Adapted from The New Jewish Table by Ellen Kassoff Gray and Todd Gray
Todd: We like to use red bliss potatoes because they are less starchy than russets or Idahos, and therefore caramelize well, so they lend themselves perfectly to roasting You can substitute with low-starch potatoes, like Yukon Golds or fingerlings. Cloves of garlic cooked in their skins add an interesting element to the dish (if you peel them, they would burn). If you press down on the sides of them with the side of your forks, the flesh should pop out easily. Eating a bit of roasted garlic with each bite of potato is just a delight.
1 pound Red Bliss new potatoes
1/2 cup canola oil
12 whole garlic cloves, in their skins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, broken into 3-inch pieces
Blanch the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into quarters. Drop the potatoes into the boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside to dry (pat dry with a kitchen towel if they don't air-dry quickly—they need to be dry in order to brown evenly).
Roast the potatoes. Heat the oil in a 14-inch ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook without stirring until caramelized (slightly golden)—about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic cloves. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the potatoes are cooked through and browned evenly—8 to 10 minutes.
Season the potatoes. Remove the pan with the potatoes from the oven and add the butter and rosemary; stir until the butter is melted and well incorporated. Add the salt and pepper; taste the potatoes and add more salt or pepper if you wish. Drain on paper towels, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve.
Serves 4 to 6
Ellen: Knowing how to roast potatoes perfectly, so they are brown and crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, is a telltale sign of a good cook.
Todd: There's really not that much to it. You have to start out with a low-starch potato. When I use red bliss potatoes, I don't bother to peel them because the skins are thin and look so nice. I quarter them, blanch them in boiling water for several minutes, dry them, sauté them in hot oil to caramelize them on all sides, oven roast them, and then finish them with some butter (or olive oil) and rosemary.
Recipe: Kosher, side dish