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Posted on Dec 6, 2013 | 1 comment

Roasted Potato Wedges // Just give ’em a little attention!

Roasted Potato Wedges // Just give ’em a little attention!

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The potato. The humble, versatile, budget-friendly potato!

Anyone who knows me knows I love me a potato. I like them any way you’ll give ’em to me. I like every kind of potato I’ve ever tried. I drive out of my way to a grocery store that charges exorbitant prices for food because they have an entire WALL of potatoes. At least 8 or 9 different varieties, and that’s not including those potato imposters (sweet potatoes/yams).

Yes, I really wrote a love letter to the Idaho Potato Commission. Yes, I have eaten a potato almost every day since I was able to plan my own meals. I’ve written little jingles about potatoes–and, more specifically–French fries. I buy them when I see them because they are jewels of joy to this carboholic.

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And what does this self-proclaimed potato connoisseur do with this surplus of potatoes?

Lots of things (that list will be GROWING over time, okay?!).

But I usually roast them.

Roasted potatoes seem so simple and we’ve all been served them a hundred times. Usually a hundred mediocre times.

I’ve had the most god-awful roasted potatoes you could imagine. I always order them when they’re on a menu, and since people know I love them so, they often serve them to me at dinner parties.

But they are often mushy. Or oily. Greasy. Dried out. Flavorless. Reheated to a chewy tire consistency. Underseasoned or overseasoned.

SOMETIMES THEY ARE GROSS! Even to a potatophile like my self.

And potatoes don’t deserve that.

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So today I bring you a recipe that’s not so much a recipe as a method.

This is how you should roast your russets.

There are a billion recipes on the internet, a billion fancy multi-step methods, a million seasoning mixes and add-ins and varieties of oil or animal fats. Boiling first, or microwaving, soaking in water, rinsing, tossing in flour, blah blah blah.

Here is a straightforward method that dirties no dishes and just requires a little bit of your attention. Can you do that? Just a little!

All you need for perfect roasted potatoes that are CRISPY AND GOLDEN on the outside but FLUFFY AND MOIST on the inside is a few flips during roasting in a moderately heated oven. Just flip ’em a few times and they will work their magic.

These… are healthy French fries.

It’s easy. Are you ready?

First, wash your ‘taters and pat ’em dry:

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Now start choppin’. I usually slice in half vertically (after trimming away any blemishes), then cut each half into 4-6 wedges, depending on how big that russet is:photo 2P.S. I love my ceramic knives.

You should end up with wedges that are roughly 3/4″ thick and 3/4″ wide. And stick ’em on a parchment-lined baking sheet:

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Now grab some olive oil (I use light tasting extra-virgin for roasting) and drizzle it on. Not too much, or your ‘taters will soak it up and get greasy. Not too little, or they won’t brown well and may get a little dry. For one russet, I’d say I use about 1 tablespoon:

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Get ’em all coated evenly and crack on some fresh pepper and plenty of coarse salt, then spread out in an even layer with an inch or more of space between each wedge. This is not for OCD purposes. This is to help the potatoes crisp and brown, instead of steam and mush:

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Now, pop the sheet into the oven on the bottom rack and set a timer for 20 minutes. WALK AWAY. Return to this:

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They’ll still be pretty light in color and they won’t be cooked through yet. FLIP THOSE BITCHES. Yep, flip each and every one. Now stick ’em back in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes again, and walk away.

Return to this:

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Ooh, now we’re getting somewhere. At this point, these potatoes were cooked through and would be ready for eating. But I wanted them to brown more. So I flipped them again and returned to the oven for 10 more minutes. I was rewarded with this lovely sight:

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Mmm, brown spots. Could you add them back for 10 more? Yeah, sure, no problem. But I was salivating and ready to eat.

These potato wedges are like a mish-mash of all the best things about French fries (crispy golden outsides) and baked potatoes (fluffy moist insides) without the bad parts (the grease and fat of fries and blandness of baked).

Eat ’em hot with your fingers.

Dip ’em in stuff if you want. Ketchup? Ranch dressing? Hot sauce? Even… mayo? Hey, I don’t judge dips.

Want some extra flavor? I’ve included tips for seasonings below the recipe.

They’re the perfect side dish for the protein of your choice, but for Mrs. Potatohead (my nickname on occasion), I eat them all by themselves, with a green veggie on the side. That’s a meal to me.

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So, if your potatoes aren’t treating you right, it’s just ’cause they need a little attention.

ROASTED POTATO WEDGES

The key to this method is leaving space between your potatoes while they roast. So use multiple pans if you have to. Squishing too many wedges together will result not only in potatoes that aren’t browned and crisp, but it will also lengthen cooking time.

  • russet potatoes, washed well
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut potatoes lengthwise into 8 to 12 wedges. Place on parchment and drizzle with oil–about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons per potato. Toss well with your hands so that all wedges are coated. Spread wedges evenly across baking sheet, using more than one pan if you are using several potatoes. Leave at least 1/2″ between them. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Place pan in oven for 20 minutes on the bottom rack.

Remove pan and flip each wedge over, spacing them out again. Return to oven for 20 more minutes.

Potatoes should be cooked by now (after 40 minutes), which you can check by piercing with a fork or knife.

Flip them again and roast 10-15 minutes more. If you’d like more color, you can keep them in the oven for an hour total.

Taste for salt, adding more if necessary. Serve hot.

 

 

To season your potatoes before/during cooking, here are a few things I’ve learned.

If you are using strong or hearty herbs, add them in the beginning with the salt and pepper. Things like thyme or rosemary benefit from hanging out in the oven for a while to infuse the ‘taters.

You can also add spicy things like red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or paprika at the beginning of baking.

If you are adding flavorful seasonings like garlic or onion powder or other spice blends or seasoning salts, I find it best to sprinkle the potatoes halfway through baking to maintain their flavor without burning.

Lawry’s seasoning salt does make its way onto my potato wedges on occasion. I will toss the fully roasted wedges with it right before serving.

 

1 Comment

  1. i’m a potato whore too, nw…. thanks for this, i’ll try your method soon… xoxo mariacarmen

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