Sunday, June 26, 2011

Herbed New Potatoes

Rosemary Herbed New Potatoes

Recipe from the San Jose Mercury c. 1997

This recipe was in a stack of newspaper clippings saved by a former roommate. I’m guessing that it came from the Mercury, her favorite paper, well over 10 years ago now. It’s become one of my favorite ways to prepare small potatoes. This recipe calls for aluminum foil, which I don’t like using, but have not figured out how to get the potatoes to both steam and fry in the oil without it.

Let me know if you think of a way to cook these potatoes without foil! Aluminum is mined from land-scarring open pits, its smelting emits greenhouse gases including precursors of acid rain, and some say that it is not healthy for the body. So it's best to use it sparingly...and if you’re able to scrub off the potato residue after baking, recycle your foil. Recycled aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce so-called virgin aluminum. In the meantime, put the potatoes on the shiny side of the foil. I understand that the duller side is more likely to release powdered aluminum particles onto the food.

Aluminum Foil Ready to Recycle
Used Aluminum Foil: Scrubbed and Ready to Recycle!
Speaking of conserving energy, I used the convection oven rather than heat up the regular oven for this small amount of baking. Since I couldn’t fit a cookie sheet in the convection oven, the potatoes were a little less browned, but my husband said they were “yum,” and I agree. I’m going to try using the circular insert to a springform pan in place of a cookie sheet in the convection oven next time. My convection oven says it will bake a 12 inch pizza, so a round springform pan should fit.

The recipe says you can use either rosemary or thyme. I’ve tried both a few times and tasters much prefer the rosemary.

Red Potatoes and Rosemary Sprinkled with Salt and Pepper
New Potatoes with Rosemary Ready to Bake
Herbed New Potatoes
serves 2 - 4

8 – 12 small potatoes (8 – 14 oz.)
1 ½ tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or thyme (or ½ tsp. dried)
Salt and fresh-ground pepper

Place a cookie sheet on center rack of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut potatoes in half or thirds, so that they are all about equal in thickness. Pat dry with towel. Place a 16-inch length of aluminum foil (18 inches wide) on flat surface and rub with olive oil in the middle. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on oiled part of foil. Sprinkle with herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Fold foil over potatoes like closing a book. Fold edges over together twice and crimp to close. Bake 45 minutes. Uncrimp and check for doneness. Bake an additional 15 minutes or so if needed.

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