No, I didn’t eat the photos. I haven’t even eaten these potatoes all that recently, which is a tragedy, because they are possibly my favourite food in the world. And, actually, I probably do have photos of these potatoes somewhere, which I will add at a later date. But this post is a bit ad-hoc because I have become involved in Surprise Last-Minute Opera this week, and so my blog has been rather neglected (and probably will be for a few more days). I wanted to write something, at leastt so that you didn’t think I had run away to join the… opera… hmm…
(Actually, the opera thing is fairly exciting – I got this email on Monday that some singers from Opera Australia were putting on a small production of Tosca this weekend and needed a few more people for the chorus, so I duly put my hand up, had rehearsal on Tuesday and Wednesday, and will be singing tonight and tomorrow night – just two choruses, but hey, it’s a chance to see Tosca and sing some Puccini, neither of which are things I’ve done before. And it’s going to be a good and rather intimate performance, too – 5 soloists, ten or so people in the chorus, and all performed in a smallish church, so that the audience will really feel in the middle of things rather than at a distance.)
Anyway, recipe! Everyone always asks me for my roast potato recipe, and it’s not really a recipe, but since I can make it in my sleep – which, coincidentally, is about how I feel right now – here goes! These potatoes should be golden and crispy on the outside and nicely soft inside, with a happy garlicky rosemaryish personality. They go with everything. Personally, I like them with a tuna salad, because then I can pretend I am being healthy. Or alternatively, they are great as part of a whole collection of roasted vegetables which you might serve with meat or stuffed mushrooms, but could just as easily serve as their own meal, with a big bowl of pesto or salsa verde or garlicky white bean dip or aioli on the side. Yum. Why aren’t I having this for dinner tonight?
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(Oh dear. I really have no idea how many potatoes I usually use!)750 g potatoes. Maybe. Really, use however many you would normally use for a roast potato side dish. Do not use new potatoes – pick all-purpose or floury ones 2 red onions, sliced in the wrong direction so that they are little half moon shapes 3 tablespoons of olive oil. I am totally making this quantity up. a teaspoon or two of dried rosemary, or three sprigs of fresh rosemary 2 teaspoons or so of garlic powder. Yes, I know it’s disgusting, appalling stuff, but it is the best way to get the garlic flavour through the potatoes. salt, black pepper
Now what will you do with it?
Peel your potatoes, and chop them into large cubes or chunks. I like mine to be about an inch cubed or a little less, but sometimes I make them bigger, and that’s nice, too. And lower in fat, if that is important to you, though, honestly, if you are trying to make roast potatoes healthy you are missing the point, I think.
Put the potato chunks in a medium-large saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring the water to the boil, and let the potatoes cook for about 3 minutes – you want them about half cooked. Now would be a good time to slice your onions, actually.
Drain the potatoes, shaking the colander a little to give them rougher edges, and scatter them in a single layer on a (metal, non-stick) oven tray along with the onions. Sprinkle over the rosemary and garlic powder (or pull apart the rosemary sprigs and tuck them around the place, and drizzle with olive oil – you want everything to be lightly coated in the oil so that it doesn’t stick and does get all nice and crispy.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put into the oven at about 200°C (this is a matter for you and your oven to negotiate). Roast for about 15-20 minutes, then toss them around a bit so that the cooked bits are facing upward (you may need to add more oil at this point), and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until they are golden on the outside and soft and luscious inside. The time really is dependent on your oven, I’m afraid.
Serve, with joy!
Variations and notes
Firstly, you should know that the temperature does not have to be 200°C. I have put them in at 175 and at 230, and they have worked fine – you just adjust the time accordingly. HOWEVER – do not lower the temperature during cooking – whatever temperature you put them in at should be the lowest one you plan to have them at – you can raise it later, but lowering it once they are part cooked makes them go soggy rather than crisp. This is very sad.
Secondly, the best roast potatoes I have ever made are with the French Lavender Salt from Gewürzhaus. I use that instead of the salt, pepper, and garlic, but keep the rosemary. Amazing. If you can get hold of this ingredient, I recommend doing likewise.
It’s fun to tuck in some unpeeled garlic cloves among the potatoes – they roast to sweet softness and can be squeezed all over the potatoes, just in case they weren’t sufficiently garlicky yet. Is anything ever sufficiently garlicky? I think not.
I often throw in some carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes when I make this recipe – they don’t need par-boiling, and add a veneer of healthiness to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative of potatoey indulgence. Mushrooms and capsicums are good, too.
You can use just about any combination of herbs and spices known to man – I used some Panch Poron spices once, and they were amazing. And there’s a fabulous recipe in Cook Simple, by the way, for all sorts of orange vegetables with sweet and hot Indian spices, which is amazing. Yum.
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