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roasted potatoes

You know those great roasted potatoes that are crispy on the outside and wonderfully soft inside?
How do I get that to happen (temp and time, seasoning?)


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  1. There was a thread on this a few months ago. Methods vary, but mine is: Mix together olive oil (about 1/4 cup), dijon mustard (1 tsb), kosher salt, fresh ground spices, and herbs de Provence. If I have time, I also may add some minced garlic or onion. Coat quartered red potatoes in mixture and roast in a preheated oven at 450 for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally so all sides get browned.

    1 Reply
    1. re: masha

      "fresh ground spices" should read "fresh ground pepper."

    2. Agree with Masha's suggestions (I will have to try dijon with mine next time!).

      I generally use olive oil, rosemary, kosher salt, pepper and whole cloves of garlic (to ensure that the garlic does not burn during roasting). I might also suggest par boiling the potatoes prior to roasting. I've always had excellent luck when incorporating this extra step

      good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: jmullen1251

        When you say par boiling, how long does that mean (half time or what)?

      2. You could also parboil white roasting potatoes and then toss in hot goose fat heated in oven. Then roast. Very popular way to cook potatoes in the UK. There you can buy the goose fat in supermarket in containers.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cathodetube

          Nigella suggests the same, except half way through the 60 minute cooking time (in a really hot oven -- 450 or 500 -- she bashes up the taters a bit so there is more surface area and texture to get crunchy. I tried this method (fingerlings with olive oil mixed with a little bacon fat, salt, pepper and garlic) for Christmas and they were wonderful.

        2. Use Yukon Golds or the like. Parboil the potatoes, drain. When dry but still hot, toss them with your oil mixture. Banging them around a bit is fine-- the soft edges are sooo good when browned. I also really like the dijon mustard in the mix. I like them best tossed around a chicken in a hot cast iron skillet (make sure the pan isn't swimming in chicken fat), but any heavy sheet pan works. Hot oven- 425-450.

          1. I recently tried a stove top version. Put yukon golds single layer in a covered skillet, add chicken stock to a depth of ~1", cover and simmer, cook until tender, remove lid, add 3-4T of butter (depends on how many potatoes) and cook until chicken stock has evaporated, then push each potato until is cracks, cook until there is a crust on the bottom, turn potatoes and cook until a crust is formed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Alan408

              I saw a recipe like this in Cook's Illustrated and tried it. It turned out really well. The insides were really creamy and the outsides were crusty and they had great flavor. I think I sprinkled some cut chives over. I made this for a potluck and we had leftovers that went well with everything. Am planning to make another big batch to have for the week, because it's good as a side with almost anything.

            2. I make mine by parboiling the potatoes, and pre-heating the fat (I usually just use flavoured oil). I toss the potatoes in the hot oil, with a generous amount of salt and pepper, and then stick them in a very hot oven (450 - 500) for a good forty-five to fifty minutes. They always turn out really well for me and are usually a big hit.

              1. Can you (all) get the small potatoes we have here? Around one inch plus in diameter, the Venezuelans call them "papas Colombianas." Par boiled and then roasted - the best of all roasted potatoes. High skin to inside ratio!

                15 Replies
                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Better than fingerlings Sam? To my mind, the best are any kind, so long as they were dug up within the hour.

                  1. re: Joebob

                    Probably, but I don't know what fingerlings are.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Pretty much what they sound like: long, narrow. Bigger than a big person's finger, but not much.

                  2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    We can get baby potatoes a small version of a "new ," purple or red potato - they vary in size from one inch diameter to about 3 inches around...I quarter the big ones and halve the smaller ones so they're roughly the same size.

                    Fingerling potatoes (at least the ones we get) are sweeter than the average spud so make a nice sweet/savoury combo when roasted with onions and herbs. Fingerlings get their name from their shape, they look like long slightly crooked (and pudgy) fingers.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Sam, could your small potatoes be Oca, or what we call "yams" in New Zealand? They are beyond tasty when roasted, even with just a bit of olive oil and kosher salt! http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/pot... Unfortunately they are only in season a few months of the year, and I can't find them at all in New York when I'm there.

                      1. re: ideabaker

                        No, it is just one of the 3800 varieties of Andean potatoes. It is not one of the other Andean root and tuber crops that include: achira, ahipa, arracacha, maca, mashua, mauka, oca, ulluco, and yacón. I'm glad that oca has reached NZ. The International Potato Center in Peru is one of our sister agricultural reserch institutions; and they have done a lot to promote the use of the other Andean roots and tubers.

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          3,800 varieties??? Once again, you are schooling me.

                          Gosh, I just love the taste and texture of the Oca... don't even know if they'd grow in New York, with the latitude thing...would any of those Andean roots or tubers grow here? Nothing here tastes anywhere near as good (characteristic) as the ones I have over in NZ.

