Monday, 28 August 2017


So it's bank holiday Sunday and I'm far too chilled out to be cooking up a big Sunday roast. I need something that's simple, quick and tasty and these Texan potato cubes are the perfect side to whip up under these circumstances. It's just diced potato, onion and peppers roasted in garlic, paprika, Old Bay seasoning and my old friend liquid smoke. In just under an hour you have a delicious tray of super special spuds and what makes these taters so simple to make is that you just chuck everything into a bowl, mix and transfer to a roasting tray. It really is that easy.

Make sure you use a good old Maris Piper for your spuds if you can. They are the best spuds around for getting that crispy outside and fluffy centre to your tater cubes. Other taters will work but won't give you that perfect roasted texture that a Maris Piper will and you want these to be the best they can possibly be now don't you? 

A few onions and peppers give the potatoes a fabulous lift and evoke the flavors of a good Texan chili. It's up too you which color of onions and peppers you use and feel free to chuck in any extra bits of veg you have lying around. This recipe is a great way of using up any bits and bobs left in your pantry and as long as you chop everything to the same size they should all cook at the same time.

Now the flavour of this dish all comes down to the mixture of ingredients you toss your veg in. Some of these are very specific and not something everyone will have lying around in their kitchen. I'm talking about the liquid smoke and Old Bay. Liquid smoke is amazing for adding that smoky BBQ flavour to dishes especially tomato based ones like a chili or a ragu. You can pick up bottles online if you give it a google. Trust me, it is worth it. 

Old Bay seasoning is a blend of spices originally from America which usually works with seafood and chicken but when you combine it with the liquid smoke, garlic and smoked paprika it really sends these potatoes through the roof. Something about the combination of all these ingredients gives them a subtle spiciness without the need for chilies and the most amazing smokiness you can achieve without an actual BBQ. If you can't get hold of Old Bay or liquid smoke you could add a bit more paprika and maybe a few chili flakes to try and get the same effect. 

I hope you're ready for this recipe! It's well complicated but if you follow it carefully you'll have taters for two in no time! 

Spicy Smoky Texan Potatoes

4 Medium Sized Potatoes
2 Peeled Medium Sized Onion
2 Red Peppers
2 Grated Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
1/2 Heaped Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Old Bay Seasoning
A Good Glug Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper To Season

  1. Start by getting your oven on to 220 degrees (200 fan).
    Chop the potatoes, onions and peppers into equal thumbnail sized cubes and then place these into a large bowl with the garlic, liquid smoke, paprika and Old Bay seasoning.
  2. Pour in a good glug of olive oil and mix everything together until all the potatoes are lightly coated in the oil.
  3. Tip the contents of the bowl into the baking tray and spread them out so there is just one layer of ingredients. Season with a good crack of salt and pepper. 
  4. Place in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes until golden and crisp, shaking the tray every ten minutes so the potatoes cook evenly and don't stick to the tray.
See how I lied about it being complicated! Remove the baking tray from the oven and serve whilst piping hot so the taters are at their most crunchiest. The smell of the liquid smoke, old bay, paprika and garlic will transport you straight to a camp site BBQ. With each bite you will crunch through the crisp outsides of the potatoes through to their fluffy centers and the subtle spiciness should kick right in. Serve with some fried chicken or on their own covered in guacamole and sour cream for a more Tex-Mex style vibe. For a simple, quick and scrummy taste of a Texan BBQ, you can't go wrong with these smoky taters!

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