I really, really hate bugs, but I really, really love roasted potatoes. While my hatred of bugs is nothing new, my love affair is. My relationship with the starchy staple began only this summer. Here’s what happened:
After graduation I moved home to Chicago for the summer, only to be notified two weeks later that I had gotten an internship back in St. Louis, and that the company wanted me to begin there in, oh, six days. SIX DAYS. Let’s just say it was a bit of a scramble. The last-minute schedule meant there was no time to apartment hunt, which was fine because I had just so happened to have checked out one apartment in case this sort of situation materialized—and it was beautiful.
The place had two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a dishwasher, central air (a necessity in 110-degree heat, perhaps you heard about us breaking records last summer?), a newly-redone interior, an upgraded kitchen, and a baby bunny that lived outside my bedroom window. To top it off I was on the first floor but still elevated above ground level making the moves in and out as painless as possible, and it was in a cute and safe neighborhood with the best candy store ever on the corner. Everything had fallen into place—it seemed almost too good to be true.
And ohhh, it was.
One day after I moved in the bugs came out. I won’t gross you out with the details (thankfully they were not cockroaches), but let’s just say that after two visits from the exterminator, the bugs weren’t going anywhere, but I was. A combination of hotel rooms and the guest room of my boyfriend’s parent’s house in the suburbs got me through until I found a new place of residence.
Even though I eventually moved into an extended-stay hotel, I was still invited to Chris’s house for dinner at least once a week.
Enter: potatoes. Helloooooo my little roasty friends!
See, Chris’s dad loves to cook. He makes dinner for the family every night of the week, and often, makes his outstanding roasted potatoes as a side dish. They’re unbelievably easy and totally delicious. Seriously. There may or may not have been numerous occasions where I’d accidentally eaten through most of the contents of the serving bowl. Whoops. Sorry. Not sorry. They get to eat them all the time and I don’t. (Even if I’d had the recipe then, the extended-stay hotel room didn’t have an oven so I HAD to eat them when I went to Chris’s house, duh, it was the only option.) Rationalization is totally acceptable.
Flashback to last weekend’s visit to St. Louis—Chris’s dad made them the night we came over! After telling him that the upcoming post was inspired by his mythic potatoes, he gladly gave me the recipe. It’s really not even a recipe so much as an ingredient list. So here you go. The key to potato happiness lies here:
Potatoes (any kind), olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Yep. That’s all. They’re even vegan in case you care!
Recipe: Mr. Lauber’s Magical Roasted Potatoes
FYI: He used Paula Deen’s Silly Salt instead of salt and pepper independently. I couldn’t locate the stuff in any stores and was not about to order it from Amazon just for this little project, so plain old s & p works just fine.
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Wash and slice your potatoes. In this case I used four and cut them into small wedges. Mr. Lauber’s potatoes look like little boats where the ends come to points. I cut mine in long wedges first though, so they ended up with flat ends but you can always cut yours differently.
3. Toss them in 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or whatever amount seems necessary to coat all the potatoes), then salt and pepper them to taste, and toss again to make sure the potatoes have a coating on each side.
4. Put the potatoes into a flat-ish pan, mine was about one-inch high, and bake them in the oven for 50-60 minutes until the edges of the potatoes are brown and crispy-looking.
5. Get out your fat pants. Commence potato bliss.