Thursday, May 19, 2011

Recipe: Roasted Potatoes

In our house, we love potatoes!

While we prepare them in all different ways, this ranks as one of our top go-to recipes because of the wonderful crispy outside followed by a tender warm taste of the inside of a delicious, fresh potato. The only reason why we don't have them every time potatoes are around is that they take about 45 minutes to roast in the oven.

Step 1: Cleaning the Potatoes

OXO Good Grips Flexible Vegetable BrushI love cleaning potatoes (I know this is a little nutty...). My brother kept bugging me around my birthday for a gift idea and I just kept telling him, "I need a new veggie-cleaning brush and I don't feel like getting it myself." This annoyed him greatly, but he rose to the challenge and bought me the coolest-ever veggie cleaning brush by OXO. This thing is no joke and cleans my potatoes better than anything else.

I just grab a spud, grab the brush and scrub under a little running water. It helps me scrub away the frustrations of my day! Each potato takes just a couple of seconds with my new super-brush and now I realize how clean a potato can really get!

Step 2: Deciding How Many Potatoes You Should Use

OK, OK... We would probably have counted our potatoes before we washed them, but I forgot about it just then! How many potatoes do you want to prepare? I've looked at lots of different recipes - some tell you how many in weight, some tell you in cups and, to be honest with you I have come to the conclusion that, at least with potatoes, I am entirely too lazy to pull out all of the equipment required for these measurements.

Here's how I decide: I take a look at the potatoes I have and decide, how many of these each of us ("us" being the people at the dinner table) will want to eat. This is helpful for me because potatoes are all different sizes, so, for example, I may decide two potatoes for me and two for my husband, but they could be entirely different sizes, that are appropriate to our respective eating patterns and needs. Using this technique, I have never made too little or too much.

Step 3: Prepping Potatoes & the Oven

At this point you'll want to put the oven on at 425ยบ to preheat. While that's going, gather up some other stuff you'll need:
Cut each potato into close to uniform chunks (this is so they all cook at the same time). I usually shoot for one to two inch chunks.

Place the chucks into the baking pan and pour 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil over the potatoes.

Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, but be sure to save some for later to add to your liking.

Mix the potatoes, salt, pepper and the oil with your hands (this is the best way to ensure the oil gets all over every potato and it is also so wonderful to feel your food!).

Step 4: Cooking it Up! (and Getting on With the Rest of Your Meal)

This is actually the easiest step of all! Place your baking dish in the oven and let her go for about 20-22 minutes. At that point you want to get in there and turn the potatoes (I use a pair of thongs for this) so that both sides get nice and crispy. Then leave them in for another 20-22 minutes. You can check to see if they are done by poking a potato with a fork making sure the inside is tender.

When they are done, you can serve them warm with some salt and pepper and ENJOY!!

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