Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday miscellany

Belatedly, here is a link to my latest New Statesman column. It concerns the cancer scare over bacon and other cured meats. I lack the expertise that the subject demands; but no one has complained yet about my inexpert remarks. (I am not convinced by the warnings, is the gist.) Here is my blog entry on bacon sandwiches.

I have written several times about roast potatoes, and about whether you should parboil the potatoes first, and for how long. Some while back in his Times column, Gordon Ramsay wrote that he preferred not to parboil the potatoes before putting them into the fat. A few weeks ago, he gave a recipe recommending a five-minute parboiling. Perhaps he has changed his mind. Or perhaps inconsistencies are inevitable in such columns.

While searching for the Ramsay roasts, I came across the Times's "Five steps to perfect roast potatoes" (with step one missing). The piece recommends cooking the potatoes in their skins -- something I rarely do, partly because maincrop potatoes are often too big to sit whole in a normal saucepan, and partly because I find peeling cooked potatoes very fiddly. Little bits of skin stick to my fingers. Is it true that potatoes boiled in this way are less watery -- and, if so, do they taste better? I shall try the method sometime. I once tried cooking potatoes in their skins for mash: it was very gluey.

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