Love baked potato? Then I have just the right recipe for you to elevate it to a delicious main course.
One of my favourite childhood restaurants was the steakhouse – any steakhouse. Not because of the steaks. But I could have eaten baked potato with sour cream any day, every day.
Though I am looking for far more variation in my diet these days, I still love baked potato every now and then.
It’s a simple dish, put together fairly quickly (other then needing quite a bit of time in the oven) and typically pleases everybody around the table. And there are quite a few ways to beautifully enhance your humble baked potato.
OK, North Sea crab might not look particularly stunning at first sight. Compared to the visually enticing king crab, Dungeness crab or stone crabs for example, they do indeed look a bit – well, unimpressive and possibly not like something you would choose over other food if you are not familiar with it.
The reason North Sea crabs do not look like crabs at all is, they are no crabs. Even though North Sea Crab has become the official name, the species is part of the shrimp family. Most of the North Sea crab are fished in the southern parts of the North Sea (the coastlines of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany) whilst they can also be found in the Irish Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and even the Mediterranean Sea and along the Morocco coastline.
While this still does not make them visually more appealing, those in the know will put North Sea crab high on their list. Indeed, especially in the northern parts of Europe, they are hugely popular and come in a variety of dishes.
If you travel to the northern parts of Germany, chances are high you will come across the locally called Norddeutsche Krabbenbrötchen (bread topped with a thick layer of North Sea crab), which you really need to try at least once.
North Sea crab taste slightly nutty and spicy. They are fairly delicate and do not preserve for long. For that reason, North Sea crab will be usually cooked immediately after the catch, which gives them their slightly reddish-brown colour.
Wine pairing: What wine to drink with baked potato with North Sea Crab
The classic baked potato with sour cream pairs well with a large range of wines. From Pinot Noir to Beaujolais, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, rosé or sparkling wines, all will work very well.
But as we all know by now, what to look out for when choosing the best wine to pair to your food is the most dominant character of the dish, like a creamy sauce, seasonings, or how the dish is cooked.
If you serve your baked potato topped with North Sea Crab, I suggest going for a white wine. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling or a nice Albarino would all work well. As would a sparkling wine of course.
My pick for the baked potato with North Sea crab was a well-balanced, slightly creamy Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc).
One of four different styles of Pinot Blanc, Von Winning Weisser Burgunder Royale II is made from grapes grown in the prestigious vineyard of Ruppertsberg. The wine is completely barrel fermented and offers aromas of pear and quince with notes of cream. Smooth yet powerful on the palate, with a slightly nutty finish.
It is the ideal wine for shellfish, though it will also work well with salmon or tuna, mild and soft cheeses, and cured meat.
About Von Winning Winery
Should you ever plan to visit the German wine regions, I am hoping the Palatinate (Pfalz) is on top of your list. For one because of the excellent wines made in the area, but there are a lot more enticing reasons: The beautiful landscape (come in spring when the thousands of local almond trees are in bloom), fairy-tale historic little towns, an absolute amazing culinary scene with quite a few Michelin-stared restaurants and the most perfect little boutique hotels. Some of the later are found in several of the local wineries.
One of the excellent local wineries is Von Winning, located in the small wine town Deidesheim.
Founded in 1849, the winery quickly become one of the leading local and German wineries. Leopold von Winning, who took over the reigns of the winery in 1907 was indeed a founding member of VDP, Germany’s leading association of winegrowers dedicated to the highest standards and quality.
These standards prevail everywhere on the winery, from work in the vineyards to the wine making process as well as welcoming guests to the tasting room.
On site, located in the historic horse stables you will also find the beautiful Leopold Restaurant, named after Leopold von Winning, the winery’s founder. The restaurant serves traditional local dishes in a modern twist. Ingredients are all sourced locally, with some international highlights strewn in like the excellent Kobe beef.
Recipe: Baked Potato with Sour Cream and North Sea Crab
4 large baking potatoes
250 g sour cream
200 g crème fraiche
zest and juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ bunch dill
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
200 g North Sea Crab
olive oil, sea salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Wash and scrub the potatoes until clean. Pinch with a fork a few times. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.
Back for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Pierce with a fork to check if they have finished baking.
In the meantime, mix sour cream, crème fraiche, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix chopped dill, 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of salt, Worcester sauce, lemon juice and the North Sea Crab. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
Slice potatoes lengthwise in half and pinch them to open. Add sour cream and North Sea Crab on top.