Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Perfect Roast Potatoes

Yes, i know, i fail again, posting these two days after the day it was important...but at least next weekend you'll have both recipes to try out! There's no real science to these, and assuming you follow the steps each time, you should have perfectly turned out roasties every time.

You will need the following ingredients:

500g (Roughly 1lb) of Potatoes
Tablespoon of Peanut or Grape Nut Oil
Garlic Powder
Sea Salt

Utensils needed:

Medium Saucepan
Roasting Tin
Sharp Knife
Chopping Board

As always, preheat the oven before you start. Set it to Gas Mark 5 (375° Fahrenheit / 190° Celsius). Prep your roasting tin first. Pour the oil into the tin, and try and spread the oil to all the corners of the tin. I use peanut or grape nut oil primarily due to it being far healthier than sunflower or rapeseed (canola) oil, as well as having a high flashpoint. Sprinkle a little of the Garlic Powder into the tin, try not to use too much. You can use a crushed or chopped clove of garlic if you prefer, although you stand the risk of getting burnt, roasted bits of garlic on your potato's, so i stick to the powdered - the taste is much the same. Sprinkle a large pinch of sea salt into the pan. Try not to use iodised powdery salt - it's overpowering and easy to use too much of it.

DON'T PEEL YOUR POTATO'S! The skin contains a lot of the potato's nutrients for one, and without the skin, the potatoes won't crisp up as much. However, de-eye them and chop out any bad bits, then chop your potato's into quarters, or however you like them. I recommend smaller chunks for quicker cooking, and easily managed portions.

Place the potatoes into your saucepan, and add another large pinch of salt, then cover over with boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for roughly 15 minutes.

This is a process called 'par-boiling', you're breaking down the starches inside the potato, softening them just enough, and also making them moist in the middle. Roasting a potato from raw makes them dry and a little tasteless.

Strain them off with a colander, and decant them into the roasting tin. Due to the loss of moisture when roasting, the potatoes *will* shrink a little, so you can usually fit a few more potatoes in the tin than you might think! Shake the tin so you can the garlic oil all over the potato's as much as possible - the edges of the potatoes will fluff up, don't worry about this, it's exactly what we're after.

All that's left now, is to add them to the oven. Assuming you're doing them alongside the chicken in the recipe below, and started the boiling the potato's at the same time you put the chicken in the oven, the remaining time should be more than sufficient. A little trick to make them extra crispy, is 15 minutes before the oven timer runs out, take the potatoes out of the oven, and using a pallet knife if necessary, flip the potato's around, again re-coating them in the oil, on the sides that haven't been crisped up.

The end result should look like this:

As with all the recipes i upload - i'd love to hear any feedback from you if you try this recipe!

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