Celeriac Baked Potatoes

Celeriac Baked Potatoes

We loved baked potatoes, just the way they were. What can I say? I loved them too, but I longed for something new and dangerous.

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Why? You might ask. Why must you play around with nature? Why upset the balance by creating this… science project, this freak? We loved baked potatoes, just the way they were. What can I say? I loved them too, but I longed for something new and dangerous. I wanted to bolt on flavour and change their behaviour, so I spliced them together as best I could to form a new breed… a super potato. Behold the ‘baked celeriopto’. Serve with a dressed green salad.

Serves 4.

4 Large baking potates
50g (1.25oz) Unsalted butter
1 Onion, thinly sliced
4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Small celeriac, peeled and cut into 2-3cm dice
1 Handful of dried cep mushrooms
100ml (3.5fl oz) Whole milk
1 tsp Dried seaweed flakes (optional)
1 Handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
1 Handful of grated cheddar cheese
Flaky sea salt and freskly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/gas mark 5.

Wash the potatoes, then sprinkle them with a little salt. Place them on a baking tray in the middle of the oven for 1–1¼ hours, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, halve them and scoop out as much hot flesh as you can, without tearing the skins. Place the flesh in a bowl, then return the hollow skins to the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the skins are crisping, heat a heavy pan over a medium–low heat. Add the butter and, when it’s melted and bubbling, add the onion, garlic, celeriac and dried ceps and season with some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, for 25–30 minutes, or until the celeriac is nice and soft (if it begins to catch on the bottom, lower the heat and add a dash of water – that’ll stop the problem). Add the cream, milk, potato flesh, seaweed flakes (if using) and parsley. Season to taste and stir to combine.

Pile the celeriac mixture into the crisped potato skins. Place the potato halves back on the baking tray, if necessary, and scatter over the cheese. Return the filled potatoes to the oven for 12–15 minutes, or until the fillings are nice and hot in the middle. Serve sprinkled with flaky salt and with a dressed green salad on the side.

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