Al Dente On The Side: Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

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You have to be a moron of the highest order to mess up roasted potatoes. The President, no, Commissioner, no Grand Scion of Kitchen Idiots. Yes, people who ruin roasted potatoes are the Grand Scions of Kitchen Idiots, on a plane of consciousness on the order of a Level 8 Thetan. As a matter of fact, if you do ruin a batch of roasted potatoes, you should just start a massive fire in your kitchen and use the insurance money to convert it into a yoga space or laundry studio or somewhere you can speak to Xenu.

You don’t deserve to have a kitchen. You deserve to have a microwave propped on a dorm refrigerator next to your television, just like you did in college. You deserve to eat at least half of your meals each week at Arby’s.

Yet, people do this all of the time and validate my theory that the human race is really just a lot of poo tossing away from being chimpanzees. It’s like the people who say that they can’t even boil water. It’s a line, I get it, but if you are really that daft that you cannot assemble a simple pasta dish, then you really should contact your local department of social services and move into a group home.

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Roasting potatoes is such an easy thing to do that there are only two ways it can go horribly wrong:

  1. Undercooking. Potatoes are dense little creatures and need time to cook. Undercooking means you get a harder apple with no juice. Not fun.
  2. Burning. You can overcook potatoes and they will still be good. Hell, you can crisp them up and burn the edges. That’s the best part. But, when you cook potatoes until they look like something found at the bottom of a grill, you really have gone out of your way.

I think potatoes get a bad rap because of other preparations. Most mashed and baked potato recipes require to boil or bake the hell out of the potato for an indiscriminately protracted period of time. Have you ever had a bad baked potato? Doubtful, but have you ever had a good baked potato? Yes, and it had everything to do with the butter, bacon, sour cream, hot fudge and chives you piled on top. Cooking a potato is child’s play, but ruining a potato seems like an impossibility until you wander the aisles at Wegmans and hear the fat-assed women in their fat-ass capri pants talk about the magic of crockpots and Hidden Valley Ranch  or how they left a pan of potatoes in the oven to cook for six hours because the meat they were destroying in the slow cooker was going to take that long and why wouldn’t you cook the potatoes for the same length of time? (Exhale.)

So, without any further snark or negativity, here is a foolproof roasted potato recipe.

2013-11-16 at 16-58-12Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
By Jared Paventi

  • 24 oz. assorted fingerling potatoes, rinsed and halved lengthwise
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp. herbes de provence
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (see below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil. Start with 2 tbsp. and continue to add more to coat evenly. Add the herbs, mustard and garlic, and combine.

Prepare your baking pan by either lining it with aluminum foil and spraying it with non-stick cooking spray, or a sheet Reynolds Pan-Lining Paper (which I really like), OR add one tbsp. of olive oil to a glass baking dish and use a paper towel to coat evenly. Add the potatoes to the pan.

Roast the potatoes for at least 45 minutes. Pierce the largest potato with a fork. If it goes in without effort and comes out clean, they are done. If not, let them roast another 15 minutes and repeat. Want them crisper? Leave them in up to 1 3/4 hours.

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