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OMG Potatoes

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    Posted: 28 January 2010 at 15:41
In the ruins of Ancient Chile and Peru, archaeologists have found remains of the potato dating as far back as 500 B.C. The potato is a unique tuber whose origins were with the peoples of the South American Andes, whose various tribes we refer to as The Inca.

Around the mid-1500's Spanish explorers brought the potato back to Spain where it quickly spread through Europe. They were not well received except as an ornamental plant; they were considered dangerous and useless. It was only until the late 1700's that Russian peasants began to plant and eat potatoes in earnest.

Then,  the potato quickly spread throughout Europe as an edible plant and gained special acceptance in Ireland where it flourished as a food crop. It was only due to the great  potato blight in the 1840's, and the dislocation of millions of European emigrants to the US bringing with them their taste for the potato that began a slow shift in our country's taste for the root.

In any event, the British have elevated the oven roasted potato into a near art-form. A staple in special dinners and roast meats, I wanted to re-create this beautiful vegetable dish at home. It took me years of trying and tweaking, but I finally got it down pat.

Take about 5 LBS of russet or plain white potatoes. I've tried reds, yukon golds, and others and they don't come out. You'll see why soon. Here in the Midwest we can't get Southern regular "white" potatoes, but russets work well. Scrub them in tap water.


Then cut them into quarters or sixths, depending on their size-


Put them in a pot of water and rinse them once. Refill pot with fresh cold tap water until about 2 to 3 inches over top of potatoes-


Turn on burner to HIGH and bring to rolling boil. Once rolling, let boil exactly 2 minutes. Then drain in colander in the sink, careful of the steam-


Immediately put potatoes back into original pot, cover it and hold tightly as you shake it VIGOROUSLY up and down, making sure the potatoes beat up against the lid...as if you want to kill the puppies! No lie, this is a key step.


Whites or russets work best because of their high starch content which "fluffs" up when cooked. That's the key to the soft insides. Now, by beating the living heck out of the potatoes, you are "roughing" up the outside and slightly cooked portions, that will later develop into the crunchy goodness. Since you only boiled them 2 minutes, they are still essentially hard. When you open the lid, there should be pieces of skin an potato stuck to the lid. If not, you didn't shake hard enough and must do it again.


Once done, add a healthy dollop of olive oil. I figure about 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Pour until you think "Oh My Gawd, that's too much!" and that's about the right amount.


Next comes the salt. Use the coarse grained Kosher salt. Same thing, pour until you think "Oh My GAWD, that's too much" and that's about right.


Mix gently with a rubber spatula and then pour into a glass baking dish or roasting pan. We like the darker roasting pan cause it gives a richer browning to the potatoes-


The above is why we've always known them as "Oh My God Potatoes". Even my kids call them that. When I first tried this, about 10 years ago when I was still single, I actually thought I'd ruined them (and actually said "Oh My Gawd!) as I was making them (under the influence of a couple too many beers, I am sure) but they turned out to be the best I'd done so far and a new recipe was born.

Here's how they should look before putting them into a 400F oven for about an hour and a half-


The beauty of this recipe is that you can roast these in the oven at 350F, 375F, 400F, 425F, 450F...whatever you happen to be cooking at the time. They just cook faster or slower, with same results. So, it is a great side dish to make when roasting or baking other things. At 350F it is about 2 to 2.5 hrs. at 450F it is about 30 to 45 min. Ive made them at all ranges and they are great either way. My favorite results are at 400F...


And here they are, right outta the oven. The beaten outside of the potato absorbed the oil and salt and created a wonderfully crunchy crust. The insides are light and fluffy. Perfect amount of oil and salt. I've tried putting pepper on them but it takes something away from the flavor. These potatoes are made to be with oil and salt only.

If you have any leftovers (hah!) they are great cut up and made into fried potatoes and onions the next day. You can also reheat them as-is and they are good the next meal too, but a little chewier. Unfortunately they do not microwave or freeze well at all, so use them up and that's a good reason to make more!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2010 at 15:53
i can vouch for this one - the reuslts are fantastic!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote got14u Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2010 at 18:17
Oh my gawd ! those look great. And easy also ! I love the way they look after the oven
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdonly1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2010 at 22:58
That how we do ours also,it works a treatWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2010 at 15:57
Same here... I have this amazing salt I get from the local farmers market. it's sea salt, smoked with garlic and some dried and ground up bull kelp that grows around here, it is absolutely mind blowing on roast spuds like this.
kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2010 at 15:54
I have a batch of these going in the oven right now,  the smell is like heaven.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2010 at 09:39
These turned out to be as good as they smelled. Yum!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DIYASUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2010 at 19:16
 Yep, Ill be trying this recipe out before long!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote got14u Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2010 at 20:15
I was looking for this recipe the other day and couldn't find it. Now i got it and will be doing them very soon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Exploreralpha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2010 at 22:45
yum, have to give this a shot

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2011 at 18:57
These potatoes are made to be with oil and salt only.

That's pretty close to the Golden Rules of Potatoes: 

i) Potatoes don't taste good without fat and salt; 
ii) If your potatoes are free from technical faults (e.g., they aren't burnt) and don't taste good, it is because you don't have a proper ratio of potatoes, fat, and salt; 
iii) It is possible to add too much salt to your potatoes, but it is almost impossible to add too much fat, at least if the potatoes are mashed and emulsified with the fat; 
iv) Anything else is just garnish -- good, but not essential.

Of course, the fat can be oil, butter, cream, sour cream, cheese, bacon grease, etc.

If you don't believe the "you can't have too much fat" part, then you need to check out Joël Robuchon's potato puree.  Often referred to as the Chef of the Century, Robuchon's best known dish may literally be mashed potatoes!  But these are no ordinary mashed potatoes.  The proportions of potato to butter (good French butter, of course) reach as much as 1:2 -- a pound/kilo of butter for every two pounds/kilos of potatoes!  With the puree also being passed through a tamis (or drum sieve), what you end up with is an incredibly rich, silky, and nearly soupy potato puree that is a world removed from cafeteria mashed potatoes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2011 at 15:24
Salt is now verboten for me, but I've gotten fond of chopped-up baked potatoes with malt vinegar, yellow mustard, and pepper.
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