Maltese Baked Potatoes Recipe

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In my occasional series on doing potatoes differently (2 posts to date, see slow fried roast potatoes), this recipe for Maltese baked potatoes is a simple, no-fuss delicious winner, the fennel adding a slightly exotic note to an otherwise rather humble dish. Most dauphinois/casseroled/ranch-style potato recipes use milk or cream but this dish is more like “boulangere” potatoes, using stock and oil. No parboiling first either, which saves a lot of time and trouble.

I can attest to the authenticity of this recipe as hub and I were served this dish with almost every meal on a business jolly a few years ago in Valleta and I asked how it was made, then did the usual trial and error experimentation, trawling the blogs and so on back home.

For a Sunday lunch, Maltese cooks add meat, usually pork, to the base of the dish. Although the fennel is traditional, adding in a teaspoon of mixed curry spice is an option too–though Maltese cooking is very sparing with spice and generally tends towards plain and unfussy. The cuisine in Malta to me seems to be lots of grilled fish & seafood, rustic stews and casseroles, simple robust flavours, great pizzas from their Italian links…what more could you want?

Ingredients (to Serve 4 as a Side Dish):

  • 4-6 ordinary white Potatoes, depending on size, e.g. 4 large or 5/6 medium, peeled and sliced at a medium to thick setting on a mandolin, or as evenly as can be managed if by hand
  • 1 large white Onion, peeled and sliced, not transparently thinly but not great huge chunks
  • 2-4 medium Garlic Cloves depending on taste, crushed rather than minced as this gives a softer taste, roast garlic would be nice too
  • 1/2 Pint/225ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbspn regular Olive Oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 level tbspn very lightly crushed Fennel Seeds
  • Salt (or not depending on the stock used) and a few grinds of Black Pepper to season

Method:

Mix the garlic, stock, fennel seeds and oil together, infuse for a few minutes. Place the sliced onions at the bottom of a casserole dish, layer over the sliced potatoes and pour over the liquid. Season lightly. Cook in the oven at 190 degrees Celsius/375 degrees Farenheit for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is browned and crispy and the potatoes cooked through. The potatoes should be moist, with a very small puddle of gravy juices. This dish is similar to boulangere potatoes as I said, but that version commonly uses thyme/rosemary as a flavouring and alternate layers of potatoes and onions with stock. It is technically possible to overcook these potatoes and end up with brown mush but I am sure that will never happen to you…

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Categories: Side Dishes, Sunday Roast Recipes, Vegetarian/Vegetables

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6 Comments on “Maltese Baked Potatoes Recipe”

  1. May 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Looks fantastic!

  2. May 11, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    Yum. I am Maltese and I remember my mom making these when I was young. Great memories in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

  3. May 11, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Your welcome, they are good. I loved Malta and we have great memories of our short time there, would go back tomorrow…

  4. May 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Mmhm, fennel and potatoes. Some nice porky sausages and I would be in food heaven.

    • May 17, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      Actually served this as a side to a pork sausage casserole…great minds think alike!

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  1. Malta potatoes | Greatstorepric - February 29, 2012

    […] Maltese Baked Potatoes Recipe | Hampshirecook’s BlogMay 10, 2011 … In my occasional series on doing potatoes differently (2 posts to date, see slow fried roast potatoes), this recipe for Maltese baked potatoes is a … […]

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