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Subject: Roast potatoes
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Diane 
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 11:42:04 -0800
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How do I get my roasted potatoes to turn out golden brown and crispy on the
outside?  I consider myself fairly decent in the area of cooking but mine
always turn out either burned and miserable or mushy and horrible. Help...my
family considers them a running joke. Probably why we always have mashed
with our roast beef dinner.

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From: Jack Schidt 
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 15:01:36 -0500
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Once the potatoes are arranged in the pan, spray them with some olive oil.
I use a plant schpritz bottle, so I can avoid using PAM.

Jack Spud

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From: Dimitri 
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 12:53:34 -0800
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Diane wrote:
>  I consider myself fairly decent in the area of cooking but mine
> always turn out either burned and miserable or mushy and horrible.

The real question is what are you doing now?

Roasting the potatoes should be a fairly simple process.  I usually wash and
dry the potatoes then just quarter the potatoes or cut them into eighths and
put them into a bowl and toss with a little salt, pepper and olive oil,
maybe some garlic.

The question then becomes how and when and where are you roasting them?

If I am making a *dry roasted* roast, then the roast is usually on a rack.
The potatoes go in  on the pan below the roast (depending on the size of the
cut) about 45 minutes before the roast is done.  If it is a pot roast I
usually use a baking sheet that has been oiled lightly.  When they are brown
they are done.

I think the real trick here is knowing when to put then into the oven and
just moistening them with a little oil .

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From: Alan Boles 
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 21:05:22 GMT
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If you are cooking them in with a roast. Baste them even if you don't
baste the roast. Need to have some oil on the surface of the tatters for
them to brown up nicely.

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From: Dimitri 
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 17:19:41 -0800
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Robert W. Keereweer wrote:
> As usual Dimitri, your post is top notch. But you broke my heart
> by leaving paprika out of the above...

I only use the paprika if I'm serving to Hungarians :-)

As always you're correct the paprika is great insurance for nice brown
skin/crust and a delicate flavor - also great on roast chicken - Another old
trick.

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From: HELEN PEAGRAM 
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 10:57:04 -0500
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Hi Diane; Ok, my hubby loves roasties and used to make them himself
until he found I did a better job.

Here's what I do.  Peel and quarter potatoes.  Put in boiling water
and boil for 10 minutes.

While the potatoes are boiling, put a pan ( I use the same one all the
time because it does get badly used) in a 450 degree oven with a good
dollop of fat, I use bacon fat.  Allow to preheat til smoking.

Drain potatoes and shake in the pot.

Dump into the hot fat and turn to coat potatoes.

Leave in the oven til golden and crispy, about 1 hour.  Turn
occasionally.

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From: Harry A. Demidavicius 
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 05:29:10 GMT
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>How do I get my roasted potatoes to turn out golden brown and crispy on the
>outside? 

Select a "good roasting potato" [starchy].
blanch them
Coat with olive oil and soy
salt & pepper to taste.
Under a["high"] broiler until they look brown and done.
[move them around during the process - should take about an hour or
more]

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From: richard green 
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 23:29:12 +1100
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Also make sure that you dry them thoroughly after washing or par boiling.
Some people say that after par boiling you should place potatoes in a
paper bag to squelch the surface (lightly). This roughens the outer
layer, increasing the surface area and allowing the flaky bits to crisp up
better. Roast in a hot oven, as suggested, say, 225 degrees.
regards,

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From: penmart10[at]aol.com (Sheldon)
Date: 16 Jan 2000 11:28:33 GMT
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Diane wrote:
>How do I get my roasted potatoes to turn out golden brown and crispy on the
>outside?  mine always turn out either burned and miserable or mushy and horrible.

Use "new potatoes" (smallish and similarly sized), peel or partially peel,
lightly coat with vegetable oil (salt and pepper if desired) place in shallow
pan (one layer - don't crowd) and and roast in hot oven (next to top shelf) til
golden.

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From: Steve Martin 
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 18:31:12 GMT
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PERFECT ROAST POTATOES

Serves 4-6

1.5kg/3lb floury potatoes (preferably all similar in size)
dripping, goose or duck fat, for basting
about 2 heaped tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp soft thyme leaves (optional)
few whole unpeeled garlic cloves (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Peel the potatoes and cut into
large even-sized pieces. Place in a pan of cold salted water and bring
to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain and return to the pan
for a minute or so to dry out.

