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Christmas dinner wouldn’t be the same without roast potatoes. Vegan chef Gaz Oakley discussed how he makes his crunchy and delicious.

Gaz Oakley, known as the Avant-Garde Vegan, has been working in kitchens from the age of 15.

The Cardiff-born chef and fitness fan discussed roast potatoes with Express.co.uk.

Gaz told Express.co.uk, it’s all about having that crunch on the roast potatoes.

He said: “Crispy spuds are a must!

“For maximum crispness, make sure the oil is piping hot before putting your parboiled potatoes into the roasting tray.”]

Do this by filling your roasting tray with a generous amount of oil and then putting the tray in the oven to heat the oil first.

But the crunch is not everything. How does Gaz flavour his roasties?

“I also like to add shallots, garlic and fresh herbs to the pan before cooking, so the flavour is intense.”

The experts behind SORTEDfood explored how to make the “ultimate” roast potatoes.

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They explored adding bicarb of soda to boiling water to help improve crisp and adding cornflour to potatoes before roasting them.

Roast dinners, and Christmas dinners, in particular, are difficult.

Like a heist, a roast dinner involves many moving parts and intricate timings, all coming together for an exhilarating finale.

Feeling overwhelmed? There is no need to worry, Gaz says.

He told Express.co.uk readers: “Timings for a roast are always tricky, so when you are inevitably waiting on one thing to finish cooking, make sure you cover finished dishes with foil.”

This is “so they don’t burn when you’re keeping them hot in the oven” he explained.

“Your day will be more enjoyable and stress-free if you keep organised and clean up as you go.

“Rope in family members to help with the washing up and try to pre-prepare as much as you can on Christmas Eve.”

James Martin gives advice on cooking roast potatoes

One chef’s roast potato recipe guarantees “great tasting, crispy potatoes” using a certain fat. 

Ben Ebbrell, co-founder of SORTEDfood, weighs in. He discussed the best potatoes to use, and the best fat to roast them in with Express.co.uk.

“Perfect roasties rely on tasty fat and potato variety,” he told readers.

“We roast King Edwards in plenty of duck fat for great-tasting, crispy potatoes.”

Merchant Gourmet has partnered with Gaz Oakley as part of its ‘Appetite for Change’ campaign – an initiative rooted in helping save the planet, one plant-based meal at a time. For inspiration on how to serve up more meat-free meals made in minutes, head to @MerchantGourmet on Instagram to see Gaz’s latest recipes. 

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