Oregon Home Grown Chef: Potatoes

Oregon Organic Roasted Potatoes
Oregon Organic Roasted Potatoes

Oregon Potatoes: Spud Boy where are you?

written by Thor Erickson | photos by Ashlee Pierce

Potatoes have a bad reputation.
Once the kings of sustenance and preservers of civilizations, potatoes in modern society have been viewed as starchy carbs that aren’t good for us. Potatoes have been used and abused as the vehicle for bright and shiny things—French fries with ketchup, mashed potatoes with gravy, chips and dip. Like the bassist in a ’70s super group, the potato is often upstaged by the colorful lead singer. The spud is in fact a vegetable, and can be wonderful. If selected and prepared with care, the potato can be worthy of a solo career.

I remember digging around in my grandparents’ front yard as a kid, making mud pies. I dug up these small round objects. My grandmother quickly took them and rinsed them off, claiming the red potatoes I found were buried treasure. That evening, she cooked the dozen or so small potatoes as part of our dinner. They were like no other potato I’d eaten in my entire six years of life. “They taste like dirt—good dirt,” I said.

Potatoes fresh from the ground are simply the best. If they sit around awhile, however, they lose the earthy life that yields great flavor. I recommend purchasing locally grown organic potatoes at a farmers market or a market that sells local produce. Good, fresh potatoes will smell like the rich soil in which they grew. They’ll be firm, free of black spots on the skin and green discoloration on the interior. This discoloration is called “solanine” and is caused by exposure to light. Potatoes with solanine can cause slight digestive discomfort and should
be avoided.

To me, the best-tasting potato dishes are the simple ones—capitalizing on their great flavor should be the goal.
Here is my recipe for roasted Oregon potatoes. Converting the starches in the potatoes to simple sugars is the key to a crispy, golden-browned potato.

Oregon Roasted Potatoes by Thor Erickson

DifficultyBeginner

This Oregon Roasted Potatoes recipe is deceptively simple, uses only a few ingredients, and is probably something you make already. Learn how to perfect it. The key is to convert the starched to sugars before frying.

Oregon Roasted Potatoes

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time10 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time40 mins

 4 lbs Oregon Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into sixths
 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
 Freshly ground black pepper
 1 tsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
 4 tbsp kosher salt

1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2

Heat 2 quarts of water in a large pot over high heat until boiling.

3

Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt to the water, add the potatoes and return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until a fork is easily inserted into one of the pieces of potato, roughly 10 minutes of simmering.

4

Meanwhile, combine olive oil with rosemary, garlic and freshly ground black pepper in a small cast iron skillet or saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring and shaking pan until garlic turns golden, about 2 minutes.

5

Immediately strain oil through a fine-mesh strainer set in a large metal or glass bowl. Reserve the oil and garlic and rosemary mixture.

6

When potatoes are cooked, drain and let them rest in the pot for a minute or so to allow them to dry off a bit. Transfer to bowl with the oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to coat, shaking bowl roughly, until a thick layer of paste with the consistency of mashed potato has built up on the potato chunks.

7

Transfer potatoes to a large baking sheet and separate them, spreading them evenly.

8

Transfer to pre-heated oven and roast, without moving, for 20 minutes.

9

Using a metal spatula to release any stuck potatoes, shake pan and carefully turn potatoes. Continue roasting until potatoes are deep brown and crisp all over, turning and shaking them a few times during cooking, about 30 minutes.

10

Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and toss with the reserved garlic and rosemary mixture and minced parsley. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Ingredients

 4 lbs Oregon Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into sixths
 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
 Freshly ground black pepper
 1 tsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
 4 tbsp kosher salt

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2

Heat 2 quarts of water in a large pot over high heat until boiling.

3

Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt to the water, add the potatoes and return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until a fork is easily inserted into one of the pieces of potato, roughly 10 minutes of simmering.

4

Meanwhile, combine olive oil with rosemary, garlic and freshly ground black pepper in a small cast iron skillet or saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring and shaking pan until garlic turns golden, about 2 minutes.

5

Immediately strain oil through a fine-mesh strainer set in a large metal or glass bowl. Reserve the oil and garlic and rosemary mixture.

6

When potatoes are cooked, drain and let them rest in the pot for a minute or so to allow them to dry off a bit. Transfer to bowl with the oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to coat, shaking bowl roughly, until a thick layer of paste with the consistency of mashed potato has built up on the potato chunks.

7

Transfer potatoes to a large baking sheet and separate them, spreading them evenly.

8

Transfer to pre-heated oven and roast, without moving, for 20 minutes.

9

Using a metal spatula to release any stuck potatoes, shake pan and carefully turn potatoes. Continue roasting until potatoes are deep brown and crisp all over, turning and shaking them a few times during cooking, about 30 minutes.

10

Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and toss with the reserved garlic and rosemary mixture and minced parsley. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Oregon Roasted Potatoes

Here’s another great Oregon Potato recipe: Oregon Cheesy Potatoes!
This Oregon Potato recipe is pretty close to Tenzin Sherpa’s Himalayan Potatoes

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