Preheat a large roasting tin with 1cm/1/2in deep of dripping, goose or
duck fat for a few minutes until just smoking. Place the flour in a
small bowl, season generously and add soft thyme leaves, if using.
Place the potatoes in a colander and toss them in a handful of the
seasoned flour. You'll need to do this quite vigorously so the edges
start to break up slightly.

Arrange the potatoes, flat-side down in the hot fat and baste the tops,
adding the garlic cloves at this point for a different dimension, if
liked. Position in the oven and cook for 20 minutes before turning the
potatoes over. Cook for a further 20 minutes, then pour off the
majority of the fat. Cook for a final 20 minutes until crispy around
the edges and golden brown.

Tip

If you only have one oven and need to cook the potatoes in the same one
as the chicken. Simply place them on the top shelf and increase the
heat to maximum once the chicken has been taken out to rest. They will
not be quite as crispy but will still taste delicious!

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From: Harry A. Demidavicius 
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 22:14:42 GMT
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Here's what works at our house. Just make sure you get a starchy
potato - it produces a better result. The soy adds colour as well as
flavour.

Harry's Roasted Potatoes
 
	4 to 5	lbs potatoes 
	1/2		cup olive or vegetable oil
	1/3		cup hot water
	1		tbsp dark Soya sauce
	1		tsp pepper
	1		tsp powdered oregano
	1/2		tsp powdered garlic, to taste

1)	Peel & quarter the potatoes. The chunks should all be about
the same size.

2)	Parboil them for about 10-15 minutes, drain & turn out into a
9x13 inch casserole dish.

3)	Mix all the other ingredients and pour over the potatoes
taking care that all the surfaces have been coated.

3) 	Place into an oven preheated to 350 deg. F. for about 30-40
minutes, while turning occasionally so that all the sides get golden
brown. Remove from heat & serve.
 
Serves   6

Source: Harry Demidavicius

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From: kris[at]vilnya.demon.co.uk (Kris Dow)
Date: 18 Jan 2000 12:30:18 GMT
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	I've found that the real secret is to use a pan that will hold
the heat. (Delia Smith uses a metal roasting pan that is sturdy enough to 
put on the stovetop, to keep it warm while adding potatoes, but I use
either a ceramic roasting pan, or a glass one, and give them plenty of
time to preheat.)

	First thing is to put the roasting pan in to pre-heat (I don't
do them in the same pan as the roast, because I find I have better
control if I do it seperately) with just enough oil to coat the bottom
of the pan. (If you have too much oil, the potatoes don't brown nicely.)

	As others have said, pre-boil the potatoes, just until the outsides
begin to soften. (About 10 minutes, depending on the size of the potato
pieces. I tend to cut mine to ~1.5 inch "cubes", or as cubed as potatoes
get, anyway. Sometimes that means quartering, sometimes more, depending on
the size of the potato.) Drain *well*. (I normally let them sit in the
stainer for about 5 minutes above the cooking pot, to get all of the
water out. Shake them around a little to fluff up the outsides, so they
absorb the hot oil well.) 

	Remove the pan from the oven, pour the potatoes in, and toss 
them around in the oil quickly, then pop the pan back in the oven. (I've
also been known to toss the potatoes in oil just lightly before adding
them to the hot oil in the pan, to get an even coating, but that's
not the "classic" way of doing it, and once you get the amount of hot
oil right, you don't really have a problem getting the potatoes coated
evenly without having too much excess oil in the pan.) It takes ~45
minutes for them to cook, although I've found that can vary some.
After about 30 minutes I like to turn the potatoes just so they brown a
bit more evenly. When you're getting close to 45 minutes or so, keep
an eye on them. In my experience the dratted things can go from "perfect"
to "burned to a crisp" in no time flat, unless you're there watching,
in whcih case they stubbornly refuse to brown. (That whole watched-pot
thing.  :)

	Anyway, the secret is keeping as much heat as possible in the
pan and the oil, so they start crisping immediately, and to precook
them to get a nice floury coating on the outside, which is what gives
the nice crust. Also, you have to serve them ASAP once they're done.
In my experience roasted potatoes do *not* hold well, so I normally time
the rest of the meal around them. The vege and meat can be reheated if
the potatoes take a little longer.


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