Potato crack


Potatoes are one of those foods that somehow make me feel just a little guilty, mashed, baked, roasted, gnocci’ed, it doesn’t really matter. Like pasta, the sheer pleasure of consuming whatever varietal of pomme de terre sitting on a plate, begging to be eaten, will always ignite a sinful shiver.

Potato crack is one such pleasure, fleshy potatoes glistening with olive oil and the tang of rosemary and sea salt on your tongue.  This dish has graced my dinner table more times than I can count; here then is the tried and true recipe.


Small potatoes*

Good quality olive oil (I use Amelia oil)

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

*I tend to use fingerling or small new potatoes as they tend to roast better, if the farmers’ market has a number of different varietals of smaller potatoes, I’ll add some of those in as well.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Parboil the potatoes until they are just tender. (My former mother in law, a formidable woman of Cockney descent who baked a Sunday roast every week, was adamant that par boiling was key to a crispy potato. I was not one to argue.) Arrange the potatoes in a roasting dish and ‘smash’ each one with a fork.  Sprinkle generously with olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper and the rosemary, ensuring each is covered.

Roast the potatoes until they are brown and crispy.




10 Responses to “Potato crack”

  1. Posted on January 4th, 2010

    Not convinced. The Missus loves french fries of all kind, even crappy ones. I surmise the author has similar kinship with roasted carbs. Crack? More like ennui. Annnd… let the flames begin.

  2. Posted on January 4th, 2010

    Yummy recipe Jules! I do a variation of potato crack very similar to yours…with red potatoes cut into wedges, slightly overboiled so are like mashed potatoes inside. They dent easily and create that rough edge that broiling loves so much. I also include slices of onion and chunks of crushed garlic with basil or rosemary. My final bonus is that I roast a chicken right above it so the drippings go onto the potatoes (Jamie Oliver did this on one of his shows but used a side of pork to make fresh crackling).

    Wait…one more final bonus is having a convection gas stove so it moves the heat around and dries things out slightly quicker so the potatoes get the nice crispy edges. How you face the potatoes makes a difference too (facing down you get an oily browned crust on the yellow flesh, facing up you get the crispy hard crust).

    Here’s our recipe for the whole shebang:

  3. Posted on January 4th, 2010

    It’s true, I boil my potatoes for about 1 minute before seasoning and roasting them in the oven. It makes a huge difference, even if it’s only for a minute. If you wanted to jazz this recipe up a bit you could also add some small slices of chorizo or merguez into the mix, and of course, a side of sour cream. Yum!

  4. Posted on January 4th, 2010

    Nancy: That sounds absolutely delicious, thank you for sharing!

    Missy: Love the idea of some chorizo, I’ve also added some parmesan. So delicious! Am also a huge fan of roasted sweet potoes with rosemary and parmesan. Mmm!

  5. Posted on January 4th, 2010

    I swear by the parboil as well. This exact recipe and technique also makes for some beautiful results thrown on the bbq in some foil.

  6. Posted on January 5th, 2010

    I believe that Nigella Lawson once referred to it as ‘Potato Prozac’

  7. Posted on January 5th, 2010

    I would kill for potato crack right about now.

    I also find it hilarious that your first Foodists post is tagged as “vegetarian.” If I didn’t know you better, I’d disown you. :)

  8. Posted on January 5th, 2010

    Kevin: I love the idea of BBQ’ing potatoes, I’ve yet to try it but am thinking a simple grilled potato salad would be delicious.

    Eagranie: T’is my second post, I wrote about beef last time ;-) You cannot disown me, my next post will be about pie!

  9. Posted on January 6th, 2010

    Boy do I remember THESE. Drool. My favourite is to roast baby blue potatoes… they have such a creamy texture and this is the best application for them <3

  10. Posted on January 6th, 2010

    I tried it, and may need another ‘crack’ at it. I did not parboil them long enough. I’m not downhearted, though; I get potato crack two days in a row!

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