Sebastian, our eldest, has inherited my curly hair. As his is a darn sight shorter than mine, it curls beautifully. He hair is the envy of pretty much every woman we meet who has paid or spent many hours with a curling iron at some point or other to put curls into their hair. Seb’s hair does add an inch or two to his height depending on how recently we have had it cut, so when measuring his height it does have to be flattened! One of his school friends said Seb’s hair was cool as it looked like he had brains outside his head! Don’t you just love the hearing about the world from a kid’s perspective?!
Anyway back to food. Simon’s favourite frozen chips are curly fries. Maybe now the introduction paragraph makes more sense?! The children do tend to want to try pretty much everything that daddy eats. So I decided that we would try to recreate curly fries for dinner. Now we have made this recipe a couple of times. Seb and Ophelia always gobble them up no questions. One time, Atticus, our resident potato-hater, was happily munching on them until he remembered that they were made out of potato and then he decided he couldn’t abide them!
Despite making them several times, I have epically failed to get any nice pictures of them. They just don’t seem to be particularly photogenic. The kids loved making them and happily experimented with spice combinations, but they just don’t look wonderful. This meant I was somewhat reluctant to blog about them, but then I thought did the kids make them (yes they did), did they have fun (yes they did) and did they eat them (yes they did) so I might as well share the recipe.
- Apple Peeler and Corer machine (we have a kitchen craft one – it is usually used for apples in our house for crumbles and pies etc)
- Baking sheet lined with baking parchment or a silicone mat.
- Smallish bowl filled with water
- Large bowl (we used Pyrex)
- 1 jacket potato per child (I know this sounds like a lot, but when peeling it and coring it you don’t end up using it all.)
- 2-3tbsp vegetable oil
- 1-2tsp of spices of your choice depending on how many potatoes you have and how much your children are used to spices (we have used any combination of cumin, paprika, garlic salt, cinnamon and ground coriander)
- Preheat the oven to 170°c fan and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or greaseproof paper.
- Fix the apple peeler and corer to the surface and attach your first potato. Turn the handle to start peeling it. All of my kids find this process completely fascinating. It is harder to do with a potato than an apple, but it does work. You will be left with the potato skin which can be composted or binned. A long curly bit of potato which needs to go in the bowl with water and a middle ‘core’. I tend to eat the cores cooked for my dinner so they don’t go to waste so I put these in the water with the curly fries. Peel all the potatoes this way.
- Once you have made all the potatoes all curly, cut each long curl in half so they are smaller and put them in the large bowl.
- Put the oil (we used 3tbsp for 3 potatoes) to the large bowl. Add the spices you want. My kids really like any combination of the above spices. Last time we used 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1tsp cumin.
Shake the bowl side to side (not up and down!) to coat all the potatoes in the spice and oil mixture. You could cover the bowl with a plate to prevent any spillages, but we didn’t. In the above video Seb shows us how it is done.
- Spread them out on the lined baking sheet and place them in the oven to cook. Ours took 35 minutes and were turned half way through baking.
As I have mentioned previously, these don’t look great, but the kids seem to find the whole process using the peeling and coring machine mesmerising. Seb is always very excited when he can use this piece of equipment. I also love it when the kids ask to smell the spices and try to guess what we are going to use. They always get cinnamon and garlic right. In time I am hoping that they will recognise more scents as we use them more frequently.