February 13, 2012

Baked potatoes with lemon, feta, and herbs

Before the holiday break, the hubs and I were invited over for a Christmas party. We ate baked trout that was steamed in foil packets. The seasonings were simple: bay leaves, lemon slices, delicate garlic slices, and olive oil. It was divine. I try not to be judgmental with my vegetarian ways but hot damn that fish was unlike anything that could ever be recreated in the plant kingdom. So sometimes I cheat, but my vegetarian self always wins. I had to recreate those flavors. My idle time is not spent being bored. I got to work.

I use new potatoes, garlic, shallots, lots of fresh chopped parsley, lemon, capers, red kidney beans, generous pours of olive oil and capers. I carefully arrange everything in small cute foil pouches, and then away they go into the oven coming back steaming an hour later. 

Oh heaven. This is vegetarian comfort food. Just in time for Valentine's Day too. I'll cook you this meal if you can come up with a prettier name than what I named it =-). Yes. They are not really cute, the foil gives them a rather industrial appearance, but trust me these are delicious.

feta potatoes lemons beans
Unwrapped baked potatoes

I really wanted to make these last two images an animated gif. I resisted.

Baked potatoes with lemon, feta, and herbs
Serves: 4

1 packet of aluminum foil, or enough for 4 10" by 10" squares
4-6 small-medium new potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2" rounds
scant 1 cup fresh chopped parsley, can sub chopped dill
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 lemon sliced (enough for 1-2 slices in each pouch)
4 bay leaves
1-2 tsp capers (do not rinse them)
1/2 cup feta cheese 
1-2 cups cooked kidney beans (canned beans are fine)
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 ยบ F; arrange everything on a plate, and then lay out foil squares (10" by 10"). 
2. The order in which the ingredients go don't really matter, although it's probably easiest to start with the potatoes. Pour a bit of olive oil onto the middle of the foil. Place a bay leaf on top and then place about 6 slices of potatoes on top. Top with parsley, shallots, capers, garlic and lemon slices. Arrange feta cheese and beans on top. Pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top, crack some fresh black pepper on top, and then fold into pouches like folding an envelope.

Repeat with the ingredients to make 4 pouches. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for an hour or less. Serve with some warm crusty bread to soak up the juices.