The story goes that at age two, still in the highchair, I declared to my mother that I would never eat potatoes again. And I didn’t. Not until I was a teenager and decided to try a French-fry. Delicious. Of course.
My repertoire has expanded somewhat, though I am still not the potato eater the men in my family are. RR has it in his Irish genes. My boys are part Irish and part, well, I say that the genes on my side are from Russian potato farmers. Something has to explain the sturdy looking legs. In any case, I could serve them potatoes day in and day out to no complaints.
This was the first year I grew potatoes myself. I’ve always left it to the professionals before. But Sam did the digging and planting, so I agreed to do the cooking. We shared the joy of harvesting. And it was pure pleasure, rooting around for every last spud. We had planted a 5-pound sampler of fingerlings from Moose Tubers that included Austrian Crescent, French Fingerling, LaRatte, and Rose Finn Apple. Although a pain in the neck to scrub, these small potatoes are delicious roasted.
I play around with spices when I roast. Sometimes I make my own spice mix, sometimes I pull a jar of Ethiopian berbere off the shelf. It is all delicious. Just give those babies plenty of room on a baking sheet. If you want them to brown, don’t crowd them. Slick them with oil, then spices, then roast in a hot oven, turning them once or twice. That’s all there is to it.
Here’s my recipe for Roasted Spiced Potatoes. It serves four.
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 pounds thin-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or half sheet pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oil with the salt, curry powder, cumin, five-spice powder, ginger, black pepper, and cayenne. Mix well. Add the potatoes and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes on the prepared pan in a single layer.
4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally for even cooking, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and browned. Serve hot.
From Recipes from the Root Cellar. © Andrea Chesman. All rights reserved.