Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Classic Roasted Red Potatoes – Overlooked and Essential

This roasted red potatoes recipe is one of those food wishes that seems so basic I tend to pass it over for the more provocative requests. I’m sure this has been asked for dozens of times, and yet 725 videos in, I still hadn't posted this iconic side dish. Well, that madness ends today.

While I may take this procedure for granted, it really is a technique that should be mastered by all home cooks. There are three key elements necessary to achieve roasted red potato nirvana. You need a heavy, shallow roasting pan or baking dish, lots of olive oil, and the most precious ingredient of all…time.

I use a Le Creuset, which is glazed cast iron, but any heavy-duty pan should work. No need for expensive extra virgin olive oil for this; just choose whatever you’d use to sauté onions and peppers for Italian sausage, which, coincidentally, would pair awesomely with roasted red potatoes. As for the relatively long cooking time, we make no apologies.

These are technically overcooked, but that’s what it takes to get that perfect marriage of crispy-crusty outside and creamy-soft inside. The only real way to lose at this is to undercook the potatoes. This is considered a crime against nature, and will not be tolerated.

I served mine next to some grilled bass, which was topped with a very garlicky sauce, so I didn’t add any to my potatoes. If you do want some garlic flavor, add some crushed cloves to hot olive oil, and let it sit for an hour. Then strain and use olive oil as shown.

Anyway, I'm sorry I didn’t post this great recipe sooner, and I’ll be sure to pay more attention to these types of requests. This is the kind of beautifully humble dish that makes any meal better, and is more than worth learning to make well. I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions Roasted Red Potatoes:
2 pounds red potatoes, cut in evenly-sized pieces
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
thyme sprigs, add whole and remove barren twigs after cooked
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded, cut in chunks