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Dec 25, 2006 01:27 AM

Okay to roast red potatoes?

This may be a silly question, but I'm new to making things like roasts and side dishes (I'm more of a baker, but trying to branch out this Christmas). I have some red potatoes on hand (are these the same as "new" potatoes? Some are small, the size I associate with "new," but others are slightly larger--2-3 inches in diameter). Are these okay for roasting? (I plan to parboil and then roast.) Or are they best just boiled? (These are left over from a potato salad I made by boiling the taters.)

Thanks in advance!

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  1. No need to boil. Cut into even sized pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, with some garlic cloves, and throw in the oven for 45-60 minutes, covered til the last 15 minutes or so. Should be great.

    9 Replies
    1. re: exbarkeep

      In addition to what exbarkeep said, add a little rosemary or thyme. Roasted red potatoes are wonderful.

      1. re: QueenB

        Both suggestions good. Keep the time to more like 45 minutes, and then see. I do mine uncovered the entire time. For an extra treat, cut a medium sized onion into quarters and roast them at the same time. Nice and sweet.

        1. re: concordjeff

          I agree with everyone and loved the addition of a large, roughly diced vidalia onion. I also like to get the potatoes and onions really browned. Leftovers work great smashed kind of like hashbrowns.

          1. re: Dax

            Yes, vidalia onion and even whole cloves of garlic.

            1. re: Dax

              What leftovers? Don't you finish up what's leftover while you are doing the dishes? I'm surprised I still wear a size 8! And DON'T peel your garlic, squeeze it out after it's roasted.

              1. re: personalcheffie

                I make up a huge bag of potatoes so there are plenty of extras!

                1. re: Dax

                  It won't matter how much you make. The real eating starts while you are in the kitchen cleaning up! That's when you can really sink your teeth into the food, and take your time about it. Wash and eat, dry and eat!

              2. re: Dax

                Cooking Vidalia onions this much turns them flavorless. Use a regular onion, which will turn sweet from roasting.
                Sweet onions do not retain their sweetness if cooked more than a few minutes.

                1. re: ghbrooklyn

                  Strange, I've been doing this for years and I could still taste the vidalia flavor (although obviously not as sweet as when raw). I'll try it your way next time.

        2. I understand that red potatoes are not "new potatoes", (necessarily). I grew up thinking all red potatoes were "new". My wife is a potato expert and educated me. I toss with olive oil and herbs...cut to equal size. Makes great potato salad, just toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, green onions.

          1 Reply
          1. re: OldTimer

            Thanks for the clarification, OldTimer. I think I had red, but not new. And thanks to everyone else--the roasted potatoes turned out just the way I wanted.

          2. As an alternative suggestion (for another time, of course) - The method I've been using is to cut the potatoes into chunks of about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in each dimension, and put these into a pot of cold water which I then bring to a boil, salting when it does that. Boil for about five minutes, drain, toss in the pot over the burner briefly to dry, then put them into a big bowl with olive oil (about half a cup per pound of potatoes), salt, pepper and some dry herb or another. Toss this around and let it sit while the iron skillet heats on the top shelf over the roasting whatever-it-is (chicken, usually), and then about 40 minutes before the roast is to come out dump potatoes, oil and all into the hot skillet and return it to the oven. After 25-30 minutes turn the potatoes over to brown the other side. You might need to roast a little more after the meat is done, just to get them good and brown. These come out very pleasantly crusty on the outside and almost fluffy within. I've used red potatoes, White Rose, white creamers and yellow Dutch potatoes for this, as well as mixed batches of the oddball varieties I can get at the Pasadena Farmer's Market.

            The leftovers, if any, are really good cut up and fried as breakfast potatoes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              Thanks--this is sort of what I had in mind when I mentioned boiling. Actually what I really had in mind was Nigella Lawson's method, as outlined in How to Eat: basically, parboil potatoes, shake roughly in dry hot pot with a bit of flour to rough up, then roast in olive oil to form yummy crust while ensuring soft insides. Oh well--next year!

              1. re: janbrady

                Just the starch brought out by the boiling is really enough to form a crust of the sort I prefer. I think a strong crust on potatoes must be an English thing; the fries at our best local fish'n'chips place, run by an excellent English cook, have a very stout crust with a fluffy interior. But Nigella's variation looks pretty good.