Thursday, February 25, 2010

Perfect Crispy Potatoes

These really are perfectly crispy. I have made them quite a few times. For the past 5 yeras or so, I have been roasting potatoes left and right. It is like my go-to side. However, I had never done anything special. Just olive oil, salt and pepper and throw them in the oven for however long at whatever temperature.

Then, I tried this recipe. And it is MUCH better. I love it. These potatoes would be a great "hash brown" type breakfast side. But they are a great side for any meat and potato dinner. They are fluffy on the inside due to steaming them quickly on the stovetop (btw, might want to use your oven fan...I swear I always put my fan on about 20 minutes too late and end up having to open up all the windows and 50% of the time setting off the smoke alarm, it's fine). And they are so crispy on the outside. Usually only the side that is touching the hot surface (i.e. the baking sheet) gets crispy, but because they are steamed first, the entire outside gets crispy. I feel like it is because the outside has added moisture due to steaming and when it goes in the oven, the oven removes the moisture. So, if you don't steam it, the oven can't remove moisture from just a plain old pure potato. Yeah, something like that. I just made that up, but it makes sense.

Perfect Crispy Potatoes
by Melissa D’Arabian

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2‐inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium‐high heat. Add the potato cubes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the water, stir, and cover the pan with a 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. Toss in the butter and stir to coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet. 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. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and serve.

(Servings: 3, Prep time: 20 min., Cook time: 25 min., Difficulty: Intermediate)

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