Feb 212013
 

Wicked easy, goes with anything and extremely forgiving so you can focus on the rest of your dinner menu without having to worry about perfectly timing your starch item.

Something wonderful happens when you combine olive oil, garlic and rosemary. When I'm having guests over for dinner, I make sure the skillet is in the oven about 15 minutes before they're scheduled to arrive. The aroma gets their attention the minute they walk in the door.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add 1-2 tbs olive oil, 1-2 tbs chopped garlic and 1-2 tbs chopped rosemary to cast iron skillet. Fresh rosemary is best, but powdered or dried works too.
Place skillet in oven for 3-5 minutes until oil starts to infuse with garlic. Your nose will know when it's ready.
While you're waiting for the garlic to sizzle and bloom, cut 3-5 of your favorite potatoes into bite-sized pieces -- skins on or off, doesn't matter. New and red potatoes are great, but russets and regular old Idaho's work well, too.
Toss potatoes in the garlic-infused oil and return to oven. The trick is getting the right amount of oil... after you toss the potatoes, they should be well-coated -- really shiny, but not floating in a pool. Resist the urge to add butter or any other kind of fat -- you'll be disappointed.
Roast for 25-30 minutes, toss and return to oven.
Roast for another 20-25 minutes until fork-tender.

The potatoes are plate-ready after about 50 minutes, but if the rest of your dinner is delayed it'll stay happily in the oven for another 30-40 minutes without being ruined. I once reduced the oven temperature to 200 and ignored them for an hour and they were great -- it doesn't matter whether the potatoes are simply roasted 'til done or whether they're a little browned and toasty.

Best of all, this is the mother of all base potato recipes. Substitute different seasonings for the rosemary: italian seasoning, cajun seasoning, plain old salt and pepper. Add shallots, chopped scallions, thinly sliced onion or finely chopped bell pepper. Go crazy!

Eat well and have fun! Life's too short to settle for a normal potato!