Tad's Roasted Potatoes

By • January 8, 2010 • 15 Comments



Author Notes: Last year, after having spent 5 years testing recipes (with Merrill!) for a cookbook, it was time to actually sit down and write the book. I did so in the evenings, which meant that my husband, Tad, took over cooking dinner. Tad is the type of cook who prefers to find a few recipes he likes and master them so he can get in and out of the kitchen and back to reading the paper as quickly as possible. His piece de resistance is roasted potatoes, which he makes in a cast iron pan with lightly smashed whole garlic cloves and whatever herbs are in the fridge. He blankets them with olive oil, scatters on coarse salt and coarsely ground black pepper and then sticks the pan in a hot oven. They're delicious every time. Once when preparing the potatoes, though, Tad used some white potatoes that had been in the fridge for, oh, a month, give or take a few months. When the potatoes came out of the oven, they were as brown as a chestnut, with a thick, glistening crust, and as sweet as candy -- far outpacing any version he'd made before. The secret, we eventually learned, was the old potatoes. As potatoes age, their starch turns to sugar, making them denser, softer and easier to caramelize.Amanda Hesser

Serves 4

  • 3/4 pounds old white potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 8 sprigs herbs (any combination of thyme, sage and rosemary)
  • 2 garlic cloves, skins left on and lightly smashed
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the potatoes in a 12-inch, well-seasoned cast iron pan -- they should fit comfortably in one layer. Douse with olive oil, like you're marinating them. Add the herbs and garlic, and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes a few times to mix in the herbs and seasoning.
  2. Roast in the oven, scraping up and turning the potatoes every 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are well caramelized and tender, about 40 minutes.
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Comments (15) Questions (1)

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10 months ago jenniebgood

I love that you made a new discovery with the "old' potatoes - I feel like I always have an extra potato or 2 around when I buy too many for a recipe. I love that this is an easy way to use them up!

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10 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Tad still makes these once a week -- because we always have potatoes lying around, as well!

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about 1 year ago Tamara Hudes Agarwal

Tried this last night with pretty fresh CSA potatoes and it turned out amazing!

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over 1 year ago Miki Collier

We had some organic potatoes which were I thought long gone, but I scrubbed them and followed this easy (I don't cook, I bake) recipe and they were delish. Even my husband loved them, and he is the cook in the family. I left them in a bit longer to make sure they were crunchy on the outside...simple and low cal. Glad I found it.

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over 1 year ago dillonai

What if you don't have a cast iron pan? What else can you use to still achieve this result?
Thanks!

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over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

A heavy roasting pan or any heavy pan, really, should help.

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over 1 year ago MartyM

I made these last night and my teenage son said. "These are solid potatoes, Mom."

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about 2 years ago EmilyC

I've made potatoes six ways from Sunday, but I've never prepared them exactly like this. They were delightful. My 2 year old declared "delicious" and "yummy" while eating them (there are no sweeter words to this mother's ears!). Paired them with grilled hanger steak marinated in salmoriglio (from the simple sicilian-style flank steak recipe I posted on this site) and a green salad. These potatoes are definitely going into the repertoire.

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about 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for giving them a try -- love hanger steak, too!

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over 3 years ago maryvelasquez

Our potatoes were definitely beyond their prime and you're right, there is something about the flavor and texture that surpasses the fresher spuds.

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over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for letting me know -- it's fun getting comments long after I post a recipe. Keeps it alive!

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over 3 years ago STEsker

This recipe is perfectly simple. My potatoes came out of the oven crunchy on the outside, but deliciously smooth on the inside. I loved the smashed garlic. It was a nice surprise to get a hunk of a roasted clove in between potato bites.

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over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Just forwarded your note to Tad -- he'll be delighted!

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over 4 years ago Julia Alling

Don't think I had old potatoes, but it was lovely just the same. The large pieces of roasted herbs were delightful. This version of roasted potatoes has entered the regular rotation.

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almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad you liked it! (Sorry for slow response -- catching up!)