Monday, November 14, 2005


Roasted Potatoes

I am once again visiting the realm of roasting. Hmmm. Must be something to do with the early nights. Sigh. Well, that and I was inspired by an early post on Rock n' Roll Kitchen, where my favorite guitar slinger is cooking up a storm.

So today I will cover for you, my dear readers, the art of roasting most-awesome potatoes. I love them little spuds when they are done to perfection, but it is a rare thing indeed. Seems that most people (restaurants that is) buy frozen bits that never quite get crisp, or do something to make them extremely dense, or worst of all, they are served undercooked. Shudder. Since they are simple enough to make at home, and work as a breakfast, lunch or dinner treat, I say eschew the whole thing and whip them up for your own rock-star selves. For breakfast, I would add garlic, onion and some bell pepper to the roasting pan, for lunch make them into a roasted veg and pesto potato salad. For dinner, well, they are perfect all on their own next to a juicy steak or simply dusted with some smoky paprika. Seemingly unsophisticated tubers brought to your table as a dizzying dish. It's all about the care you put into it.

There are a few ways to make sure your potatoes come out crispy on the exterior, with an excellent salt crunch, and as creamy as can be on the inside. I go with a two step process that I promise, if you follow correctly, cannot fail.

First off, pick the right kind of potatoes. I use (and urge you to also use) creamers, also known as the waxy type. The moisture content is high enough that they won't get fluffy, and instead the interior will become smooth and supple. Choosing golden colored minis, red bliss and rose apple finns are a good start, but any old creamer (small, round) will do.

Scrub the potatoes well under cold water. They grew underground and we want them clean, ya? When they are dirt free, slice them in half. Unless they are quite large, I suggest this as the maximum amount of cuts. More exposed sides and you have to turn them half way through cooking.

Fill a pot with cold water, a good large pinch of salt and the potatoes. The rule is if it spends it's life underground, you start cooking it in cold water (versus boiling the water first.) Bring to a boil, and let simmer until just soft. This depends on your altitude and the amount of potatoes, but you should start checking (inserting a knife to see if it goes through one with relative ease) after about 8 minutes. They shouldn't take very much more than 15 minutes tops.

When the potatoes are just cooked, pour off the water and let drain until quite dry. If you want to eat the potatoes the next day, you can refrigerate at this point.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil (don't use a silpat here, it doesn't give the same results) and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Place the potatoes cut side down onto the pan, salt liberally and roast for 30-45 minutes or until browned.

And that kids, is all there is to it! Voila! Perfect potatoes every time, so long as you pay attention...


Don't refrigerate uncooked potatoes--doing so converts some of the starch to sugar. And don't expose them to direct sunlight, which turns them green and makes them bitter.

Jell-O was invented in 1897 by Mr. Pearle B. Wait in Leroy, NY. Of all of the Jell-O flavors, only cranberry contains real fruit -

The Pauliesaurus Rex is a 10-pound, 28-inch pizza that serves 12 to 20 adults. As part of a contest, Paulie's Pizza of New Brunswick, New Jersey will award money to a pair of eaters who successfully eat the pie inside the store within one hour. Each time challengers fail — yesterday marked the third such time — the pot goes up $25. Challengers, who cannot leave the dining area at all during the contest, must call a day in advance for a reservation. The meat-lover's pie, costs $50. The Easton Avenue business had to have wooden pizza peels and carry-out boxes specially made to accommodate the Pauliesaurus, perhaps the biggest pie in the state, (GM Louis) Ford said. Paulie sells a few such pies each week to those having parties or special events where several guests are invited. - The Home News Tribune (

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Rachael--Roasted potatoes might be my ultimate comfort food. They always hit the spot.

I think it was Giada that I saw recently boil potatoes by putting them in a pot of already-boiling water. I was shocked, because even I know to start them in cold water...
Well, to each their own I guess...weird though...
Thanks for the tips. I love roasted potatoes, but never quite figured out how to get that flavorful browning on the cut sides. (I would always toss cut uncooked potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast, turning now and then)
That's a really good tip on not fridg'ing uncooked spuds. I didn't know that at all. Sometimes i do, I won't anymore....

Marc - I was all about that method for ages, and always wondered why they never came out right...thats how I came to boiling first. Its the perfect solution.
FYI to everyone who linked here from A Veggie Venture. The recipe she made there is NOT this recipe, the one she made (and was dissapointed in) was NOT mine, it was from a magazine. I didn't feel she was very clear on that, so wanted to point it out here. Phew.

(Check out what I mean, here


THESE potatoes are heavenly.
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