01 December 2012

Baked Potatoes With Bechamel, Guanciale and Chives


There is something about revisiting the past and discovering something new that gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  I had been out of the loop with my photography club for an embarrassingly long time so when I received a message about a meeting, I made sure I was there.   Ignoring the fever that had been keeping me in bed the whole week, I was bundled up until the ears with a thick scarf, thick coat and everything thick underneath, walking in the cold towards the pizzeria for our very first Friday night pizza meeting.   

I noticed that the group grew tenfold, the cameras around the necks were more advanced and the plans with the objective of enhancing our photography skills in frequent meetings was shaping up.  We were not just a group of camera-enthusiasts taking pictures together anymore.  The club was veering to a more productive approach.  It's aiming at taking out the photographers in us, with each other's help. 


In line with the past, I took out this 2-year old recipe from my archive intending to change the photos to better ones. I had been revisiting old recipes lately and waving my magic wand on the pictures I initially posted at the beginning of my blogging to change to more current (and better!) ones.  I started baking the potatoes with the intention of changing the pictures of the old baked potato recipe I have but seeing that I don't have all the ingredients, I maneuvered to a different path of discovery.  I went for a simpler, yet tasty baked potato recipe with guanciale, bechamel & chives.  It reminded me why I love baked potatoes so much. 


Buon appetito!  



Baked Potatoes With Bechamel, Guanciale and Chives

Ingredients:
Serves 4
  • 4 big potatoes, scrubbed well and dried
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1/4 cup guanciale, diced (if you can't find it, replace with pancetta or bacon)  
  • 200 ml. bechamel sauce (see recipe below)
  • fresh chives, finely chopped
Directions:
  1. Make an cross incision on top of each of the potatoes.
  2. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Bake at a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for 1 hour or until cooked through.
  4. While waiting, toast the guanciale in a saucepan without oil.  Set aside.
  5. Prepare the bechamel.  Refer to recipe below.
  6. After taking the potatoes out of the oven, pour the bechamel on top.  Sprinkle with the toasted guanciale and finely chopped chives.
  7. Serve while still hot.

Bechamel

  • 20 g. butter
  • 20 g. flour
  • 200 ml. milk
  • nutmeg, grated at the moment
  • salt
  1. Over low - medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan.  
  2. Stir in the flour with a small whisk until the roux is thick.
  3. Add the milk and keep on whisking.  Maintain a very low fire.
  4. Add the grated nutmeg and salt according to taste.
  5. Take away from the fire when the mixture becomes thick.



14 comments:

  1. Your photography is pretty awesome!!

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  2. Lovely appetizer for upcoming holidays. I love your photography, so clean and crisp. The colors are always vibrant! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you Yelena! Enjoy your week too!

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  3. I hope you are feeling better, Rowena! Your baked potatoes look like bundles of pure comfort for a cold night! :)

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    1. On the way to getting back on my feet. Thanks Laura! They are really nice when eaten warm while you scoop out the pulp. Yum! And it's so easy to do too!

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  4. That's such an interesting plate in the photos. I have been changing out some of my initial photos too - they were truly awful. I love the look of those potatoes.

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    1. Us bloggers and our initial photos. I can't even look at some of them! Thanks Suzanne!

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  5. I wish I could take such mouthwatering food photos! The potatoes are mouthwatering!

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    1. Oh, you will! It just takes practice. :-)

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  6. I hope you are feeling better Rowena. Your photos are always beautiful! Baked potatoes are among my favorite side dishes and this recipe is a winner. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I'm feeling much better now, thanks Nancy! A compliment from you is a treasure because you are THE photographer! Thanks!

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  7. Your photographs are always so airy and bright...like perpetual summer, hehehe. And these baked potatoes? Classic with an Italian twist (guanciale)! Drool-worthy! Worth breaking my diet plans for! Hope you feel better now...

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    1. No, don't break your die Jen! LOL! But the baked potatoes were great. :-)

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