a chance to roast under the grill for about fifteen minutes, they'll come out looking brown and crispy. Don't forget to turn them over halfway through for optimal crispiness on both sides.
Step Four: Prep your toppings
While your potatoes are in the oven (don't forget to turn them), toss your bacon into a pan with some butter or oil to get it started and cook on medium heat until the meat begins to brown and the fat begins to render out.
Once that's happening, toss in your leeks and cook until fragrant. You may need to turn the heat down to avoid burning the delicate greens.
Step Five: Assemble
Take your potatoes out of the oven. If you are concerned about presentation, then let them cool for a while before spooning on your sour cream — or else it will melt. Potatoes suitably cooled, spoon a generous dollop of sour cream onto the potato, then sprinkle with your leek and bacon mixture. Finish off with some flaky salt for panache.
There you have it. A quick and easy dinner that tastes like sour cream and onion chips, but covers all the food groups. You are welcome.