Haniela's: Roasted Heart Potatoes

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Roasted Heart Potatoes






I could talk about potatoes for hours, there are countless stories I could tell you about these tasty vegetables, funny stories, delicious stories, they make me smile and ultimately  they make me  realize we really eat a lot of potatoes!
You should see the looks I get explaining people we buy potatoes in a 50 pounds bag and it is only 2 of us eating them(I occasionally share a dish with neighbors). That's right 50 pounds for 2 people. It will last us probably 2  maybe 3 months. Summer is potato hot, we love to grill them. Needless to say we are big potato eaters.
I love them in any form possible : boiled, roasted, grilled, raw, sliced, grated, roasted in the skins without skins, potato sauerkraut kielbasa casserole,  boiled with skins and then peeled, sliced and  lightly salted, or with a cup of milk and loads of butter or with salted sour cream...

I like roasted potatoes but they take so long to make so I started to par-cook them before I roast them in the oven. They are so much better than fries, in my opinion.
Par-cooking really helps, it cuts on the roasting time so they are easy to prepare any time of the week.
You  par-cook potatoes by boiling them in water for couple of minutes.

Why Par-Cooking Potatoes makes crispier roasted potatoes ?
While you simmer peeled, sliced, cut up potatoes in the water, starch and sugar from potatoes is drawn to the surface of the potatoes and then in the oven sugar and starch will create a nice crisp shell around the potatoes.



I was feeling little hearty and made heart shaped roasted potatoes, by all means you don't have to do this,(it takes some time *) though  they are so cute, would be perfect for Valentine's Day Dinner. Normally I just cut potatoes into cubes to save time.

 * you can also make cubes  and only few heart ones, one or 2 hearts will add a little flare to your dinner plate too, doesn't have to be the whole bunch of hearts, little heart goes a long way.

Roasted Potatoes

6 large potatoes(about 2 pounds for 4 servings)
1/4cup olive oil
1 to  2tsp  kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
2tsp caraway seeds
1/2tsp paprika(optional)



Make Heart Cutouts
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Line baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick spray or brush with oil.
  • Fill a pot with  about 1quart -2quarts of water, add 1tbl salt, bring  to boil, then reduce  heat to gentle simmer.
  • In the meantime peel potatoes, slice them, using a small metal cookie cutter cut out as many hearts as you can. Reserve scraps in water, you can also par-cook scraps or make mashed potatoes
  • Cook potatoes in simmering water for 3 minutes, drain potatoes and let cool slightly.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the marinade : olive oil, salt, caraway seed, pepper, paprika.
  • Pour marinade over potatoes, stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Spread marinaded potatoes evenly onto the baking sheet.
  • Roast them for 20-25 minutes, in halftime using an off set silicone spatula carefully turn the potatoes (don't forget to use oven mittens when handling hot baking sheet!).
  • If your oven has a broiler, broil potatoes for additional 5 minutes or  until they are golden on brown.



Roasted Heart Potatoes


Variations

You can omit caraway seed and use rosemary, or other herbs you like.
You can also add garlic, just make sure you add the garlic no more than 1 minute before you plan to take the potatoes out of the oven, otherwise garlic can burn and it will become bitter.
I also like to roast potatoes with couple of bay leaves and peppercorn, adding garlic at the end. That is my dad's recipe.

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