Chand Sahrawat looks at food through the eyes of Zoya, her hospobaby*.
One of my fondest memories as a kid is when my nana would order a plate of French fries after she took me swimming at the local gymkhana. Nothing could satiate my appetite like a whole lot of crispy deep-fried fries doused in ketchup. I haven’t come across another child who doesn’t enjoy fries or potatoes in some form.
Most of us get our fix of hot chips in the local food court. Unfortunately the food courts in New Zealand do not do justice to the humble spud — over-salted and greasy is the norm. Hospobaby and I came across Best Fries Forever in a Singapore food court.
This little counter only sold fries, skin on, cooked to order served with chilli or a variety of dipping sauces like nacho cheese or curry mayo. Zoya and I were in chippie heaven. The same food court boasted a counter called Potato Depot selling jacket potatoes with different fillings — sweet corn, cheesy macaroni, bacon and sour cream, salmon to just name a few. I remember seeing a similar concept in British malls about a decade ago. I just wonder when we Kiwis will see the potato in a new light.
Until that happens I have been making my own versions of jacket potatoes at home. We do refried beans or baked beans with sour cream and cheese for hospobaby and grown up versions with truffle oil and parmesan for us.
Jacket potatoes have become a saviour for me when I am running short of time and/or supplies. Leaving the skin on potatoes preserves all the nutrients that would be otherwise lost in cooking and the skin is packed with goodness anyway. The fact that it is a sure hit with Zoya is a blessing.
You can of course bake your spuds in the oven but I am always in a hurry, so this is my quick recipe. Make your own variations by adding a variety of fillings like sour cream, cheese, bacon, truffle oil, hummus etc.
* “Hospo” short for hospitality is a term used regularly in the hospitality industry. Chand and Sid own the restaurant Sidart in Ponsonby so Zoya has been part of the hospitality industry from day one, hence the term hospobaby.
- Take a fork and puncture the potato in several places.
- Put it into a brown paper bag and cook on high in the microware for 1½ minutes.
- Turn it around and cook for another 1½ minutes.
- Carefully take the hot potato out of the bag and put it into a bowl.
- Cut a cross across the top of the potato and push the butter inside.
- Season with salt and pepper. Now add any fillings of your choice.