Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four?

The best recipes are those that taste great and are easy to prepare, so roast potatoes must be a near perfect food. It's wonderful how such a humble vegetable make people so happy! My favourite roast potato recipes are ones that I make on a regular basis, each perfect as a side dish for any meal when you have friends over and don't want to spend all your time in the kitchen. The first is a recipe I stole from my friend Anne-Marie, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary. She uses a colourful combination of purple, red and white potatoes which she roasts with fresh rosemary and tastes divine! You can also use just yellow fingerlings and they are equally delicious. The second is one of my favourite recipes — New Potatoes with Dill – in which tiny new potatoes are sautéed slowly in butter and finished with fresh dill. Yummy. The third recipe is my husband Guy's Classic Roast Potatoes, a simple 4-step recipe that gives you perfect roast potatoes every time! The secret? Duck fat. 

Anne-Marie's Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary

1-1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes or mixed purple, white and red baby potatoes
2 tbsp duck fat, room temperature
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400°. Rinse potatoes and pat dry. Place them in a baking tray or glass baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle duck fat, or olive oil, over the potatoes and toss them with a wooden spoon to coat them evenly. Season them generously with Maldon sea salt and fresh black pepper. Sprinkle the rosemary over the mixture, then stir to coat. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. The potatoes are done when a sharp knife easily pierces larger potatoes. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve immediately. Serves 4-6

Dilled New Potatoes

24 small new potatoes
8 tbsp butter
salt and fresh black pepper to taste
6 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Rinse potatoes and pat dry. Melt butter in a large skillet with a tight cover. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Cover and cook over low heat for 30-45 minutes, shaking occasionally. The potatoes are done when they can be pierced with a fork. Toss with the  chopped dill and serve at once. I love to serve these lovely little things with grilled salmon and beurre blanc sauce. Serves 4-6

Guy's Famous Crispy Roast Potatoes

4-1/2 lb white potatoes (Guy likes using Baking potatoes; I like Yukon Gold)
3 tbsp duck fat or lard
Maldon salt and pepper to taste

This recipe is fabulous with roast beef! Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Peel the potatoes and cut them into egg-size chunks, then parboil them in boiling water for about 6-8 minutes, but stop before they are cooked right through. Drain them in a colander and leave to cool slightly before scratching them roughly with a fork, or just shake the colander back and forth a few times to rough them up a bit — this will makes the edges crispy! Season with some salt. Place the duck fat in a roasting pan and heat it in the oven until the fat is sizzling hot. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully add the potatoes in one layer, turning them carefully so they are coated all over. Roast for 45 minutes, turning gently at least once. If they look like they need a bit more browning, leave them in and turn up the heat slightly until they're golden brown and crispy. Before serving, drain well and season to taste with salt and a little pepper, and serve while they're hot. These are the best roast potatoes ever, much to my husband Guy's delight. It's his recipe! Serves 8-10.