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roasted potatoes

potatoes/ this is how we do it

This Is How We Do It: Roasted Potatoes

I remember being a kid at my family’s holiday dinner table, passing along the dish of boiled, buttered potatoes without a second thought. My potato world was so small. I wasn’t crazy about the buttered spuds, but they weren’t especially terrible. They were just there. The world is full of incredible potato preparations, and there are far too many ways to enjoy the humble tuber without ever settling for something boring. A frozen shredded potato has very little in common with the knobby, dirty, delectable gems you can find at farmer’s markets. When you can find them, the heirloom varieties benefit from simple preparations that don’t mask the potatoes’ earthy goodness.

I’ve fine-tuned my method for roasting potatoes over the years, and with my family’s feedback I’ve settled on this recipe. Roasting potatoes is not rocket science, but I’ve found that some can be overcooked on the outside while the inside is still raw, or the final dish comes out bland and boring. A light touch with the herbs and garlic enhances the potato flavor instead of masking it, and a touch of stock in the roasting pan provides a subtle, savory depth that sets these apart from every other pan-roasted spud I’ve tried. I never serve salmon without these, and I always make way too much because the leftovers are easy to repurpose.

I use the herbs from our garden, and the mix varies depending on what’s in season. My potato of choice is small, waxy, and colorful, if possible. Fingerling potatoes are fantastic, if you can get them. You can cut larger potatoes into smaller chunks; just try to avoid the big starchy potatoes, because they tend to fall apart when you cook them this way.

Start the potatoes in cold water, and they will cook uniformly. Pre-cooking the potatoes in water cuts down on your roasting time, and it results in a creamy-smooth texture inside the potato. I love to chop the leftovers and make a Spanish tortilla, frittata, or potato enchiladas. Smash them down a bit with the bottom a cast iron pan, fry them in a bit of oil, and you have some killer breakfast potatoes.
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This Is How We Do It: Roasted Potatoes

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 2 lb/ 907g small, round potatoes
  • 1 T finely chopped herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • stock or water, as needed (just a splash, really)

Instructions

1

Starting with cold water, bring the potatoes to a boil.

2

As soon as they boil, remove from heat and drain.

3

Combine the potatoes with the herbs, garlic, olive oil, and salt until well-coated. Don't allow them to cool.

4

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan or roasting pan.

5

Add enough stock to just barely cover the bottom of the pan.

6

Immediately place the potatoes in a 400°F/204°C oven.

7

Roast for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.

8

If the liquid totally evaporates and the garlic starts to get dark, add a bit more liquid.

9

Roast until the potatoes have gold spots, and the liquid has evaporated.

10

Check the seasoning, and serve.