Monday, September 7, 2009

Perfect Crispy Potatoes & Happy Labor Day

Potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes-- boiled, roasted, mashed and sometimes fried. Spuds rule in my kitchen, and they are a staple.  I have mastered the art of perfect creamy garlic mashed potatoes.  I have had great luck with one of my most viewed posts for heavenly (and healthy) version of "Garlic Oven Fries".  "Pioneer Woman's Crash Potatoes are hugely popular on our dinner table, too. Thanks to Food Network's newest star, Melissa d'Arabian,   I have found a fool-proof way to master crispy potatoes. I have an easy recipe for stove top cracked fingerling potatoes that has been my faithful busy work night "go to", but I think this recipe has moved up a few notches as one my favorite way to serve potatoes.

What's so special about this recipe? I'd say it's more of a technique that involves three cooking steps-- saute', steam and roast.  I made this side dish to accompany Melissa's Crispy Skinned Easy Chicken a l'Orange.

You will need a skillet with a lid and a baking sheet-- unless you have an oven-proof skillet that is large enough to spread an even layer of potatoes. I'll show you what I mean in a moment.  Preheat your oven to 375F.

Start with three Russett potaotes (you could easily substitute Yukon Golds or Red Bliss potaotes, skin on).
Peel them, and dice them into uniform cubes-- like this:

Next, coat your skillet with olive oil-- not too much-- and heat on medium-high heat. Add the diced potatoes and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. NOTE: I never use table salt for cooking. If you do use table salt, try kosher. You will never go back!
Saute' for about five minutes...

Next, turn the pan to HIGH add about 3 Tablespoons of water, stir and cover the pan with the lid.
Steam the potatoes until the water evaporates, about 3 or 4 more minutes. (Every 1 to 2 minutes, open the lid long enough to stir the potatoes so they don't stick.)Lower the heat to medium, and saute another 1 to 2 minutes until all traces of water are gone.

 Now, add a pat of unsalted butter (no margarine, please... butter has better flavor). Gently stir the potatoes to melt the butter and to coat the potatoes.  I added a little bit of garlic powder-- about 1/2 teaspoon for extra flavor.

Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet. For easier cleanup, I like to coat my baking sheets with foil, sprayed with a little olive oil spray. Bake in the oven until the potatoes are crisp and browned to your liking, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on how dark you want them.

 If you click on this photo, you will see how these potatoes were sizzling hot.  I decided to garnish these with a little fresh parsley, from my herb garden. (Next time, I will try adding bacon and onions...maybe even chopped bell peppers) for a different version.)

These made a perfect side dish for this Easy Chicken a l'Orange dish.
Using this same technique, I made an excellent sweet potato hash recipe that I will post in the next few days. I can't wait to show you-- but it's Labor Day and I am busy preparing Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip (with newer and better photos) and Pioneer Woman's Beans. For dessert-- I've got about 50 possibilites to choose from.
To those of you who are using today to rest from your job-- enjoy! My thoughts and prayers are with the multitudes of people who are still looking for employment. I know a few, personally...  I hope your prayers are answered soon.
Happy Labor Day!

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pcdennis1 said...

Deb, these look FABULOUS! I will definitely give them a try and soon, too. P.S. I also love PW's crash potatoes and your smashed fingerlings. You are quite the potato gal!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Thanks, Cindi! It's nice to see you leaving a comment. I can't wait to hear how you like these.

Kim said...

I love having potatoes too. Good thing they keep so well in the pantry! These look fantastic. I can't say I've ever cooked them this way before, but I definitely want to give it a try.

Wyn said...

My husband totally agrees with you. A supper without potatoes just simply isn't supper! Your pictures look yummy.

Monica H said...

I love crispy potatoes, especially with breakfast and some rummy eggs- yum!

I've never steamed them or put them in the oven, I just do them on the stove top and they're perfect every time (so long as you don't burn 'em!)

These look yummy!

Cheryl said...

OMG those look so good, I keep forgetting my TIVO up to tape her show, going to do it now before i forget again!

Danielle said...

i love potatoes!!! espescially when they're crispy.

Muneeba said...

These could be the perfect accompaniment to anything for me ... or even just by themselves with a dash of ketchup ;) Thks for this easy recipe .. I can totally do this!

Stacy said...

I made these tonight, and after 35 minutes in the oven (which I eventually increased to 450 degrees) they were still not getting brown. Delicious, yes, but not crispy. I think they need a little oil when they go into the oven.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Stacy, I'm sorry you had trouble with this. I didn't touch up my photos at all. Mine browned beautifully. Have you calibrated your oven? Turning up the heat should do it, but I found that blending the butter, evenly, helped with the browning.