"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Crashed egg over roasted potatoes — FAIL

by Julie Tilsner on February 5, 2010

in Good Ideas Gone Bad

Crashed.egg What the hell was I thinking? Oh yes, I remember. I was thinking I could cook better than I can.

Well, it's always good to stay humble. 

See, I thought I'd discovered the secret to making perfect roasted potatoes. And last week, I set out to make them. Emboldened by a couple of strong beers, I thought, hey, why not try that outrageous tapas I had up in San Francisco for the BlogHer Food Conference. It was called "Crashed egg over roasted potatoes," and if I now could make flawless potatoes, how hard would dumping an egg over the top be?

All I was missing was the prosciutto, and I could live without it. I'd already been to Trader's twice that day, (possibly a third time, it's all a blur) and on principal I refused to go back. So no prosciutto. If memory served, proper seasoning would suffice.

So I chopped up my Yukon B's into bite-sized chunks. The "secret" called for par-boiling for five minutes first, before roasting.

Bad Home Cooking tip: Don't go on Facebook when par-boiling anything.In fact, just turn the damn computer off when cooking, OK? I'm talking to myself, but you might as well listen in since you're here. It's slowly dawning on me that I can't imbibe, listen to music, parent or even converse while cooking if I hope to make something come out according to plan.

The potatoes, in small bite-sized chunks, were now only a few minutes from being cooked through. This meant that after I did "the shake," to rough them up a bit in preparation for the perfect roasted crust, I was left with half-mashed potatoes instead.

No matter! So what? I forged ahead. While they were cooking I was left to ponder: what exactly does "crashed egg" mean anyhow? I had assumed it was some quaint Spanish mis-translation of fried egg, but maybe not?  Maybe I was supposed to poach it? Or maybe the heat of the potatoes would sort of cook it if you "crashed" it on top of them just out of the oven. It was a mystery indeed. This might be a problem.

The roasted potatoes came out more like hashed browns, not the golden-brown triangles you see in the photo above. I put some on two plates and tried a fried egg on one. Meh. I tried my "crashed" egg theory on the other. Oh dear. That wasn't it, either.

In fact, the results were so poor I couldn't even get a decent picture. The photo above is what the fine professionals at the Tapas place made. Maybe I should have asked some questions before I left.

But in a last-minute save of sorts, a girlfriend came over later that night and began picking at the pan. "Your roast potatoes are delicious," she said. Finish them off, I told her. Please. And enjoy. And she did. And that made me feel a little better.

For next time: Turn off all distracting media, hide the alcohol and give this a redo. Seriously, how hard can it be really? It's potatoes and eggs, for God's sake.

At least you can all bask in the knowledge that I will never cook as well as you do.

Stay tuned.

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