Welcome to what is, apparently, a retro food – the criss-cross potato! This past Mother’s Day weekend, the hubby made us a wonderfully fantastic and simple meal of steak and potatoes. He asked if we should make criss-cross potatoes, something he and I haven’t had since the earlier years of our marriage. I remember them as quite tasty, though, so I was all for it. No cooking for this mom on Mom’s Day and steak and potatoes, too? Well, alright, alright, alright!
This is how to simplify your next backyard grilled side dish: go cheap with baking potatoes. Get ’em nice and big and most people probably will only be able to handle half of one. Hubby tells me that his mother would make criss-cross potatoes when they needed to pinch pennies, but still make something filling. These will definitely work! Most recipes I ran across for the spuds bake them in the oven, but we like to do ours on the grill in the summer. Not only is this absolutely essential so we don’t get the kitchen oven heating up the house, but the grill adds to the flavor.
So after you’ve cut your potatoes evenly in half, just take a sharp knife and carefully make crosshatch marks with the tip, about a quarter-inch into the potato. Make your marks in one direction, then flip the potato around and cross over those with more marks.
This step is essential. Brush the potatoes all over, cut sides and skin both, with melted butter. Grilled criss-cross potatoes are 100% delicious all over. The butter’s going to help the skin crisp up a little. I love those crispy skins, mmm hmm!
We season ours simply with salt and pepper, but if you have a special seasoning blend you like for your potatoes, feel free to throw in on these as well.
We like to use a charcoal grill whenever possible, but these can be done just as easily on a gas grill. You’ll need to get it up to around 350 degrees.
These were looking mighty fine at a little over the halfway mark. Up till now they have only been resting on their skin sides with the grill closed. Soon, though, they’ll get turned over for the last fifteen or so minutes to finish, allowing the tops to get a little crisp as well.
Oooooh yeah. Is the rest of the food ready yet? Because these little guys smell amazing just off the grill. They are hot and crisp and perfectly ready to be devoured.
Now what you need to do is take a fork and knife and cut into that slightly crisp cut side, kind of mashing the middle up a little bit. This makes the perfect potato crater to rest a nice dollop of butter and sour cream, all topped with bacon pieces. You could top these just about any way you like your usual baked potato served. Have your steak knife handy to get a nice piece of the crispy skin in each bite. Perfectly pairs with a juicy piece of steak, as it happens. Enjoy!
Grilled Criss-Cross Potatoes
from Full Fork Ahead
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: about 1 hour Level: Easy Makes: about 3 8oz. smoothies
- 4-5 large baking potatoes (or however many suits your number of people)
- 3-4 tablespoons butter, melted
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Optional toppings: Bacon, butter, sour cream, sliced green onions
Prepare and light a charcoal or gas grill, bringing it up to and maintaining around 350 degrees.
Scrub the potatoes and cut evenly in half length-wise. Score the cut sides with the tip of a sharp knife with criss-crossing lines. Brush all over, skin and cut sides both, with the melted butter. Sprinkle the cut sides with salt and pepper.
Place the potatoes, skin sides down, on the hot grill and close the lid. Bake the potatoes in the grill for about 40 – 45 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and continue to cook, cut sides down, for about another 10 – 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and slightly crisp. Serve with butter, sour cream or whatever other baked potato toppings you prefer.