Sunday, April 11, 2010
My Venture into Red Potatoes
Potatoes and I have a strange relationship. I'll go months without cooking any and then, suddenly, I'm hit with a craving for spuds and I can't get enough of them – as you can probably see from my recent post for Ham and Potato Soup.
For a while, eggs were considered unhealthy so I stopped eating them. Then pasta was evil so I stopped eating it. Then potatoes became the wicked food du jour. So I was relegated to eating unflavored rice cakes – until eating rice became as heinous as chowing down on bald eagles. So, after giving up all of the food I loved, I became bitter and angry and didn't lose a pound – which, in turn, made me more bitter and angry. Today, I eat eggs in moderation. I cook whole wheat pasta (which I really like!). At home, I rarely eat white rice because it really has very little nutritional value. Potatoes are NOT in the same class as white rice and all-purpose flour. Potatoes, with the peels on, are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber. And they taste really good – especially with lots of butter, sour cream, and bacon on top … or deep-fried for french fries.
All joking aside, it is not the potato that's unhealthy – it's what we add to them! If you left out the cheese, this recipe is fairly healthful (aside from the sodium level in the onion soup and ranch packets). You could even cut back a bit on the olive oil without significantly sacrificing flavor. I decided to add some cheese when I took the above picture just because I think it photographed better with the contrasting colors. I used 2% sharp cheddar and it tasted great! However, normally, I don't add any cheese at all if I want a simple side dish.
This recipe is also incredibly EASY-to-make. My inspiration came from the recipe for onion-roasted potatoes on the back of the onion soup box. I have only one complaint with that recipe. It's BLAAAAND. That's why I decided to bump up the flavor. If, after making my recipe the first time, you think it's too salty, add a couple of extra potatoes the next time you make it. If it is not salty enough, don't use as many potatoes. Play with it until you get it the way YOU like it.
I have a confession to make. The major reason I made this recipe today is because I had an "incident" at the grocery store. I wanted to buy a couple of red potatoes to add to a different recipe I was making. The red potatoes were beautifully stacked in a pyramid shape. Well, stupid me, decided to take one of the potatoes on the bottom of the pyramid and I caused the whole thing to collapse – sending red potatoes and various other vegetables all over the floor. I picked up, like, two dozen potatoes, six red bell peppers, and a yellow onion. I think the onion was already on the floor but I picked it up anyway since I was already on my hands and knees. Did I mention it was a BIG pyramid of potatoes? Anyway, I didn't want to put them back onto the shelf since they were probably all bruised from dropping on the floor. That, and because an old lady was standing nearby and gave me the look of death like "You BETTER not put those back on the shelf or I'm gonna smack you with this English cucumber." So, I have LOTS of red potatoes to use up. Enjoy – and happy roasting!
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~*
3 lbs small red potatoes (skins on) –each approximately 2" in diameter
1/3 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
1-1 oz packet onion soup mix
1-1 oz packet ranch dip mix
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese or sharp cheddar (optional)
Chopped scallions or parsley for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Mix the olive oil, onion soup mix, ranch dip mix, garlic powder, and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the potatoes.
Cut each potato in half and then each half into quarters. Add the potatoes to a medium bowl. Stir the olive oil mixture and pour it on to the potatoes. Toss to evenly coat. Spread the potatoes onto a sided sheet pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure that one of the cut sides of potatoes is touching the bottom of the sheet pan (so that it browns nicely). Cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the aluminum foil. Do not stir. Bake another 20 minutes (uncovered), stirring after 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and, if desired, toss with your choice of cheese. Garnish with chopped scallions or parsley.
Posted by Cooking Ventures at 2:21 PM