Thursday, July 19, 2012

Crispy Garlic Roast Potato Wedges

Wow, these potato wedges really came out well: crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, savory and spicy, too.

Vastly more than I can say for my repeated, and failed to varying degrees, attempts at baking sweet potato fries. I guess that's why they're usually fried instead of baked. The issue is that there's too much moisture in sweet potatoes for them to properly crisp up; I've found that even if the outside's crisped up, moisture from the inside will gradually make it soggy anyway. And you can't cook them for too long either, else you end up with burnt sticks.

But! The trick described here of salting your sweet potatoes first, and here of salting your potatoes first, to draw out moisture before you roast them sounds promising. An extra step...but I'll try it next time. I don't think it's really necessary with non-sweet potatoes, though. At least, with this batch of red potatoes it definitely wasn't necessary.

I based my recipe off of America's Test Kitchen's recipe in The New Best Recipe. But here's what needs pondering: they describe trying high-starch, low-moisture (russets) potatoes, medium (yukon), and low-starch, high-moisture (such as reds) potatoes, and conclude that the reds and yukons brown well, with the russets and yukons ending up too dry. (Thus reds were their favorite.) I guess that makes sense; if sweet potatoes are even farther up the scale of more moisture and less starch, then maybe that explains why they brown/burn so quickly while the inside is still too moist and steams out any crispness. Hmm...

*What's up with Blogger? It keeps randomly adding in background color to my text.

Crispy Garlic Roast Potato Wedges

2 lbs red or other low-starch potatoes, scrubbed, halved, cut into wedges
3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS minced dried rosemary (fresh is probably nicer)
paprika to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Toss potato wedges with oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place potatoes flesh-side down in single layer in roasting pan or two, making sure not to overcrowd. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove foil and roast until the side of potatoes touching pan is crusty and golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
  5. Remove pans and turn over potatoes with metal spatula so the other flesh side is down (try to keep the crusts intact--I found that my potatoes released easily, though). Roast another 5-10 minutes, until the fresh flesh side is crisp and browned.
  6. Remove pans from oven and toss potato wedges with garlic, rosemary, and paprika, and serve.


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