These potatoes are my go-to potato dish in winter or summer. These morsels are the epitome of flexible and the leftovers…funny, there never seems to be any leftovers! These potatoes are a perfect side dish for entertaining. So put on the potatoes, pour yourself a glass of iced tea…yeah, you thought I was going to say “wine”, didn’t you? The Goddess is not that predictable! These little gems are so versatile. I put the pot on (with the potatoes!), turned the burner to medium-low and took a shower. They were fine. Now, I take a pretty quick shower, but you get the idea that you needn’t hover over these. I put the fat—olive oil, bacon drippings, vegetable oil—into the pot that has been heated over medium heat. I don’t use butter until the end; it burns too easily. Place the potatoes, with the water that clings to the potatoes from washing them, into the pot, pop the lid on, and let the flame do its magic. You don’t add any additional water. It is important that the potatoes are about the same size so they will cook evenly. I have found that mixing types of potatoes, while they look spectacular, can be problematic because they cook at different speeds.
The basic recipe is about cooking the potatoes. You need to shake the pot in a circular, up-and-down motion, holding the lid on tightly (use pot holders; don’t be heroic). You want to bring the bottom potatoes to the top and let the top potatoes fall to the bottom. Put the pot back on the burner and walk away for 6-8 minutes. When the potatoes are fully cooked, you will end up with little crispy spots where the potatoes have rested against the bottom of the pan and browned, but the interior will be soft and creamy.
Flavorings are a matter of taste. Salt, freshly ground black pepper and garlic, in some form, are all these babies need. But, sometimes you just need more, so I’ve used dill, chives, mint, red pepper flakes, scallions, red onions, shallots, garlic, basil and a combination of several of these. I usually finish the potatoes with a drizzle of good olive oil or some butter. When the little dears are done, I will toss in the flavor(s) of choice, cover the pot and let it stand for a few minutes. Then, I toss them and serve.
Stove-Top Roasted Potatoes
- 2 pounds baby potatoes, washed and drained, with some water still clinging
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, bacon drippings or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (I prefer coarsely ground)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 teaspoons roasted garlic paste)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs or 1-2 teaspoons dried herbs
- 1-2 tablespoons good olive oil or butter
Place a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons fat of your choice. Toss the potatoes, with the water still clinging to them, into the pot. Cover and lower the heat to medium-low. About every 6-8 minutes, pick up the pot (you probably will want to use pot holders if the handles are hot!) and holding the lid on tightly, shake the pot in a circular, up-and-down motion, to move the potatoes on top to the bottom of the pot. At first the potatoes will sound more like marbles, but as they cook and begin to soften, the sound will change to more of a thud. Continue to “shake” the pot every 6-8 minutes until the potatoes are tender. They will cook in 35-50 minutes, depending on the temperature of your burner, the size and the amount of potatoes in the pot. About 10 minutes before you think the potatoes will be done, add the garlic (if using the fresh garlic) and continue cooking and “shaking” until done. (I use a pasta pot for this amount, as you want at least 4-5 inches of head space above the potatoes).
When the potatoes are tender, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter, salt and pepper. Add the herbs of your choice, a good sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roasted garlic, if using; toss to distribute evenly. Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl. Serve immediately or cool slightly; they hold the heat and can burn your mouth, so be careful on that first bite!
NOTE: You may garnish with crumbled feta or bleu cheese or grated Asiago or parmesan, just before serving. The potatoes will hold for at least 20 minutes, covered with the heat turned off.
Diced potatoes will not work using this method; they will become mush. They will still taste great, but will be more or less roughly mashed potatoes.
Stove-Top Roasted Potatoes Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015. All rights reserved.
This is a good, basic recipe any time of the year, but they are terrific for the summer. The potatoes can be prepared on the side burner of your BBQ, so no heating up the kitchen in the middle of summer. The summer also allows you to use fresh herbs by the boat load, but dried herbs work very well, too. Other than the above flavor options, try using a mustard vinaigrette, sour cream, heavy cream, and various cheeses, drizzled or sprinkled over the potatoes. You may wish to slice or dice leftover potatoes (though rarely are there any left) and toss with cooked green beans and a mustard vinaigrette; a few black olives thrown in is pretty good, too. I would imagine by now you realize what I’m really telling you is…”Make ’em the way you want ’em!…but make ’em!”