Potatoes tend to be served up in one of three ways at my table, all of the variations special in their own way. There are the classic Perfect Mashed Potatoes, naturally, a favorite with my children, and oh-so-comforting. Puff-pastry wrapped Potato Strudel is an elegant side dish that has won many of you over with its surprisingly easy assembly and beautiful presentation.
And then there are roast potatoes. Crispy and golden, with creamy white interiors, infused with a rosemary-garlic oil. They have to be my favorite side to accompany everything from the Sunday roast to a batch of scrambled eggs for brunch. Don’t save them just for when company comes over, these roast potatoes are even simple enough to be cooked up with sausages or a ham for a weeknight dinner.
I make my roast potatoes two ways, depending on the meal. For an accompanying side dish to dinner, I cut them quite large, coat them in polenta for a bit of extra crunch and roast them in a generous amount of garlic and rosemary scented olive oil . The result is addictive and surprisingly upscale for a humble potato.
For breakfast and brunch, I cut potatoes into a large dice, cut down on the garlic, and roast them in a blazing hot oven for maximum crunch on the exterior.
I’ve included both recipes here.
|Polenta-Crusted Potatoes with Rosemary & Garlic||
- 2 pounds red potatoes (about 6-8 medium), peeled
- 2 Tablespoons polenta or cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
- 8-10 garlic cloves, peeled
- Cut each potato in half, then in half again, and again in half until you have 8 even chunks. Place in a medium pot with 1 teaspoon salt, cover with cold water and place over high heat.
- Bring potatoes to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and boil for ten minutes. Meanwhile, preheat to oven to 425°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together polenta, salt and pepper. Drain potatoes well in a colander. Sprinkle with polenta seasoning and toss gently to coat.
- In a large (12-inch) cast iron pan or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When small bubbles begin to rise (but before oil is smoking) and oil is very hot, add rosemary and garlic. Stir carefully with tongs for a minute.
- Add seasoned potatoes all at once to the hot, fragrant oil and arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet on the bottom shelf of the hot oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven carefully and turn each potato so the crispy side faces up. Return to oven for another five or ten minutes.
- Remove potatoes from oven and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a serving platter and serve at once. Cool, then strain and reserve the oil remaining in the pan for another use.
|Crispy Rosemary Hash Browns||
- 2 lbs peeled potatoes, cut into cubes
- 8-12 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons duck fat or bacon grease
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a medium pot, cover potato cubes with cold water. Toss in garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon salt. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the potatoes boil, remove from heat and drain well in a colander.
- In a large (12-inch) cast iron pan or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil and duck fat over high heat. When small bubbles begin to rise (but before oil is smoking) and oil is very hot, add rosemary. Stir carefully with tongs for a minute.
- Add potatoes and garlic cloves all at once to the hot, fragrant oil and carefully arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet on the bottom shelf of the hot oven and roast for 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and carefully stir the hash browns so they have a chance to brown evenly. Return to oven for another five minutes.
- Remove potatoes from oven and place on a stove burner set to medium high. Blast the potatoes for 2-3 minutes, stirring continually, until they become a dark golden brown. Remove from heat.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with fresh chopped rosemary, if desired, and serve at once.
- Cool the oil, then strain and reserve for another use.
What is one way you like to serve up the humble potato?