It’s a nasty day outside – cold, wet, grey, miserable – and I’m sitting inside in the almost-dark thinking about Thanksgiving and all the intense cooking and eating in the next few days. Most years, my sister and I go all out and make a feast, regardless of how many people we’re expecting. This year my sister can’t come home and I have a newborn, so Thanksgiving will be in the capable hands of my in-laws and I’m only a contributor. I am contributing my famous Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (easy), and a pumpkin cheesecake (easy). Which is making me think about all the incredibly easy recipes there are out there and how, even with a new baby, I should be cooking more.
Potatoes are one of the most versatile and comforting foods there is. They can be prepared in so many ways, some healthy, some not so healthy; they can be simple or supplemented with delicious additives (like ranch dressing – thanks to Hidden Valley ads during Agents of Shield on HuluPlus, I’ve been craving mashed potatoes with ranch dressing for weeks). Every time someone fixes them for me, I remember how much I love them and how I should make them more often. Potatoes last a really long time, so they aren’t one of the “emergency – eat these now” vegetables, which also makes them a good stand-by.
This “recipe” could not be easier. It’s so easy that I wouldn’t even call it a recipe – I’d call it a cooking style. (I do actually apply this general style to almost all the veggies I cook – it’s excellent for broccoli and brussels sprouts also.) Since there’s no real measuring, you can make as many or as few potatoes as you want. These potatoes make a great side dish for dinner, or a simple substitute for fancier hash browns at breakfast. And if you’re like me and you like to use your hands rather than utensils, the olive oil is great for your skin!
Easy Roasted Potatoes
- Cut up some small potatoes, however many you have or want (I had about five yukon gold here).
- Toss them in some olive oil, salt, and chopped rosemary (or whatever herb/spice you have around).
- Spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes, until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. (You should be able to stick a fork straight in with no trouble.)
- Serve hot.
My relationship with Joy of Cooking got off to a rocky start, but things are definitely looking up. I don’t think I ever got around to telling my Joy of Cooking story, so now’s as good a time as any. And then I’ll get around to the Brussels Sprouts.
This year for Thanksgiving (yes, I’m finally getting around to the Thanksgiving posts), we initially decided we would be making “green bean casserole that doesn’t suck”. Two years in a row we have made green bean casserole that does suck, and for some strange reason for the third year we decided maybe we should do something different. Who knows – maybe we’re just tired of not wanting to eat our greens?
I looked around for alternative recipes and actually found a few that looked promising, but then I found this recipe in my new Joy of Cooking cookbook (there’s a story behind that – I promise I’ll tell you later) and thought maybe the solution to green bean casserole that doesn’t suck was to skip the green beans! We all love broccoli (and anyone who doesn’t should learn – it’s the vegetable of champions), and we definitely all love cheese, so really how could we go wrong?
When I told Caitlin we were having sweet potato casserole, the first thing she asked was “With marshmallows???”. So of course the answer had to be yes. I’ve never made sweet potato casserole before, so I did a quick google search and discovered that, based on just “sweet potato casserole”, what you get is a bunch of people posting recipes without marshmallows and saying “this isn’t one of those gross, super-sweet marshmallowy casseroles”. Which of course was exactly what I didn’t want, so I revised my search to actively include marshmallows, and discovered, of course, that Martha Stewart was to the rescue.
This recipe was very, very easy, with only a few ingredients and not much attention required. Perfect for Thanksgiving when you’re trying to make 80 recipes at the same time… It had plenty of spice, excellent texture, and just enough marshmallows (okay, maybe the recipe didn’t, but we didn’t measure – we just used the whole bag). (more…)