                          1. re: ideabaker

                            I don't know. In Colombia, I've seen arracacha grown where potatoes are grown. Potatoes and the other root and tuber crops of the Andes are produced in the same environments.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              Hmmm... am going to have to research that. It would be fabulous to be able to get to them in both countries! Til then will have to eat fingerlings and pretend I'm not thinking about yams...

                              1. re: ideabaker

                                The other Andean roots and tubers are closly related to potatoes and not yams. Happy new year!

                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                  Happy New Year to you, Sam... I have to ask... the NZ yams I sent the link for don't grow in the Andes as the ones you were talking about? Have you tasted the "yams" (Oca)? They are much more tart than a potato but with similar texture to a harder potato (one that is not mealy... the skin softens and then crisps up, the flavour of the skin penetrates the yam, and the center is soft but durable enough to sop up sauces yet not lose its shape). You will feel a new universe if you have them roasted... Olive Oil, Kosher salt, that's all. The yam takes care of the rest...

                                  1. re: ideabaker

                                    Although oca are called "New Zealand Yams" there - potatoes, yams, and oca all come from different families. The NZ yams = oca and are origainlly from the Andes. Regrading the link you sent: note that the photo comes from the International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru that I mentioned. The information does as well. I've eaten oca in rural Peru. Workshop participants at CIP often get fed the range of Andean non-potato roots and tubers at the lunches as a way to familiarize other agricultural scientists with the stuff. Oca is photoperiod sensitive: it wont grow where the day is lonoger than 13-14 hours. Outside of the Andes, fall frosts can kill the plants beforre harvest.

                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                      What a great group to belong to! You've probably tasted something even better than the Oca. Alas, the Oca has been my best experience with Andean Tubers/Roots. Just need to figure out how to get them in NY.

                                      Gardening is a big hobby of mine (particularly kitchen gardens) so plan to expand my NZ patch, which is substantial, during the U.S. winter, and my U.S. plot (significantly more tiny) during the NZ winter...will try Oca in both places and see what happens comparing the temperate climate with the subtropical.

                                      1. re: ideabaker

                                        Hmmm, the latitude of NZ and NY are failrly similar. If oca can be grown in NZ, it should be possible in NY.

                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                          Good point. Considering that it is below freezing and icy with snow here today, I'll use this indoor time to research growing methods, and best time to lay them down...

                    2. I'll use small red potoates, (unpeeled) just big enough potatoes that I can into quarters.
                      Then into a baking dish I put them with fresh garlic, and fresh rosemary, chopped fine, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. I drizzle olive oil over all, and then toss to coat all the potatoes. After all the potatoes are seasoned well, coated with olive oil, I'll dot with butter. Actually quite a bit.
                      I can't say exact measurements, because it's always different depending on how many potatoes. What is key is that you season the potatoes with all of the above to the point where it looks like maybe you have too much. (Potatoes do need a lot of seasoning) Then after I dot with butter, I cover with foil. I will pull them out a few times and toss them.
                      Man oh man does this dish ever smell good! Roast at 350 for 30 min or until they are just about fork tender, and then I take the foil off, continue to roast until fork tender. Now they will crisp up.
                      The foil helps cooks them with steam in the beginning. I've made these for years, and they are my favorite side to serve with my Chicken in a French mustard sauce or Salmon with French mustared sauce. The potatoes are perfect to sop up the sauce with.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        My way is very simple. Scrub Youkon golds' and then cut lengthwise into 8ths. Throw into a zip bag and pour in some olive oil to coat. Shake around and pour onto a foil lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with crushed rosemary( a tbsp. or more) , kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper. Put in a 375 oven for about 45 min. or so or until nice and brown.

                        1. re: pepperqueen

                          I heartily endorse the baggie method! I read with scorn recipe instructions that call for drizzling oil over ingredients in a sheet pan, then "tossing" - as in, on the floor?
                          Rather than wasting a zipper bag, a thin plastic bag from the produce department will suffice; twist it shut and hold the twist as you massage the contents. Flip the potatoes when one side browns and continue baking until the other side crisps up.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            Maybe it is one of those "in the wrist" things... we roast potatoes in a lipped pan, drizzle over oil and herbs and/or salt, then shake and "toss" them kind of like in a wok or sautee pan. I've only lost a few to the bottom of the oven in years of using this method, admittedly losing more in the earlier days...

                            Tossing (to me) has been preferable because more of the skin gets crispy from touching the bottom of the pan vs. turning once, where only two sides get that lovely crisp to them. I like the plastic bag method for coating, but there's something so fun (Like riding a roller coaster after eating a hot dog and drinking a milkshake) about the tossing...

