Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Easy Roasted Potatoes

Do potatoes fit into a healthy Thanksgiving? It all depends on the preparation. Potatoes themselves are quite healthy. It’s what you put on them that renders them unhealthy. Sour cream, butter, cheese, gravy and, of course, the whole milk or cream used in mashed potatoes.

For our Healthy Thanksgiving, I was in search of a roasted potato recipe. I envisioned a little oil, a little salt, a little pepper, pop them in the oven and presto! Healthy potatoes. Reality rarely lives up to my imagination.

It seems that you can either fry them in oil or roast them in butter. I did find one recipe on BHG.com that roasted potatoes in olive oil, but used onion powder instead of “real” onions. I wasn’t happy about it, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I was intrigued by the use of baby potatoes. The ones I bought weren’t all that tiny. At least not tiny enough so that halved I was confident that they would cook all the way through. Potatoes, like carrots, are very dense and require a long to cook. There’s nothing worse than uncooked potatoes or carrots in a dish. Just to be safe, I cut up some of the larger potatoes into quarters instead of halves.

My biggest problem turned out to be logistics. I solved the one-oven problem by cooking the stuffing on top of the stove instead of baking it in the oven. But there was no getting around the fact that roasted potatoes, like roasted turkey, need to be in the oven. And potatoes need a long time to cook. In this case, 60 minutes. Turkey needs 30 minutes to "rest" after cooking, so I was left with a 30 minute overlap in the oven.

I finally solved the problem when I realized that a small turkey uses a small pan, so I could turn it sideways and slide the potatoes and their pan in right next to it. Phew! That was close.

In the end, I was correct about the size of the potatoes, as well as the onion powder. The potatoes didn’t cook all the way through and I didn’t care for the chemical taste of the onion powder. Real onions would have been preferable. The garlic was also an unwelcome guest to our feast. I think a little bit of poultry seasoning would have been more appropriate.

Verdict: What were they thinking???





Easy Roasted Potatoes
(source: BHG.com)
 



3 medium round red or white potatoes (1 pound), cut into eighths, or 10 to 12 tiny new potatoes (1 pound) halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic, minced


Place potatoes in a greased 9x9x2-inch baking pan. In a small bowl combine oil, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic. Drizzle oil mixture over potatoes, tossing to coat. Roast, uncovered, in a 325°F oven for 45 minutes. Stir potatoes; bake for 10 to 20 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and brown on the edges.

Makes 4 servings.

Recycle: olive oil bottle

Compost: garlic skins

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