October 1, 2013

Insane Make Ahead Potatoes

Insane Make Ahead Potatoes

These potatoes truly deserve this name- they are insanely delicious, insanely easy, and insanely reheat-able!  If that isn't music to your ears, I don't know what is- I have been making these about once a week for the past month or two.  The best part about these potatoes is that they are easy to reheat and have them taste as good as, possibly even better than, the first preparation.  For busy people everywhere- Moms or not, that is really, really helpful.

Do you have potato gloves?  If not, click here: Potato Gloves  These are very handy, I recommend getting a pair.  They are very easy to use.  Just put them on and rub the potatoes between your hands under cool water.  All clean and ready to roast!  I just rinse the gloves and put them on the dish rack to dry.  If they are really dirty, I believe you may run them through the dishwasher.

Potatoes on a crisping baking sheet
Also, the baking sheet I use to make these has a special 'crisping' bottom.  Click here to see it on the Williams-Sonoma website: Crisping Baking Sheet  The raised small diamonds on the bottom of the pan make more air flow possible, and this yields nice crispy surfaces on things like roasted potatoes and also cookies!  Technically, this is not a baking sheet, it is a 'jelly roll' pan, because it has shallow sides.  I only own 'jelly roll' style baking sheets, because I use them for lots of things and often there is liquid or oil, and the shallow sides keep it from being a mess!

Insane Make Ahead Potatoes
(Serves 2-3 people as a side dish, adjust in proportion as needed)
1 1/2 lb. 'boiling' or medium to small potatoes (any color or a mix)
3 -4 sprigs of fresh thyme (leaves removed)
1 large garlic clove, through a press
2-3 pinches sea salt
ground white pepper
2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Potatoes prepared ahead of time in cool water
There is an additional aspect of these make ahead potatoes that makes me smile, it's that you can prep the potatoes ahead of time and then cover them with cool water in a bowl until you're ready to roast them in the oven.  This is also necessary (to cover them with cool water) because cut potato surfaces begin to 'oxidize' once exposed to the air if they are not cooked in some way.

So, go ahead and don your dashing new Potato Gloves and clean your potatoes.  This size of potato (2-3 inches in length) is sometimes called a boiling potato.  They are often sold in net bags at the supermarket as opposed to individually, as the larger potatoes are.  Once they are washed, cut off any eyes or rotten parts and, leaving the skins in tact, cut into pieces, roughly 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch in size.  If you are going to prepare them now, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you aren't going to prepare them now, place in a bowl and cover completely with cool water.  If you aren't going to prepare them for a long time, put them in the refrigerator.  But a little while on the counter (like an hour or two) is fine.

Adding garlic to the potato mixture
To prepare the potatoes, place in a bowl.  If they have been in water, drain them and pat them dry with paper towels.  Use a colander if you'd like.  They don't have to be bone dry but on the drier side is better so the olive oil can adhere to the surface.  In a bowl large enough to mix them thoroughly, add the olive oil, salt, white pepper, thyme leaves and garlic.  To remove the leaves from a sprig of thyme, hold the bottom of the sprig by one hand's thumb and pointer finger and with the other hand, pinch with your thumb and forefinger and run your fingers from the bottom to the top of the sprig, most of the leaves should come off easily.  Discard the stems.  Mix the potatoes with a spoon and then empty the bowl and any excess oil mixture on to your jelly roll style baking sheet.  Shake the potatoes from side to side to make them spread out evenly and also to coat the bottom of the baking sheet with oil.

Place the baking sheet in the oven for a total of 55 minutes: after the first 20 minutes remove from the oven and move the potatoes around with a spatula, after the second 20 minutes do the same, and after the final 15 minutes, they are ready to enjoy.  These smell especially delicious while cooking!  (A note here, the smaller the potato piece, the faster it cooks.  So this will work well for larger sized potatoes, if yours are smaller, or cut smaller, try a total of 35 minutes and see how they look after the reduced time.  You don't want to overcook them and end up with dried out potatoes.)

We've eaten these with pot roast and chicken, and anything you'd like to eat with them I'm sure will be delicious.  For ideas from our blog, check out these suggestions:

Little Black Dress of Chicken

Chicken Saltimbocca

To save and reheat the potatoes, once they've cooled down a little, you don't have to wait until they've cooled down completely, store them in the refrigerator.  You may use a zip lock bag or a plastic container, it doesn't matter.  When you want to reheat them, preheat the oven to 350-375 and put them on a baking sheet and reheat for 5-8 minutes, you'll have to eyeball it a little depending on the amount.  They will taste just as good reheated.  Hence the 'insane' name!  They may be even better.

Some additional thoughts here- if you plan to make ahead, bake for less time, perhaps just the first 40 minutes, then finish them with the remaining 15 minutes on the occasion you are really going to eat them!

Thank you for reading!

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