We writers always have a work in progress. Sometimes more than one! I'm finding that applies to recipes, too.
Recently I saw two different chefs offering recipes for oven-roasted root vegetables. I made a mental note to try something of my own with root veggies but then the notion of oven roasting spurred an idea. One of my favorite ways to cook potatoes (okay, mashed wins, hands down, every time) is by cutting them into small cubes (skin on) and popping them in the oven to roast. Why has this become a favorite? I can alter the seasonings to suit the main dish, almost everyone likes them, and after cutting them into cubes, they require very little attention, leaving me free to deal with other dishes.
The idea that began to percolate in my mind was to add bacon to the potatoes. Simple enough. But would the bacon crisp up or be soggy? So I gave it a shot.
The result was delicious. The potatoes were soft, the bacon was crispy, and the whole thing wasn't too guilt-inducing. After all, it's really only 4 ounces of bacon and the recipe serves about four people. Bacon is used to enhance the flavor, not as the main attraction.
But adding bacon resulting in one little downside – too much grease! As it cooked, it released fat. Hmm, I probably should have anticipated that. I solved the problem, at least temporarily, by pouring the potatoes onto a piece of paper towel, much as I do bacon after frying it in a pan.
Now, having complained about the extra grease, let me mention that leftovers fry up with a lovely crisp edge on the potatoes. Yum! It might be worth making these a day ahead of time and them popping them into a large skillet to cook slowly the next day if you're after that crispiness.
Other possibilities come to mind. The potatoes could be roasted at 425. In my experience, that's getting fairly hot, and I wonder if the bacon wouldn't burn. I might try it that way. Cutting down on the olive oil is another possibility. But the potatoes need a little bit or they'll stick to the pan and the seasonings won't stick to the potatoes. Suggestions?
Oven-Roasted Potatoes with Bacon
three large russet potatoes
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
4 ounces bacon
1 large rimmed baking sheet or pan
Preheat oven to 400. Scrub the potatoes, dry them, and cut into small cubes. Place in pan. Drizzle with olive oil and turn potatoes to coat. Sprinkle with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Turn potatoes again to coat.
Slice bacon in thin (1/4 inch) slices. Sprinkle over potatoes and turn again to mix. Shake the pan to spread the poatoes. They should be in one layer.
Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes, shake the pan, and make sure they're in one layer again. Roast another 15 minutes. Reduce grease by turning out onto a paper towel before serving, or eat as is!
|These are smaller than 1-inch.|
|Only 4 ounces of bacon, sliced very thin crosswise.|
|Mix potatoes, seasonings, and bacon.|