“You learn to cook so that you don’t have to be a slave to recipes. You get what’s in season and you know what to do with it.” – Julia Child
Truer words have never been spoken, and from none other than the late great Chef and my personal inspiration. I would like to think that Julia would appreciate this recipe. As the title indicates, it’s simple. But more importantly it’s based on technique and open to countless variations. Just like making an omelette or roasting a chicken, everyone should master the art of roasting potatoes. Once mastered , you’ll go back to this recipe time and time again, maybe varying the seasoning or garnishing with some different herbs. The key being you won’t even need to look up the recipe and that…is what learning to cook is all about.
In theory, roasting potatoes should be as easy as boiling an egg or toasting bread, right? Ironically, I struggled for years to nail down this recipe. Digging below the surface you find many elements: the perfect size to cut the potatoes, the right amount of olive oil, cooking temp and time. My goal was always to get them just crispy enough on the outside, tender on the inside. After much trial and error, I finally got it! With, of course, a lot of help from Penzeys Shallot Pepper seasoning and my cast iron skillet.
Three MUST HAVES before we get to the recipe: I highly recommend the pan of a thousand uses: Lodge 10.25″ Cast Iron Skillet. A pan that Martha Stewart once proclaimed an “essential kitchen tool”. You can purchase a new, pre-seasoned skillet on Amazon for a mere $14.88. Ready to use right out of the box and will just get better with age. You may certainly roast these on a sheet pan but I find the heat retention of the cast iron makes for the best roasted potatoes.
Along with your cast iron skillet, the second must have is a recent addition to my kitchen : The Ringer stainless steel cast iron cleaner. Why did I not know about this sooner?
This super strong, chain mail makes cleaning cast iron a breeze and gets a full 5 stars on Amazon with almost 5,000 reviews and it’s only $13.99!
Last but not least, the secret ingredient for my perfectly roasted potatoes: Penzeys Shallot Pepper seasoning.
In fact both these seasonings are so wonderful, I am giving them away to one lucky person (see my Dinner Is Served Facebook page) for details. I use the Shallot Pepper seasoning on everything. The Mignonette Pepper is a new discovery, and we’re in love with it as well. A combination of black & white pepper along with some coriander, it’s fabulous on steak and beef roasts.
For my perfect potatoes, though, the Shallot Pepper is THE way to go.
I think new potatoes work best for this recipe, or Yukon Gold. Russets have a bit of a drier texture although the outsides tend to get more crispy so if you like your roasted potatoes on the crispy side, then russets are the way to go!
Finally note the recipe as written serves about 2 people but of course can easily be doubled or tripled, etc. They’re a perfect summer side with grilled steaks or chicken and of course in the fall and winter along side roasted meats and poultry. Honestly I could probably eat a plate full of them alone for dinner and be perfectly content.
I hope you enjoy these potatoes as much as we do!
Until next time, eat well, be well and love lots
Simple Skillet Roasted Potatoes
- 2 cups red or fingerling potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ to 1 tsp Penzeys Shallot Pepper Seasoning (see NOTE>)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS chopped fresh parsley or chives
Preheat oven to 420°. Combine potatoes, seasonings and olive oil in an oven proof skillet, preferably cast iron (or a lightly greased 8×8” glass baking dish). Toss to coat. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until light golden brown on the outside. Be sure to check on the potatoes at the 35 minute mark! Give one a taste test and if tender, remove from oven and tent with foil until ready to serve. Garnish with parsley or chives.
NOTE> If you aren’t using the Shallot Pepper seasoning, you can always season with salt and pepper alone, just keep the pepper to about 1/2 tsp or less, depending on your taste.