When a really great re-purposed leftover merits making in its own right, give it the respect it deserves. Enjoy! ;o) —AntoniaJames
4-6, depending on the meal, appetites, etc.
1 ½ pounds medium-sized thin-skinned potatoes (white, red or gold)
Olive oil for roasting (and frying, if you like)
Salt and good black pepper for grinding
5 branches of thyme, or a tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary leaves, or some of each
Butter, bacon fat, goose or chicken fat (or beef, if you're so lucky), or olive oil for frying
¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves and slender stems
In This Recipe
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put a low sided sheet pan in the oven to heat while you prep the potatoes. Use a good one, i.e, one that’s not going to warp once it gets real hot.
Wash and then dry the potatoes well, using a clean dish towel. Cut into halves or thirds, crosswise, depending on their size.
Toss well with 1-2 tablespoons of good olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and toss with the herbs. Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and put the potatoes on it, cut side up.
Roast for 30 minutes, or until knife tender, turning them over after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. If the potatoes stick to the pan, let them sit for at least 5 minutes. This will allow you to remove them from the sheet without any sticking.
Use a big skillet for frying. Cast iron is good. A decent non-stick skillet will also work. Melt the fat in it, to taste – at least a couple of tablespoons. Be generous here. I like butter plus bacon fat, when I'm not using poultry or beef fat (and then, I use a bit of butter as well there, too, for the good flavor).
Cut each potato piece in half, or smaller pieces, if you like. The more you cut, the more surfaces you have to fry. Bring the heat up a bit under the skillet and add the potatoes to the hot fat. Let them sizzle for a few minutes. In fact, go do something else nearby so you won’t be tempted to start fiddling with them. Leave them alone!
After 2-3 minutes, flip the potatoes over and cook for another five minutes or so; then taste a couple pieces. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
When the potatoes are fried to your liking – crispy on the newly cut sides – sprinkle with the chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pass a nice red wine vinegar for your guests to splash on the potatoes, if they wish.
Tip: Don't be tempted to use parchment. Yes, it makes it easier to clean up, but the potatoes just don't cook as well. You need the starch in them to get crusty on the hot metal pan. The parchment insulates a bit, preventing that. The paper also allows moisture to pool, which undermines your effort to get that nice, chewy crust on the roasted spuds.
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)