Oven Roasted Potatoes
When I heard this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp Challenge was potatoes, I was pumped. Originally, I had great plans for the sweet potatoes still in my basement from last fall, but after researching and chatting with the hubby, I decided to go with Yukon Gold potatoes instead. My husband isn’t a huge fan of sweet potatoes and I wanted to make something he would enjoy too, so that’s how I settled on this oven roasted potato recipe.
Yukon Golds are our favorite potato to grow in the garden and they absolutely melt in your mouth when freshly dug from the garden. But oddly enough, I’ve never actually roasted them in the oven. Of course, I’ve added them to a roast with carrots and onions and celery, you know the usual, but never on their own. So that was it. That was going to be this month’s challenge for me.
I did some more searching through The Professional Chef and on the web and actually settled on a recipe from epicurious.com. I was intrigued by the directions. They called for boiling the potatoes, then peeling. This seemed strange to me. I’ve tried that technique before and never really appreciated the messiness that came with the potatoes after they’d been boiled. And after trying it again in this recipe, I think I’ll stick with my method, and peel first.
Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with the flavor, just a personal preference as far as how potato-coated my hands were when I was done. I prefer less potato on my hands and more potatoes in the pan.
Oven Roasted Potatoes (Adapted from epicurious.com)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb hickory smoked, thick sliced bacon
3 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
fresh ground pepper
Scrub potatoes and place in a large pot. Fill pot with water until potatoes are covered by 2-3 inches of water. Bring water to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. My potatoes were fairly large, so this took close to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, partially freeze bacon for easier cutter. (Ten minutes in the freezer works well.) Slice bacon strips in half, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. I like to cut my bacon prior to cooking. It’s easier to work with in the skillet and easy to drain with slotted spoon.
Check potatoes and if fork tender, drain and allow to cool. If making this recipe again, I would peel the potatoes before I boiled them or try leaving the skins on all-together. Yukon Golds have a relatively thin skin, so I think this would have added a nice look and texture to the potatoes.
While potatoes are cooling, preheat the oven to 425° and mince the garlic and parsley. Also, grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Next, prepare the baking sheet by brushing 1 tablespoon of olive oil and half the bacon drippings on the bottom of the pan. I used a fairly large cookie sheet for this and it worked well.
Once the potatoes are cool, peel and cut in half, or quarter if potatoes are large.
Place cut side down on prepared pan and sprinkle with course salt and fresh ground pepper. Place in 425° oven for 35-40 minutes. Rotate potatoes halfway through the baking time to ensure an even color. I did not do this and some of mine were more golden than others.
Reduce temperature to 375°, turn potatoes over and sprinkle with the bacon, garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Add more salt and pepper if desired. Return to oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are evenly browned and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Makes 4-6 servings, depending on serving size. Serve immediately!