18 Sep Perfect Crispy Creamy Roasted Potatoes
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This recipe will change your potato life. Seriously, I know what I’m talking about. We eat a lot of potatoes. Roasted, mashed, steamed, fried- my household loves potatoes (has anyone seen Farmer Tom? He’s so drenched in Irish and Scottish DNA he’s mistaken on a regular basis with some character from Game of Thrones. And I probably don’t have to tell you we got more than a few Hagrid shout-outs at Harry Potter World). Every potato lover needs this method up their sleeves, Irish or not. If you could have heard the moans of potato eating ecstasy coming from our kitchen table…you’d be a convert already. Yes, you will want to make these every night. This method comes straight out of the September issue of Bon Appetit. This recipe got me to subscribe to the magazine (so I can share more great tips with you ;)). I would have linked to the original recipe but I couldn’t find it online. No problem! I happily made another batch and photographed it for you just as they did. It’s so simple. The key? Steam before you roast. Brilliant!
Step 1: Pick out the Perfect Potatoes and halve them. Place a rack in the lowest position in your oven and preheat to 425. Halve lengthwise 2 pounds of small gold potatoes. Potatoes about 2 inches long will yield the ideal ratio of browned surface to creamy interior. (This is key, so you might have to be that farmers market or CSA customer sorting through the potato bin for the perfect size. I wouldn’t blame you one bit.)
Step 2: Add Water. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on a large rimmed baking sheet, spaced evenly. Pour in about 1 1/2 to 2 cups water- enough to cover the surface in a thin layer but not so much that the potatoes are floating and it spills as soon as you move the sheet.
Step 3: Seal to Steam. Cover baking sheet with a double layer of foil, crimping sides very tightly to seal well. This will trap in the steam and prevent water from sloshing out if you accidentally jostle the sheet.
Step 4: Bake and Test. Bake until a fork or skewer slides easily through potatoes 20-25 min. The foil will be puffed; pierce it with a fork or skewer and poke around for a couple of potatoes to test. (Since I want to keep using the same foil, I peeled back a corner to test a potato- but be careful of releasing steam in your face! It’s hot!)
Step 5: Remove Water. Let potatoes cool, still covered, another 5 min. Use tongs to peel back foil about 1 ” at one corner. You don’t want all the potatoes to slide out. Carefully tip sheet and pour off water (no photo but you get the picture). Turn oven up to 500 or as high as it goes.
Step 6: Oil and Toss. Remove foil. Drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil over potatoes. Season generously with salt and fresh ground pepper. Let potatoes cool to the point that you can handle them, then toss to coat.
Step 7: Roast! Arrange potatoes cut side down and roast uncovered, until skins are golden, cut sides are deeply browned and crisp, and you can see the edges frying and sizzling in the oil on the sheet, 20-25 min. (Trust me, you will be fighting over the crispiest ones so let it go as long as you can stand. The darker brown the better!)
Step 8: Enjoy! Let potatoes cool for a minute or two, then use a spatula to unstick them from the baking sheet. Serve them exactly as they are because they need absolutely nothing else. We had ours with sausage, tomato and cheese quiche and sautéed kale one night and with steak and green beans another. OMG. So. Good.
Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 12th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.