I’m a very visual person, it’s incredibly important to me how everything looks. It makes me happy to look at beautiful things, colors, textures and objects. On the other hand, I can get pretty depressed if I wake up in a messy room, and I easily lose my appetite if a cafe table is dirty, the lights are unpleasant or the food looks like it was simply flopped onto the plate.
Because it does affect how I feel, I decided I should start giving extra thought and love to the dishes I cook, even if they’re just simple, everyday things like eggs & bacon or a bowl of oatmeal. I’m going to start sharing the ideas I’ve had for “restyles” of everyday dishes. My goal is to elevate my normal meals, to add an extra touch of respect to all of the food I eat, and to find a way to incorporate more aesthetic appeal into my life.
For my first Gourmet Restyle post I decided to go from regular baked potatoes to a potato-rose bouquet. Here’s my “Before” and “After”:
A few years ago my mama gifted me with a large carving knife set and it’s been a huge help and inspiration to me in reimagining how things could look. I made a quick search online but couldn’t find the exact kit I have (it’s Russian), and the big sets I saw on Amazon didn’t look well-made and had bad reviews. But I found this small 3-knife set that has some of the knives I have and use for some of the things I’m going to feature. If you’re interested in trying out carving I’d recommend starting with it!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the original dish: thinly-cut potatoes, seasoned with flakey salt and rosemary, baked in a gratin dish until soft with crispy edges. Yum. But a bit boring.
Now whenever I have a bit more time on my hands I can use the sharp carving knives to turn the potatoes into roses instead:
After baking, the layers toast on the edges and curve while softening, shaping into realistically looking flower petals that are also crispy and delicious!
How to carve Potato Roses
- For each rose use either 1 medium potato or 1/2 of a very large potato.
1. Thinly peel the skin off, round one end of the potato and taper the other end of the potato with five cuts, so the bottom looks like a pentagon and the top is round.
2.Use a thin and sharp knife and cut down toward the base to make five petals (one on each side of the pentagon). Stop just before reaching the bottom.
3. Remove part of the potato flesh around the entire circumference under the first row of petals, forming a base for cutting out the second row.
4. Cut the second row of petals, alternating them with the first row. Again remove the flesh all the way around the potato under the new row.
5. Repeat until you reach the middle.
6. Keep the completed potato roses in a bowl or cold water while working on the rest so they don't dry out.
7. Before baking, quickly dry the roses with a paper towel, place in a greased dish, sprinkle with salt, add rosemary or your favorite seasoning and bake until soft and golden.
I’m really excited about this post, it was really fun working on it, from carving and baking the potatoes, to photographing them at the end. Let me know if you make potato roses or have questions. I know it’s pretty confusing and tricky the first time around, I’d be happy to help!