Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

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!

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Oven-Roasted Potatoes
(Printable Version)

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.


  1. Hey blog buddies! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

  2. I love the stories of your adventures as much as I love your recipes. You gave me a good laugh. My husband looks at me weirdly sometimes because I always pick the thing off the shelf that has stuff sitting on top of it too, so I do understand your motivation. I'll give the potatoes a try. I, too, have a whole bag of potatoes to get rid of.

  3. That's the best story I've heard today. Whenever someone around me knocks produce down I try to help them through it by picking it up and putting it back on the display. But when I make it fall myself I can't bear to force anyone else to have to choose my bruised produce.

  4. Oh man, this is perfect timing - I swear the red potatoes living in the bottom of my crisper are winking at me and I can think of no better payback than covering them in onion, ranch and garlic!
    I can wait to try this, that will teach them.

  5. That looks awesome, Vince. I'll have to make it this week. And I love that square bowl; it's lovely.

    Did you see that the Star Trek stuff is on sale from the place in Vegas? A borg alcove is only $800. Every home needs one!


  6. LOL! I just read the article. A Borg alcove for only $800 sounds like a real bargain. I'm sure it cost the Borg at least 3 times that! I do have some extra space in my living room. Hmmm...I just might have to pursue this. :-)

  7. But it's the stuff we put on potatoes that makes them good. Who eats plain potatoes? That would be just creepy. This recipe looks amazing...guess I'll have to try and have a supermarket accident of my own..

  8. :::STAMP:::

    On next week's menu! Love the narrative, as always, Vince! And the dish; mind sharing it's origin? It looks sooo similar to ones I have stored away. I really need to dig some stuff out. Hmm.

    Tasty Kitchen Member

  9. Hi Vince,
    Those look divine!

    I miss your Fitch stories. Hasn't she done anything horrible lately? Do you watch the Amazing Race? There is a contestant on there (Caite) and when I saw her I instantly thought of your neighbor and Fitch stories and if you've been watching the Race you might also see some other simularities there.

    Keep writing (and cooking too!)

  10. Trish -- I think I bought that dish at Pier 1 (if I remember correctly). I love shopping there!

  11. Vanessa -- You know, I have not seen Fitch in a while and I'm not sure she is still living in my building. On one hand, it would make me happy if she left. On the other hand, she is rich source of entertainment for my blog! :-) I haven't watched any of the Amazing Race this season (but I normally watch it). I missed so many of the first episodes this season, I decided to rent the complete season after it's over and watch the whole thing at once. I'll keep an out for Caite when I watch it.

  12. Those look fabulous! I will give 'em a try later this week!

  13. Oh my goodness! I stumbled upon your blog yesterday through Tasty Kitchen, and spent the next couple of hours laughing out loud. I was laughing so hard at the Hong Kong Roll story and the Chocolated Cinnamon Roll story that my husband actually muted the basketball playoffs so I could read them to him. Having spent quite a bit of time in Asia ourselves, we could totally picture the little old Chinese lady whacking you with her umbrella!

    Love your blog and will definitely keep reading. Now I'm off to make Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls!

    All the best!

  14. Thank you for the kind words Tammi! {{{ Blush }}}

  15. Vince, this is the little dish I made (when I called you the other day). These were DELICIOUS! I wish it was the main dish, since the chicken dish I made wasn't nearly as good. :) Hope you're doing well!


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