Roast potato tutorial

Here they are, back again.

Here they are, back again.

Lots of people who read this post, or who have had roasted potato wedges at my house, have asked for my technique—if you can actually apply that word to the process. Like so many other things, the way I make roast potatoes was streamlined and inadvertently improved after I had kids, just from sheer neglect.

My former process was to roast the wedges for a while, then stir them up, which was sort of painstaking, because lots of them would be stuck to the pan, and then trying to rearrange the stirred up wedges by flipping them over, although it wasn’t that easy to do with a spatula, and of course I would do it with the oven door wide open, drying out my sinuses in the process. Well, dear reader, I am happy to tell you that none of this is necessary, and my roasted potatoes are better than ever with my new, neglectful, strategy. But there are a few nitpicky things that will guarantee success.

Preheat the oven to 375 while you peel and wedge the potatoes—you can make big wedges or oven fries like the ones we had on Argentinian Night, and the process is the same, although the skinny ones will cook slightly faster. Toss them with generous olive oil, salt and pepper. Now this part is important: Spread them out on the largest baking sheet (NOT nonstick!) you have, making sure that none are overlapping, and making sure that a flat side of each potato is making contact with the baking sheet—don’t leave those wedges rocking around on their curved sides. Put them in the oven, and forget about them, for 40 to 45 minutes (maybe start checking in 30 or 35 for oven fries).

At this point, all the potatoes around the border of the baking sheet will be done, or nearly done (they should be golden around the edges). So take a spatula and pry these off. (Another benefit of leaving them alone: At this point, they should come off rather easily, unlike the stuck spuds I used to wrestle with.) Put them in your serving bowl, and pop the baking sheet back in the oven (you don’t have to touch the remaining potatoes). I usually set these initial potatoes aside for my kids, who are psychotic about there being any trace of heat in their food. Then, over the next 10 to 15 minutes, keep an eye on the remaining potatoes, maybe checking in 5 minute increments. Eventually, they should turn golden too, at which point they are ready and can be spooned over the initial batch in the serving dish (if you don’t have kid/temperature issues), and they will re-warm those plenty. In the case of the Argentinian fries, this is when you toss them in a bowl with freshly-chopped parsley and garlic. Et voila, as I would say if, um, I lived in Argentina, yet was French-speaking. Never mind.


5 thoughts on “Roast potato tutorial

  1. Were you reading my mind?? I was just thinking about making roast potatoes for dinner with my parents but then didn’t want to hassle with trying to pry them off the pan. Thanks for the new way!

  2. I was in the process of cutting up wedges for dinner when I remembered seeing this topic… Alex is skeptical. I will report back. 🙂

  3. Okay, Alex immediately said “these are little potatoes of joy.” I agree — for some reason I always thought they needed to be flipped (which really is a pain).

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