Growing up, I was always a very non fussy eater, fond of food in general. (It showed amply on my bountiful health, but that is another story ). It made my mom a very happy woman, since she did not have to run after me with vegetables in one hand and vigorous waving with the other And especially since my brother was my polar opposite. A lovable and affable spirit, he believed vegetables were grown to make humans pay for their sins. In his world, vegetables comprised of potatoes, onions, potatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, peas and potatoes. Hence, if you haven’t figured it out yet, mi madre had to throw in potatoes in pretty much anything and everything she cooked, just to get my brother to eat his mouthful !!! It might be the reason why I never really cared for potatoes till I left house and started life’s independent journey.
A long time away from potato laden stuff, and gradually I rediscovered the yumminess of that universally loved root. Mashed (Indian style), stir fried, deep fried, curried, roasted, baked, boiled – I realized its versatility and utility. But I was still far from loving it like my brother did. And then I landed in the deep south of the USA, met Arby’s curly fries and decided I was reborn; into a potato lover, specifically arby’s curly fries lover. Mio Dio, it turned to be my poison, something I ended up forcing myself to enjoy exclusively during road trip, holidays or superbly downcast, grey and rainy weeks, just so that I could eat it without adding to the fat quotient of this already heavy weight nation !!!!. Of course what I did not know was how easily I will be falling in love with a much simpler and healthier vesion, the ubiquitos oven/skillet roasted breakfast potatoes. A thousand versions abound, each one as amazing, and yet my favorite happens to be the Europeanstyle with a mix of a few simple ingredients. While I was happy with my own little simple recipe, a search on the net led me to the Smitten Kitchen where I found this amazingly simple twice roasted potato recipe that beats so many of the others. I took my own spin on it, a slight one though, and made it for a brunch. The result - I had to share it with half of the guests, on request. I now share the same with you and wish you nothing but Bon Appetit
Ingredients: Serves 2-3 as a side dish
3/4 lbs medium sized gold potatoes, halved and then cut into medium thickness chunks or fries
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves (preferable but optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
1/2 cup Romesco sauce (optional)
1. Heat oven to 350 deg F. Toss potatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, bay leaves and salt/pepper to taste in a pan lined with aluminium foil. Wrap the foil tightly around the potatoes and bake in the oven for 30-40 mins, till they are tender when pierced. Take out of the oven and remove foil.
2. Heat an iron skillet (or heavy non stick pan) with a 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
3. Place the roast potatoes in the pan in one layer and season wtih more salt and pepper if needed. Let it cook (more like let it brown) on high heat for 2 mins . Then flip the potatoes one by one and brown on high for another coupel of minutes or so.
4. Stir in parsley and serve hot.
5. Else serve it with Romesco sauce to turn it into the lovely spanish tapas dish, Patatas Bravas