01 April 2015

Eats: parmesan crusted potatoes

If I were paying attention to the calendar at all when I come up with post ideas, today I’d have a fantastic recipe for carrot cake or coconut cake or I dunno, something, anything Eastery. But I haven’t even thought of our own Easter menu for Casa P, let alone made something to write about for the internet. I’m pretending that this is a good thing, that I’m not going to compete with PW’s elaborate hot cross buns. Pretend with me?

And so today, I flipped through the few recipes that I’ve made recently and came up with this one, for parmesan-crusted roasted potatoes. I decided to share it today for a few reasons – first and foremost, because I’m pretty sure they’d be fantastic with an Easter ham! Both delicious, and perfect to squeeze in the oven next to the ham. And better yet, they are easy, just as roasted potatoes should be. Let’s do this!

Chop up five potatoes into large chunks – or just use fingerling potatoes. I used Yukon gold because the source recipe says to use “marris piper or rooster” and I have absolutely no idea what those are.

Place them in a pot of salted water (I started with hot water, instead of cold as directed) and bring to a boil. Let them simmer 5 min, then drain. This cuts a ton of time off the roasting while allowing you to leave the potatoes in huge chunks – they’ll be nice and fluffy on the inside!

In the meantime, make the crust for the potatoes. You’re going to need flour, which reminds me that I never showed you my cooking-with-flour trick:

It’s just an empty shaker of flour that I keep with my spices, just for times like these. I don’t want to haul out my huge container of flour for just a few tablespoons to thicken a sauce! The shaker is just a reused spice container – I think it had chili powder in it? And if the flour gets a hint of chili flavor in it, all the better, I say!

Anyway! For the crust, you’ll need two “generous handfuls” of parmesan” (my kind of recipe!), one and a half tablespoons of flour (increased from the source because more crust, yay!), and a generous sprinkling of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Stir it together!

Once the potatoes have boiled, drain them in a colander and – this is important - wipe the pot dry. You want your crusty goodness to stick as much as possible to the wet potatoes, not the pot!

Then add the potatoes back into the pot and stir/swirl together. A lot of the cheese still won’t stick to the potatoes (but at least it won’t stick to the pot) – that’s ok. You’ll fix that in a minute!

Lay out the potatoes on a greased baking sheet (you can use olive oil; I used cooking spray). Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan left in the pot over the potatoes so you don’t leave behind any cheesy goodness!

(Sorry for the wonky color.... cooking before DST = terrible white balance.)

Then roast in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes. Flip the potatoes once, if you think of it.

When they’re done, they’ll be crispy on the outside, fluffy (almost creamy!) on the inside.

Oh, and all those bits of parmesan? They’re so tasty. Like the absolute best sort of cheez-it, but coating a potato, you know? Just look at them. Oh my!

I’m sure these would be even more divine with freshly grated parmesan instead of the shredded stuff in a can, but even using the cheap and easy route, these were a new delicious addition to my roasted-potato lineup.

We ate these with pork chops in an artichoke-wine sauce and green beans, but as I said, they’d make a great addition to an Easter feast.

Hopefully you’re more ahead of the game in planning for Easter than me – at this rate, I’d be surprised if we even have eggs! But fortunately, a big pan of roasted vegetables and potatoes just feels springy and Easter-y to me... so with this recipe, I’ll be good to go. You can be too! Enjoy!