                            1. re: greygarious

                              Personally, I try not to use disposable plastic bags (zippered or otherwise) when a reusable mixing bowl works just fine. I wisk the oil, mustard herbs, etc. together in a metal bowl, then place the potatoes in the bowl and roll them around in the oil mixture, using a spoon until they are all well-coated. Because I include dijon mustard in the mixture, it is well-emulsified and there is not an issue of the oil mixture separating

                              1. re: masha

                                Yes, being the klutz I am,When making these potatoes, I just do everything right in the same casserole dish the potatoes are in.
                                I am curious, am I the only one that covers with foil then uncovers?

                        2. I tried the boil-and-bake technique for Christmas dinner, and it was brilliant. I had previously just baked the potatoes, and it didn't turn out well for me. You'll need:

                          Potatoes (I used 3 potatoes that were the size of my hands. I don't know how heavy they were, since I didn't buy them. I assume they were about 2 1/2" lbs.).
                          Onions (If you dislike onions, this can be omitted. I added them for a little sweetness.)
                          Extra Virgin Olive Oil

                          1. Cut the washed potatoes and onions into approximately 1 1/2" chunks.
                          2. Throw the potatoes into cold salted water (because they might as well be cooking in there while the water heats up). The water should be salted like pasta (or, as they say, as salty as the sea). Boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender (which means that you can get a fork in them, but they're not completely cooked). Drain the potatoes from the water.
                          3. Get a baking pan and make a paste for the potato flavorings. You'll want a light sprinkling of salt, 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, and some dried rosemary, if you like that flavor. I would start with a teaspoon for the first time. Mix this into a paste, and throw the potatoes and onions into the baking pan. Toss the until everything's well-mixed.
                          4. Stick the pan into a 425-degree oven until it's roasted. I had my potatoes in there for about an hour. You'll want to turn the potatoes/onions mixture halfway during the cooking time.

                          Hope this helps!

                          1. An essential step for the perfect roast potatoes after parboiling and before tossing in oil and spices/herbs is sprinkling flour into the pan and coating. This makes them turn out crispier and browner when roasted. It's generally done here in the UK for roast dinners.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Paula76

                              I only make 'real' roast potatoes once a year because they are such an indulgence. I use Nigella Lawson's recipe which uses semolina (similar to Paula76, makes them crunchy). I also discovered on Christmas Day when I accidentally let them boil till almost done, that this increases the crisp to inner fluff ratio when roasted. I heat goose fat on the stove top, carefully add the potatoes and turn to coat and finish in a 425 oven for 45 mins to 1 hour. Crunchy golden deliciouness!

                            2. I have a slightly different technique than any of the posts here. I heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet (dry) over a medium high flame, then film with fat (usually olive oil, but can be anything, I guess that a big skillet will need about 2 tablespoons of fat. Butter should be clarified, or it will burn). Add any kind of well scrubbed potato, cut into halves, or quarters, or eighths, depending on the size of the potato (they are tastiest if there is at least one cut edge, I don't peel them). I use a big enough pan to allow the potatoes to be in a single layer, pretty crowded. Turn so any cut edges are lightly coated with fat. When sizzling, put into hot oven (425 F). After about 15 minutes, turn the next cut edge down using a spatula so the crust doesn't separate from the flesh, or if in half, turn over, return to oven, will usually be done in another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, salt and pepper, serve. I sometimes add fresh rosemary when I turn the potatoes, sometimes I add "softer" herbs like fresh thyme when I salt and pepper the potatoes when they are done. I like this method because there is no messing around with par-boiling, and it is easy to clean cast-iron, and it is a little faster since they go into the oven hot.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: dkenworthy

                                Hey this is different, I think I'll try this. So do you let a little crust develop?

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  Yes, after about 15 minutes in the oven, there should be a brown crust formed on the bottom cut edge. Since my cast iron is well-seasoned (many, many years old), I never have a problem with the crust sticking to the pan rather than the potato.

                              2. I use small potatoes whole, or else make quarters or other small-ish pieces. Yukons and red are favorites, but I have done this successfully with russets. I pour some olive oil in the bottom of my metal roasting pan, put in the potatoes, then cover with more oil, then toss well. I do not salt before cooking--I think they are crisper without salt or other moisture to start with. It is very important that the potatoes be in a single layer, otherwise they steam too much; my friend who uses Pyrex also does not get as much browning. Cover with foil and roast at 425 for 15-20 min. remove foil and roast another 15 min. remove pan from oven and carefully flip each potato. use a thin metal spatula so the brown parts don't stick to the pan. this is a pain, but it's worth it. when I have cut potatoes, I brown on two cut sides. after flipping, return to oven and roast another 15 min. now you have beautiful brown roasted potatoes that are soft and fluffy on the inside. when done, I sprinkle with s and p. Sometimes I toss with more olive oil, chopped rosemary, and/or chopped garlic.

