This is an easy full proof alternative to deep frying potatoes , in this case roasted rather than fried, and can be cooked in tandem with a roasted main course, both pulled out of the oven at the same time and served without a lot of fuss or bother if you are entertaining.
I discussed my aversion to deep frying in an earlier post and much prefer the flavor when using olive oil for oven frying/roasting, which has the added benefits of being a healthier alternative as well.
The secret here is steaming the potato wedges prior to roasting, which produces a sweetness and denseness that deep frying does not.
A word about bamboo steamers; if you don’t have one…do get one! It will become one of the handiest cooking vessels in your kitchen and beats boiling in every respect.
Bamboo steamer set over a wok filled with water to within a half inch of the steamer bottom.
Roasting pan fitted with a rack.
Preheat oven to 450F/230C
- 4 good size roasting potatoes, skin on
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- flaky salt and fresh ground pepper
Wash the potatoes to remove any soil. Cut each potato into 8 wedges lengthwise. Place wedges in a bamboo steamer, or other, in a loose single layer and place the remaining wedges on top of the first layer going in the opposite direction. This will allow the steam to circulate evenly. Put the lid on the steamer and turn the heat up to medium high until the water begins to boil and steam is rising out of the top. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer/steam for about 12 to 15 minutes.
To test the potatoes, insert a thin bamboo skewer, or toothpick, into a wedge. The potato should be slightly firm, but the skewer should insert with ease.
Remove the steamer from the wok and remove the lid and allow the wedges to cool for 5 minutes. They will then be dry to the touch.
Place wedges in a large bowl and drizzle the olive oil over them. Add salt and pepper over the surface and toss together gently until evenly coated.
Place the wedges loosely onto the rack set in the roasting pan in a single layer. Repeat with a second layer, again loosely placed going in the opposite direction.
Place in the center of the oven, or below a roast for a main course, and roast about 45 minutes. There is no need to turn the potatoes as the rack allows the heat to circulate evenly. Do Keep an eye on them towards the end of the cooking time as they do brown quickly!
Once the potatoes are heartily golden and crispy, remove from the oven and serve.