Our winner for the MasterChef Canada 2018 competition, Irene Leung, shared her recipe for Little Potato Roses with us, and the secret to making perfectly-shaped potato petals every time:
After some research and test trials, I discovered the two secrets to keeping these Little Potato Roses intact without the petals flopping over when you remove them after cooking are to line the muffin cups with bacon strips along the sides and bottom. Then, fill the cup with a layer of mashed Little potatoes to set the petal slices in so they stay put when you assemble each slice around the cup to make your rose shape. They crisp up nicely just at the tips of the petals and has a creamy taste with the mashed potatoes. Plus, the crispy salty bacon taste enhances the potato flavor.
- Muffin Tin
Mashed Potato Base:
- 8 Little Potatoes
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 18 Little Potatoes
- 1/2 tsp Granulated garlic
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 10 strips Bacon, cooked (not crispy)
Place eight potatoes for mashing and one teaspoon salt in a saucepan or pot filled with about eight cups of water and bring to a boil.
When boiled, simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until soft and done. Using tongs or a handled strainer sieve, lift the potatoes out and place in a bowl while still hot ready for mashing. Reserve hot water for the petals.
While waiting for the eight potatoes for mashing to cook, slice the rest of the 18 potatoes thinly with either a mandolin or an adjustable hand-held vegetable slicer to about 2 to 3 millimeters thick.
Wash and rinse the potato slices. Place the slices in the saucepan with the water that was previously used for the mashed potatoes, adding more water to cover the tops if necessary. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes until you can poke with a fork or knife but still firm and on the raw side. Do not overcook, or it will be hard to poke into the mashed potatoes to form the rose shape.
Immediately, strain the potato slices, and place in cold running water to stop the cooking process. Add ice into the water and let sit until potatoes are cooled. Strain in colander and let dry.
While the potato slices are cooking, work on mashed potatoes:
Place one tablespoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper with cooked whole potatoes and mash with the skins on until smooth (Skins not noticeable since at the bottom and more fiber!). Set aside and cool.
After potato slices are dried, place them in a big bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoon canola oil. Toss gently with big spoon, or use your fingers like tossing a salad to incorporate everything. Set aside.
Mix one egg yolk into cooled mashed potatoes. Set aside.
Spray muffin tin on sides and bottoms of each of the six cups.
Depending on how wide your cooked bacon strips are, trim them to be about 3/4 inches wide so they can fit around the wall of the cup so there is no bacon sticking out from the top—just about flush with the tin. Reserve the trimmed pieces for the bottoms. Overlap the two ends so you don't see any metal. Do for all six cups. If there is a gap where the bacon ends come together, just cut a small piece to cover the area. From the remaining 3 to 4 strips of bacon, cut a piece big enough to cover the bottoms of the six cups overlapping slightly to the sides. Use the remaining excess trimmed pieces if any to fill any gaps.
Place about one tablespoon or more of the mashed potatoes on the bottoms of the bacon-lined cups, smoothing it out even (about 1/4 inch depth). Select the largest slices for the outside petals, and carefully set a slice of the potato into the mashed potato bottom and go all around, overlapping the remaining slices in one direction using smaller ones as you reach the middle. Tuck a slice here and there to fill in any gaps to make a rose shape.
Spray the tops with cooking spray.
Place in the middle of a 325°F pre-heated oven with a convection bake feature for 50 minutes, turning it 180 degrees around after 25 minutes of cooking time to ensure even cooking. Bake a bit more until the tops of the petals are lightly golden browned and crispy, and check with a fork to see if the bacon has firmed and can be lifted out intact. Using a fork and a pair of tongs, carefully lift each rose out and serve.