Friday, April 27, 2018

Herbed Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Yukon gold potatoes.  Russets
are starchier and crisp up more easily,
but this batch came out perfect anyway.

     This recipe produces potatoes with intense flavor and perfect texturewithout help from common allergens such as dairy (milk, cream, butter, cheese) or flour. 

     2 lb. potatoes, washed 
and peeled
     1 Tb. salt
     1/4 tsp. baking soda
     1/2 c. fresh Italian 
parsley (See Produce in the Glossary)
     1/4 c. fresh basil leaves (See Produce in the Glossary)
     1 Tb. fresh rosemary leaves (See Produce in the Glossary)
     1 Tb. fresh thyme leaves (See Produce in the Glossary)
      2 cloves garlic, minced
     1/4 c. olive oil or other oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     Wash and dry the herbs, and chop them fine. Cut the potatoes into large chunks (4 to 8 chunks per potato, depending on the size of the potato).

     Preheat oven to 450 F. 

     Bring 1 quart of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt, baking soda and potatoes. Bring back to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are pretty much softened up. Drain.

     Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the herbs and garlic and saute gently until the garlic is cooked but not browned. Put in a strainer over a small bowl. Apply pressure with the back of a spoon; you should retrieve a couple tablespoons or so of the oil. Refrigerate the sauteed herbs. Toss the potato chunks vigorously with the oil. The potatoes will have an odd gooey appearance. Do not be alarmed: this means that the baking soda has done its job and the potato chunks are coated with starch and ready to crisp up. 

     Spread the potato chunks out on a cooky sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Scrape them off the cooky sheet with a spatula and flip them over. Continue baking until nicely browned and crisp, another 30-40 minutes, occasionally tossing with a spatula. Toss with the herbs and serve hot.

     Note that if you toss raw herbs and garlic with potatoes and roast them in the oven together, it is likely that the herbs and garlic will scorch before the potatoes are done, giving your dish a nasty, acrid flavor. Don't do that.

Variations:  You can, of course, give your roasted potatoes different flavors by varying your choice of herbs. For plain roasted potatoes, just toss the boiled potato chunks with 2-3 Tb. of oil.

     Deep-frying the treated potato chunks works well too.