Food - Drink
Why You Need To Stop Bothering Your Roast Potatoes
Potatoes make for a delicious side dish paired with almost any entree. While mashed potatoes are a featured player on the Thanksgiving table, and fries are the trusty sidekick in the fast-food arena, roasted potatoes are mostly a homemade fixture that can take a bit of care to prepare correctly.
The trick to cooking up crispy yet tender roast potatoes is to leave them alone for the right amount of time, even if it's tempting to bother them. Once your potatoes are in the oven, give them time to brown enough on one side — around 20 minutes — before flipping them, since moving them around too much will result in uneven cooking.
Another trick for crispy roast potatoes is to boil them first. Cut the potatoes, then boil them until tender, adding a half teaspoon of baking soda per two quarts of boiling water to make the water more alkaline, which allows the pectin in the potato skins to break down and draws their starches to the surface.
Toss the potatoes around in a bowl and rough them up a bit for a more "mashed" consistency on the outside; this layer will crisp up in the oven after you douse the potatoes in the fat and cook them at around 450 degrees F. Also, never use a cold baking pan, or else the potatoes will stick, and don't overcrowd the pan, or else they'll steam.