Recently I took a cooking class at the Birmingham Community House which happens to be right across the street from where I work. How convenient! I highly recommend checking to see if your city, or a nearby city, has a community center. They offer all sorts of classes (exercise, cooking, foreign language, dance, etc) at very reasonable prices. The class I took was called Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals. The 2 hour class cost $36 and during that time we made 7 different meals and side dishes. The best part is we were able to sample ALL of them. YUM!!!
This is a recipe for one my favorite sides that we tried, Roasted Potatoes. We paired it with flank steak and these potatoes tasted divine! This is such a simple recipe too. The only thing you’ll find hard about assembling this dish is waiting 45 minutes while the potatoes cook in the oven. They taste so wonderful when they come out of the oven and I am in complete agreement with our teacher who said “Why would you make French fries (implying the frozen kind) when you could make these instead? “
You can make roasted potatoes using traditional Yukon Gold, Idaho, or redskin potatoes but this recipe, including the cooking time, is specifically for Fingerling potatoes. Until this class I had never heard of fingerling potatoes. Fingerlings are different varieties of potatoes (French, Russian Banana, and Purple Peruvian) that grow small and narrow. Because of their shape and size, they are perfect for roasting. These potatoes aren’t easy to find in grocery stores though. Our teacher told us Costco sells them, however I thought I might save myself a trip and check my normal grocery store (Meijer). Unfortunately they didn’t carry them. I think higher end grocery stores may carry these, but if you don’t feel like searching, Costco sells a 5 lb. bag for $6.99.
|Five pound bag of Fingerlings from Costco|
One of the most important things you’ll need to remember when making this side dish is to cut the potatoes into similar bite size pieces. This will ensure all the potatoes cook evenly. Otherwise you’ll have some potatoes that are mushy (over done) while others are cooked just right. For the most part all you’ll need to do is cut the fingerlings in half. However you’ll find that some are long and narrow while others are short and fat. Because of this, you may need to cut a short and fat potato into quarters, while the long and skinny potatoes are halved. This will help keep the thickness of the potatoes consistent.
When all the potatoes are sliced, you’ll need to cover them with oil and herbs. I find that 1 tablespoon of olive oil is perfect for around 2 lbs. You’ll want to make sure that the potatoes are evenly coated with olive oil but not swimming in it. You may need to buy some Mrs. Dash seasoning if you don’t have any at home, but this can be found at any grocery store. Also, you can use regular salt for these, however I find that using freshly ground sea salt really takes these up a notch. The stores even sell sea salt that is already packaged in a grinder. These range from $2-4 and are sold right in the baking aisle next to all the other herbs and spices. Below is a picture of the one I purchased at Meijer. Once the cap is removed, the grinder works by simply twisting the top.
When the potatoes are ready to bake, use parchment paper to line a sheet pan. Parchment paper is different from wax paper. I previously thought they could be interchanged. Not so much. If you don’t have parchment paper in your house, buy a roll. It’s super handy. It will save your prized possessions from sticking to the pan and save YOU some scrubbing work afterwards. When the potatoes are placed on the pan, the skin side should face down on the parchment paper while the inside of the potato faces upwards. This will ensure the potatoes cook evenly.
|Ready to put in the oven|
Enjoy! I know you’ll love these just as much as we do. The best part about serving these potatoes as a side is that you can pair them with a fancy dish such as steak or with something as simple as a turkey sandwich, like we did today!
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Adapted from Roasted Potatoes recipe by Chef Pam Gustairs (Birmingham Community Center)
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Total Time: 60-65 mins.
- 2-3 pounds Fingerling potatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original Blend (salt -free) seasoning
- 1 -2 pinches regular salt OR 1-2 cracks of freshly ground sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.
- Wash potatoes (peel if desired) and cut into similar bite size pieces.
- Place potatoes in a medium bowl and add minced garlic. Toss.
- Add olive oil and toss potatoes to coat evenly.
- Add Mrs. Dash seasoning and salt. Toss to coat all potatoes. Tip: Sprinkle the seasoning and salt high above the bowl instead of directly on top of the potatoes. This ensures the seasoning will ‘sprinkle’ and not ‘clump’.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Dump potatoes onto the pan and arrange so that all potato skins are facing down on the parchment paper.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and tender.