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Friday, July 1, 2011

Crispy Potato Roast

At the same time that tons of fruit is ripening and finding its way to my kitchen, we are still getting our huge box of fruits and vegetables each week. There are weeks that I am thrilled to have the challenge, and there are weeks that I dread finding ways to force these veggies onto the dining table and into my kids' gullets.

This week, I am just plain old tired. I think I have been in the kitchen about 8 hours each day, pitting and peeling and simmering and canning. I have also been wiping and washing and sterilizing and drying. I've cut my fingers, burned my hand, and run my computer and camera out of batteries a couple of times. If you emailed or called me this week, I'll get back to you soon. I must say that I am sleeping well... crashing at about 9:00 each night without so much as a minute between hitting the pillow and falling asleep.

Luckily, schedule-wise, the kids were at Karate Camp all week. I would feel bad if they had to sit around the house while I wrestled with big piles of fruit and even bigger pots of boiling water. As it works out, they were exhausting themselves as well, kicking and punching and grappling and defending.

But like I said, there are still veggies to consume. And, of course, people who need to eat.

While stumbling around the internet, looking for apricot and cherry and plum recipes to try out, I found a minute to read some stuff by these guys. They are Zach and Clay, and their blog, The Bitten Word, is the result of a New Year's resolution to be sure to cook, and write about, at least one recipe from each cooking magazine they read. Okay, in addition to the fact that they are pretty dang hawt, and that they cook amazing things, and take beautiful photos of it all, can we all take a minute to appreciate how incredibly cute it is to see a married couple have a joint New Year's resolution? And to stick with it!? I wish they lived next door to me.

Anyway, what led me to their blog was my incredible need, and never-ending search for things to do with potatoes. I've said it before, but holy moly, mother nature. Really? Do potatoes never go out of season?

So Zach and Clay offered me this recipe. It's amazing. I have never in my life been excited about potatoes. Until now, that is. This is worth writing home about.

But don't take my word for it. Go look at their blog. Theirs came out much cuter (after looking back at it, I realize they peeled their potatoes, and I didn't. They didn't tell me to.) And Zach and Clay are fun. But they failed to mention how amazing your house will smell while it cooks. I must say, though, that the un-peeled potatoes were just fine.

Plus, it gives me a whole new appreciation for potatoes. This is for sure a recipe that I will use often! It's easy, looks fabulous, and bakes for a good long time... freeing you up to make the rest of the meal. Or maybe even a pot of jam.



Crispy Potato Roast (from Everyday Food, December 2009)
Serves 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 1/4 hours
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
4 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise
course salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
8 sprigs thyme
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine butter and oil. Brush bottom of a round 9-inch baking dish with some butter mixture. With a sharp knife or mandoline, slice potatoes very thinly crosswise.
2. Arrange potato slices vertically in dish. Wedge shallots throughout. Sprinkle with salt and red-pepper flakes (if using); brush with remaining butter mixture. Bake 1 1/4 hours. Add thyme and bake until potatoes are cooked through with a crisp top, about 35 minutes more.

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