Sunday, November 18, 2012

Perfect roasted potatoes

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Most people make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I do like mashed potatoes, but when it's my turn to make Thanksgiving dinner I sometimes opt for roasted potatoes instead of mashed.

Why roasted potatoes? I like the contrast between the chewy skin, creamy interior and crisp salty crust. I also find them easier than mashed potatoes because you aren't fussing with them at the last minute.

My roasted potatoes were only okay until I learned the secret of perfect roasted potatoes from Gisele Perez, owner of Small Pleasures Catering here in Los Angeles and a fellow food blogger at Pain Perdu. Here's the secret: After you cut them in half and toss them with olive oil and salt, you have to put them on the tray cut-side down. 

Duh. Can't believe I hadn't figured that out. (But thanks, Gisele, for improving my roasted potatoes forever.)

My favorite potatoes to use for this: Melissa's Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes, which are just the right size and bake up perfectly. Any small potatoes will do, though. Costco sometimes has big bags of yellow, red and purple fingerling potatoes. Those work fine with this roasting method and are extremely pretty.

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Perfect roasted potatoes
There's a very simple secret to roasting these baby potatoes so they're crisp and chewy on the outside while the inside stays creamy and soft: Put them on the baking sheet cut-side down.
  • 1 pound baby yellow potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or rub it with a thin film of olive oil.Wash the potatoes well and cut them in half lengthwise - you want the cut side to have as much surface area as possible. Put them in a big bowl and add the olive oil and salt. Toss well to make sure all of the potato surfaces are coated with the oil.Tip the potatoes onto the baking sheet and turn them over so they are all cut-side down. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake until the potatoes are soft, the skins are wrinkled and the cut sides of the potatoes are golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Pile the potatoes into a bowl and serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 servings


Anonymous said...

Prep time: 10 mins - yup
Cook time: 40 mins - 'bout right
Total time: 50 mins - adds up
Yield: 4-6 servings - HUH? 2 good 2 feed 4!

Erika Kerekes said...

@Anonymous - you are funny! :)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Yep,Erika, those are indeed Perfect Roasted Potatoes! Love roasted potatoes, and I learned the cut-side-down thing from my mother. It really does make all the difference. The gorgeous photo is making me hungry!

Sippity Sup said...

Follow this exact recipe with duck fat. OMG! GREG

Erika Kerekes said...

@Greg - you are so right.

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