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Roasted Potatoes, Done Right

April 8, 2014

The right kind of spud makes the difference


You’d think that roasting potatoes would be like baking them. You turn on the oven, open the door, throw them in, done deal. Except if you did that, you’d end up with half the potatoes stuck to the pan. And if you didn’t first consider temperature and seasoning and the type of potato to use, you might get the kind of wilted, soggy ones you find at a hotel brunch buffet. This recipe takes its cue from cooks in Italy, who typically opt for yellow-fleshed potatoes (like buttery-textured Yukon Golds), peel them, cut them into cubes, toss them in lots of olive oil and salt, and submit them to a well-heated oven. I add fresh rosemary and whole, unpeeled garlic cloves for flavoring—and intoxicating aromas—but it’s not imperative. What’s critical is that you tend to the potatoes. You’ll need to vigorously shake the pan every ten minutes or so and occasionally scrape it with a metal spatula to prevent the potatoes from latching on. Eventually, they’ll form an even, golden crust. They’ll be crunchy on the outside, fluffy within. Serve them immediately and they’ll disappear just as quickly.

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Serves four
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
2 big splashes extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
Whole garlic cloves, unpeeled

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2
Peel potatoes and cut into evenly sized cubes. In a large bowl, toss cubes with olive oil until coated and season with salt. Add rosemary and as many garlic cloves as you want.

Step 3
Place potatoes on two rimmed cookie sheets so they’re not too crowded. Place in oven. After ten minutes, scrape sheets with a metal spatula and flip potatoes. Repeat step in another 10 minutes. Then shake sheets aggressively every 10 minutes till potatoes are done, which should take about 40 minutes total, depending on how big you cut them. They’ll be golden brown and smell really, really good. Serve.

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