                                1. In my experience the key to getting that crispy exterior is tossing them around in a colander or something similar to create rough edges. If the outside of the potato is smooth it tends to be a bit leathery, but the small protrusions and indentations caused by the edges of the colander holes get nice and crispy during the roasting process.

                                  My full recipe:
                                  1. Put potatoes in pot with cold water to cover. Turn stove on med-high, uncovered, till boiling. Leave on for 2 or 3 minutes after boiling begins.
                                  2. Drain potatoes in colander and toss until edges look rough. Don't toss too much or they will start to break up.
                                  3. Toss with olive oil in bowl, then add salt and rosemary and toss again.
                                  4. Spread on sheet pan, insert into oven preheated to 425 (temp may be a bit higher or lower in your oven). I usually just check them every 5-10 minutes for doneness, but in general about 40 minutes works well.

                                  1. My method is very simple, adapted from English recipes.
                                    Start with Yukon Gold potatoes. Peel, and cut into more-or-less uniform chunks: about a couple inches square.
                                    Parboil potatoes in water to cover, around five minutes. Using pot lid, drain away water, then hold the lid on firmly while giving the potatoes in the pot a few good brisk shakes. This roughens their surfaces, which leads to golden crunchy goodness later!
                                    Now, you must prepare the pan in which your potatoes will roast: add the fat, place in the oven, and heat until the fat is very hot indeed. I use duck fat, both for the flavour and for the high smoking point.
                                    Dump your drained potatoes into the prepared roasting pan- they should sizzle when they hit the fat, and this is very good- use a spoon to turn them quickly to coat all sides, then into the oven they go. Check on them every 15 or 20 minutes, turning them so they'll roast evenly on all sides.
                                    As the meat in the oven is probably roasting away at around 350 degrees, you may find these take around 20 minutes longer than the 45 minutes other commenters mention, but I think they're worth it- cooked to a golden crunch on the outside, and meltingly tender within.

                                    1. Indoor version:
                                      Preheat oven to 450. Spray a cookie sheet with canola oil. Cut yukon gold spuds into 1-inch-thick slabs. Put them on the cookie sheet. Spray the tops with canola oil. Dust lightly with paprika. Put in oven, turn down to 425. Turn them over if necessary, but it shouldn't be. Stick with a fork to test doneness.

                                      Outdoor version:
                                      Cut potatoes lengthwise into quarters. Toss in a large bowl with a couple spoonfuls of ice water and a generous shaking of salt. Mix in a bag: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup grated romano cheese, 1 tbsp. paprika, 1 tbsp. sugar. Shake. Add potato quarters 2 or 3 at a time, shake and turn till well coated. Plunk them onto a very hot grill out on the deck, sit down with your cold beer, and wait till they need to be turned. Cook these on HOT till they're just starting to blacken a bit on the edges.

                                      The sugar doesn't make them sweet -- it melts and makes them barely glazed. Perfect with steak or chops or burgers.

                                      1. I made a great discovery recently and thought I'd share. I ran out of aluminum foil which I always use to line baking pans. Instead, I lined the pan with parchment paper. and my pototoes turned out so incredibly crisp on the outside. I don't know what it is about it, but it works!
                                        I cut baking potatoes into 2 inch wedges, lightly (read, as light as possible) oiled with evoo, hit them with salt, pepper and finely chopped rosemary. Toss to coat, spread them out and bake at 425 for 30-35 min, turning once.
                                        Parchment paper. Who knew??

                                        1. Has anyone tried this? You boil smallish new potatoes whole, till tender. Then drain well. Meanwhile, heat about 1/4" of oil...I use a combo of olive oil and clarified butter...in a heavy skillet until nearly sizzling. Put the boiled potatoes in the oil, smash them with a spatula and then sprinkle seasoning on the top. When the bottom is good and crispy, turn them over, smash a bit further, and cook till that side is crispy. Drain for a minute or two on paper towels, add more salt and pepper (freshly ground, of course) and eat!! The sooner the better. You can use whatever seasonings you like, but to me these are best with just a bit of garlic powder and plenty of pepper and sea salt. You can top with sour cream, but again I don't like anything that interferes with their crispiness, although a bit of chopped parsley isn't a bad touch. I usually make a side of caramalised onions too, and eat a bite of onions with a bite of potato. Sauteed mushrooms also go well with these. In fact, I can make a meal of the potatoes along with the onions and mushrooms. SOOOO good.

                                          2 Replies
                                            1. re: FibroLady

                                              that technique reminds me of tostones! http://www.whats4eats.com/appetizers/...
                                              except, the "first round" of cooking for tostones is frying -- not boiling.

                                            2. BTW...I'm not sure I made it clear that I do this on the stove top, not in the oven. This is much faster, and you always have totally crispy 'outsides' and lovely, creamy interiors.