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Making Roasted Potatoes
A potatoes lovers treat.
To be able to produce good roasted potatoes will ensure your reputation as a cook far and wide, guaranteeing that you are never short of guest for Sunday lunch. Everyone loves roasted potatoes, as much as if not more than french fries and it is difficult to cook too many. Those who are full of roast chicken and couldn't manage one more petit pois can often find room for another roast potato.
Roasted potatoes comes in various guises. Cooked around a roast in time honored fashion, they emerge chewy, bronzed, and saturated with juices from the roast, but we equally fond of them small and golden, masquerading as french fries. You can roast any type of potato, from big mealy baking potatoes to small waxy ones in their skins, with different ends results. You can roast them in a manner of ways, too dripping in goose fat, with a light slick of olive oil and smattering of coarse sea salt, with whole garlic cloves, thyme, and bay leaves for company.
The criticism so often leveled against convection ovens, that they dry food out as it cooks, is exactly what potatoes like best. Compared to roasting them in a gas or electric oven, is the difference between potatoes that struggle to crisp, and ones that are enviably golden all over with meltingly tender insides. Either way, for the best results settle your tray of potatoes on the top rack if they go below the roast it will likely steal their thunder.
Having potatoes the right size is a good start, to small and they will dry inside by the time the outside crisp, too large and you will bemoan the fact they are all insides and not enough shell. Small to medium potatoes should be halved, any bigger cut into four or even six pieces, depending on their size. If you'll forgive the pedantry, each piece should weigh about 3 ounces.
Potatoes will absorb almost any amount of butter you throw at them. There is no doubt that if allowed to drink it freely as they roast, you will end up with sensationally good potatoes. More usually, not least in the name of health, we roast them using extra virgin olive oil, which produces some of the crispiest potatoes. However, the finest roast potatoes of all are cooked in goose fat. It's worth keeping a jar of goose fat in the fridge solely for this purpose. It does at least have an almost indefinite shelf life.
A course-textured sea salt is needed, to enhance the crunchiness of the potatoes as well as the season them. Fine-running table salt is a no-no, it either has to be flakey natural sea salt or kosher salt.
If you follow these easy instructions you will come out with the best tasting potatoes you ever put in your mouth along with this article is a recipe for Crisp Roasted Potatoes for you to try.
Crisp Roasted Potatoes
Deliciously crisp potatoes to accompany the Sunday roast
Serves 4 people
2 pounds all purpose potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bring a large pan of salt water to a boil. Peel and cut up your potatoes. Add to the pan, cook for 8 minutes, then drain in a strainer and leave for a minute or two to dry a little. Return to the pan and shake, tossing the potatoes in the air until they appear textured and floury on the surface. You can be as rough as you like without risk of them breaking up.
Tip the potatoes into a roasting pan and trickle over some olive oil, without drowning them, they shouldn't be sitting in a pool of oil. Scatter over some sea salt, roast the potatoes for 1 hour, turning them half way through. They should be evenly golden all over, the color of a potato chip. If you are cooking them at the same time as a roast they may need a little longer cooking time.
If you want really great potatoes use 6 tablespoons of goose fat in lieu of olive oil
Butter basted roasted potatoes
First clarify 3 1/2 ounces 7 tables of unsalted butter, melt gently, skim off the surface foam, decant the clear yellow liquid, and discard the milky residue. Now roast your potatoes as above, but note that butter should swamp them. Turn and baste the potatoes several times during cooking.
I really hope that you find the information helpful, it works for me and if you follow these instructions you will make great potatoes every time.
The Handicapped Chef Carlton Haynes is owner of Triple H Catering and Consulting Service and Chef Brand Foods, for more information e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org .