Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crispy Potato Roast

I am in love. Yes, its true, I'm having an affair. I'm cheating on my Wustoff Santoku Chef knife. I have a new love. Her name is Ruby. Yes indeed, I did it again. I found a recipe I wanted to try badly enough that I actually purchased a kitchen tool JUST to make that recipe. And it was totally worth it. Don't get me wrong, I know about mandolines, I've even bought them for friends as gifts. I just always thought that a good, sharp knife was all you really need. And, for the most part, that is still true. However, when you have a recipe that calls for four pounds of potatoes, very thinly sliced, its worth the money to just buy a mandoline and get it over with. If I had done that with my knife, I'd have needed carpal tunnel surgery right now.
I happened to know (from past experience) that TJ Maxx almost always has a Kuhn Rikon mandoline for about $10, and since I was in Springfield on Saturday I wandered in and picked one up. I was hoping for a blue one (you know, since everything else in my kitchen is blue) but all they had was lime green and red. But that's okay, because this saucy little number needed a name, and Ruby suits her so well. Odd how all my kitchen implements that have names seem to be female.... Seriously though, if you don't own a mandoline, and you ever do any amount of thin slicing...at all....go out right now and get one of these. I mean it. Best kitchen gadget I've bought in a long time...and believe me, I have more than my fair share.

Anyway, on to the food!

So, for a while now, I've been following a lovely little blog called The Bitten Word. It is written by a couple of guys who really seem to enjoy showcasing their favorite recipes from a wide assortment of food magazines, among other things, and they happen to be pretty darn good cooks, too. This arrangement works out nicely for me because it means I don't have to buy nearly as many food magazines to hoard at home (especially since I just purged my entire collection of Rachel Ray to be replaced with my new subscriptions to Bon Appetit and La Cucina Italiana).

The boys at The Bitten Word recently posted this recipe for Crispy Potato Roast. As most of you know, I am always on the lookout for a new potato recipe for my picky eater of a husband and this one really caught my eye. After I ran out and grabbed Ruby up from the retail world and brought her home, I started my evening meal last night of Rattlesnake and Crispy Potato Roast. Working with the mandoline, slicing six potatoes took me about five minutes. *angels sing* And, as a bonus, the dish itself was fantastic. The only drawback I could find was that it took a significant amount of oven time, but it was worth it in the end. The potatoes were nice and tender in the middle and crispy on the edges with just the right amount of seasoning.This one is officially going into regular rotation on my dinner menu.

Go, RUN, to your nearest kitchen store and get yourself a mandoline....then start slicing!

Crispy Potato Roast
(Everyday Food, December 2009)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
4 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise (I used regular yellow onions, also sliced on the mandoline instead of shallots. I do love shallots, but, well, where I live, sometimes you can get them, and sometimes you just can't. So, I make do.)
course salt (I also used a healthy dose of fresh cracked black pepper)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
8 sprigs thyme (I'm not a big fan of thyme so I left it out.)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine butter and oil. Brush bottom of a round 9-inch baking dish with some butter mixture. With a sharp knife or mandoline, slice potatoes very thinly crosswise.
2. Arrange potato slices vertically in dish. Wedge shallots throughout. Sprinkle with salt and red-pepper flakes (if using); brush with remaining butter mixture. Bake 1 1/4 hours. Add thyme and bake until potatoes are cooked through with a crisp top, about 35 minutes more.
Isn't that gorgeous?
**Notes: As noted above, I used yellow onions, sliced thin in place of the ever elusive shallot and it turned out just fine. The hubs particularly liked the addition. I also opted not to add the thyme, not only because the hubs and I don't care for it, but because I didn't have any. I might have replaced it with oregano or rosemary if I had had any of either of those, but alas, I have used up all the herbs I salvaged from my garden. *sigh* can't wait for spring. Since I didn't add the thyme, I just left the dish in the oven for another 15-30 minutes and it turned out just lovely.


Joanne said...

That is actually seriously tantalizing. I'm just looking at the spirals of perfectly cut and roasted potatoes. And I am hypnotized. Awesome awesome dish. I need to get a mandoline. Pronto.

ARLENE said...

I'm slobbering on myself. That photo of your potatoes is tantalizing. I have a mandoline, though not nearly as sexy as yours, and there is no way I could ever slice anything that thinly with a knife. Mine's a cheap little "As Seen on TV" box that has an assortment of blades, one of which turns it into the mandoline. I just wish the guard were better.

Kim said...

Mouthwatering.....I'm so glad that I got a mandoline for Christmas. I haven't had the chance to try it out yet, but I will soon. I'm sure my family would love this recipe! It looks like a knock out!