Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Baker's Corner: Oven Roasted Herbed Potatoes

Three cheers for December! I know it is still early you guys but I'm all set to ring in the holiday cheer 😊 The countdown has ended and tomorrow this time, I will be in India amidst loved ones *insert jumping up and down like an excited schoolgirl emoji*

The past few days have been insane - an extra busy work week compounded by packing, sorting, cleaning, shopping, Christmas baking and last minute catch-ups with friends. And in an unexpected turn of events, I had extended family visiting from India as well. In the midst of it all, I was hellbent on binge-watching season 2 & 3 of Narcos on Netflix and finishing this blog post so looking back, it was one heck of a week! I am so ready for a change of scene. As usual, my list of to-do's is longer than the Nile when I am on a trip back home. People to meet, food to eat, restaurants to check out, places to visit and most importantly, stuff to buy 😝 I've been reigning in my spending the past two months so I can let loose my crazy inner shopaholic in India 😂 I can't wait! In all probability, I won't be very active on the blog till next year but I'll be posting updates on Instagram so you can catch me there.

It is all about the humble spud today. I have for you a recipe for a side dish that is not only simple and universally loved but also looks appetizing, is hearty and delicious. So much win you guys! Roast potatoes are typically served alongside meat but I make them on certain weekends as part of a western full breakfast comprising of toast, eggs, baked beans, fruit and coffee. 

Potatoes are a huge favourite in my household. We consume more than I would care to admit and in every fathomable form (carbs be damned!). Oven roasted potatoes are not something I use potatoes for that often but of late I have started to. Now, right off the bat, let me tell you that this is a very easy recipe that comes together in about 30 min so I have bypassed the step of parboiling the potatoes which unquestionably results in superior roasted potatoes. Let's just say I'm lazy and I am satisfied with the potatoes this way so I am just going to claim laziness + ignorance = bliss! 

I prefer using the thin-skinned waxy potatoes for this recipe. You don't need to peel them and they roast really well. On the subject of flavour, you can tweak the spices and herbs (dried or fresh) depending on your liking. You can throw in some caramelized onions, toasty pine nuts or add in grated or crumbled cheese (parmesan, cheddar or feta work well). The dish is just that versatile.

Here is another variation of the exact same recipe I make using 3 medium-sized red potatoes cut into cubes. In addition to the ingredients mentioned in the recipe below, I used 1/4 tsp onion powder, 4-5 lightly crushed whole garlic pods with the skins on and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. So yum!



Lightly crisp on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside and bursting with that herbalicious flavour. With Christmas and New Year fast approaching, you will need this in your life so I'll leave you to it folks!

Oven Roasted Herbed Potatoes

Preparation time: 5-10 mins
Cook time: 25-30 mins
Serves: 4
Recipe category: Side Dish/American
Recipe level: Easy

Ingredients
10-12 baby yukon gold potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp freshly crushed black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, Optional
1/4 tsp dried Italian herbs

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 deg F/230 deg C.

2. Wash the potatoes and pat dry. Cut into half.



3. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes well with the oil, salt and spices.


4. Spread the potatoes in a large greased baking tray (or you can line the tray with lightly greased baking paper or foil for less clean-up) so that they are not touching each other. Drizzle any remaining oil in the bowl over the potatoes.


5. Bake at 450 deg F/230 deg C on the TOPMOST rack of the oven for approximately 25 minutes or more until potatoes are tender. Stir the potatoes once after about 15 minutes of baking so they brown on all sides. Test one potato by inserting a knife or a skewer in the middle. If it goes in without any resistance, the potatoes are done. 

6. Serve immediately while still warm




Notes:
  • You can use any of the following herbs in the dried or fresh form - rosemary, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. You could also use chopped scallions
  • If you don't have garlic salt, finely mince 2 pods of garlic and use instead
  • For extra garlic flavour, lightly pound a few whole garlic pods (with the skins on) and toss them along with the potatoes
  • You can use 1/4 tsp each of onion powder and smoked paprika in this recipe if you have it on hand
  • Instead of cayenne pepper, you can use a light sprinkling of dried red chilli flakes
  • The exact time of baking depends on how large the potato chunks are. Test them at the 25 minute mark. When you insert a knife into the potatoes it should go in fairly easily but the potatoes shouldn't fall apart
  • If you have leftover roasted potatoes, you could use them to make frittata, potato salad or a hash


Cheers,
Megha



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