I love recipes that take a bit of work to put together, the kind that use a ridiculous amount of kitchenware, loads of ingredients and a fair amount of time before they even reach the oven. There’s something so satisfying about all that work, both in the finished dishes you’ve created and the chaos they leave behind. In cooking and baking, you take the good with the bad. And fantastic flavor is almost always worth a fantastic mess.
Although it’d be great to have the time and energy to cook in a mess-filled fury on a daily basis, life is a busy thing, and sometimes I’m just too exhausted to battle the flying flour and grease spots a remarkable meal might bring. For those days, I’m thankful for recipes that strive for awesomeness despite their simplicity. And if one of said recipes only takes a bowl and a foil-covered baking sheet to get the job done, then, whew. You had me at foil-covered baking sheet.
I promise I’m not exaggerating when I say these potatoes are amazing, and I love that it takes so little work to get them there. We’ve had them three times in the past two weeks, and though the first time I made them I went sans foil and was left with a miserably messy baking sheet afterward (it was a long day, so my mess appreciation was probably lacking its usual gusto), I’ve since gone the foil route with no sacrifice to the wonderfully crisp texture that only screaming hot roasting can achieve. Jared suggested we try them again with spicy Cajun seasoning in lieu of the thyme and rosemary, so that’s going on the docket soon.
Salt and Vinegar Potatoes with Rosemary and Thyme
Adapted slightly from Savoring the Thyme
• 1 pound baby Yukon potatoes, washed, dried and cut in half
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/3 cup rice vinegar
• ¾ to 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• ¾ to 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Add the potatoes and stir until the potatoes are well coated. Let the potatoes marinade in the olive oil and vinegar for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Add the rosemary, thyme, salt and olive oil to the potatoes and toss to combine. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the baking sheet, and arrange them in a single layer (more breathing space makes for crispier potatoes, so if you’re doubling the recipe, be careful not to overcrowd your pan). It’s fine if some of the extra marinade makes it onto the baking sheet when you’re transferring the potatoes, but don’t add more than what comes through the spoon.
Roast the potatoes for 20 minutes, then give them a quick toss on the baking sheet. Continue roasting for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
What are your favorite no-nonsense, low-mess, whip-them-up-in-a-snap recipes? Have you had any truly amazing messes to contend with recently that brought along even more amazing meals? I’d love to hear about them!