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Subject: Oven Browned Potatoes - To Parboil or Not
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 31 Aug 2005 06:18:24 +0200
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I've made them both ways and they're both good, but I think I have a slight 
preference for parboiling the potatoes before roasting.  Seems the interior 
is fluffier.  I only parboil long enough for a sharp knife to penetrate with 
some pressure.  

I read somewhere that parboiling allows the outer surface of the potato to 
soften enough to have a "roughed up" surface, which is supposed to help 
promote the browning.  

For either method, before roasting I coat the potatoes with various 
seasonings and herbs, and a mixture of butter and olive oil.

What do you do?

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From: Chris 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 04:19:38 GMT
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I've never parboiled them, mostly because I make them when I want 
something quick and easy.  But I might have to try it sometime.  :-)

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From: Bronwyn 
Date: 31 Aug 2005 04:59:15 -0700
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I sometimes parboil the root vegetables Wayne. Particularly if time is
short and the said vegetables are just out of the refrigerator. I
agree, the potato is fluffier,and with a crisp oven baked skin is damn
good!

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From: MoM 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 10:00:21 -0400
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I don't really have a recipe for this, I just do it.  I peel and cut the 
potatoes and try and keep them all roughly the same size.
I par-boil them about 10 minutes.  Drain and then shake them in the pot to 
rough up the surface.

While doing this I preheat bacon fat in a shallow pan to almost smoking.

Put the potatoes in the hot fat using tongs because you don't want to splash 
that hot fat.

Turn all the potatoes to coat in fat.

Return to oven that is at about 425 degrees.

Roast until nice and brown and a knife pierces easily.

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From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 31 Aug 2005 17:20:51 +0200
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MoM wrote:
> I don't really have a recipe for this, I just do it.  I peel and cut the
> potatoes and try and keep them all roughly the same size.
> I par-boil them about 10 minutes.  Drain and then shake them in the pot
> to rough up the surface.

That's pretty much the method I use, Helen, but I hadn't thought of bacon 
fat.  I've got to try that!  Thanks...

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From: MoM 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 14:53:05 -0400
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:
> That's pretty much the method I use, Helen, but I hadn't thought of bacon
> fat.  I've got to try that!  Thanks...

Great old English trick.

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From: Lisa Smith 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 18:42:40 GMT
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MoM wrote:
> I don't really have a recipe for this, I just do it.  I peel and cut the
> potatoes and try and keep them all roughly the same size.
> I par-boil them about 10 minutes.  Drain and then shake them in the pot to
> rough up the surface.

This is the method I use. I also always leave the skins on, I love the
texture of the roasted skin with the texture of the roasted potato. I like
them seasoned with salt and pepper and chopped fresh rosemary

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From: MoM 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 14:54:54 -0400
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Lisa Smith wrote:
> This is the method I use. I also always leave the skins on, I love the
> texture of the roasted skin with the texture of the roasted potato. I like
> them seasoned with salt and pepper and chopped fresh rosemary

It's an English way.  I skip the rosemary.  I've tried it on a few things 
and I really don't like the flavour.

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From: Dimitri 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 14:15:04 GMT
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:
> What do you do?

Nuke them for a short period.

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From: Dee Randall 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 10:35:41 -0400
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Dimitri wrote:
> Nuke them for a short period.

I just scrub off  small red potatoes, cut them in two pieces, put some oil 
in a small container (with or without herbs), swish them around, put them on 
a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake at 425F until done.

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From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 31 Aug 2005 17:23:49 +0200
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Dee Randall wrote:
> I just scrub off  small red potatoes, cut them in two pieces, put some
> oil in a small container (with or without herbs), swish them around, put
> them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake at 425F until
> done. Dee Dee 

I've never used the small red's before for this type of cooking.  I'll have 
to give it a try.  Thanks, Dee.

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From: Bronwyn 
Date: 31 Aug 2005 20:44:45 -0700
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The small reds are good too -- particularly with roast pork, half cut
through and fresh bay leaf wedged in the cut. Delish!

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From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 1 Sep 2005 06:01:20 +0200
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Bronwyn wrote:
> The small reds are good too -- particularly with roast pork, half cut
> through and fresh bay leaf wedged in the cut. Delish!

Umm...   I'll have to try that!  My local farmer's market always has fresh 
herbs, including bay leaves.  Sounds so good!

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From: Dimitri 
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2005 14:39:04 GMT
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Bronwyn wrote:
> The small reds are good too -- particularly with roast pork, half cut
> through and fresh bay leaf wedged in the cut. Delish!

Tossed with melted butter and roasted garlic paste.

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From: Brick 
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 01:20:29 GMT
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Dee Randall wrote:
> I just scrub off  small red potatoes, cut them in two pieces, put some oil 
> in a small container (with or without herbs), swish them around, put them on 
> a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake at 425F until done.

What Dee Dee said, but size of pieces varies with my mood at the timel

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From: Ken Knecht 
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 16:33:08 GMT
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Dee Randall wrote:
> I just scrub off  small red potatoes, cut them in two pieces, put some oil 
> in a small container (with or without herbs), swish them around, put them on 
> a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake at 425F until done.

About how long does that take? Maybe a half hour?

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From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 31 Aug 2005 17:22:23 +0200
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Dimitri wrote:
> Nuke them for a short period.
  
If I'm in a hurry, I sometimes do that with bakers before putting them in 
the oven.  Hadn't thought of doing it with oven-browned.  Thanks!

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From: Sarah 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 17:55:06 GMT
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I've taken to nuking them in a micro steamer first. My hubby prefers 
potatoes cut into slices (about 1/8th to 1/4 inch thick) nuked then when 
they're just short of being cooked rubbing with olive oil and salt and 
pepper, and blasting in the convection oven until they're almost cremated! 
The potatoes don't break up as much as when boiled, but still fluff up and 
give the crispy outside.
They really are adictive, we usually have them with pork fillet and sage and 
onion stuffing, roast onions, some steamed carrots and broccoli, and lots of 
gravy made from the pan juices from the pork and onions. But I always eat 
way too much and have to sit with my waist band undone for the rest of the 
evening!

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From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 31 Aug 2005 22:00:47 +0200
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Sarah wrote:
> I've taken to nuking them in a micro steamer first.

I'll have to steaming them instead of boiling.  I never thought of it.

Thanks, Sarah.

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From: Brick 
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 19:15:39 GMT
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:
> What do you do?

I swear that I did not copy anyone else's method, but I do mine exactly
like you do. For oven roast, I like new potatoes, little red potatoes, or
Yukon gold. I like a large enough dice ~3/4" to get a decent sized bite
with one piece. I use my 'house' spice, which is nothing more then a 
reduced salt 'Essence' much of the time with some Mrs Dash or 
McCormick's blend from time to time. Butter and EVOO is a must. I
roast at 400 to 450. If I'm way late getting started, I skip the parboil.
Oh yeh, I mix a little flour in with the spice mix to promote browning.
YMMV.

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From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 31 Aug 2005 22:02:27 +0200
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Brick wrote:
>   Oh yeh, I mix a little flour in with the spice mix to promote
> browning. YMMV.

Hmm...  I hadn't thought of the flour.  Must give that a try.

Thanks, Brick.


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