I am in love with J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and his cookbook The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science! The book just won 2016 James Beard Cookbook of the Year Award. To understand why the Serious Eats Culinary Director is one of the best cooks on the planet, just make these Crispy Baby Potatoes. I followed his recipe with a few minor adjustments (substituted olive oil for canola and skipped the shallots) and served them to friends at a dinner party with rave reviews. They were incredibly crispy on the outside and just the right amount of softness on the inside. The fresh minced garlic, parsley and lemon hit at the end released a fragrance that was unforgettable. I will be making these again and again.
The Best Crispy Baby Potatoes
- 4 1/2 pounds red or yellow new potatoes scrubbed clean, sliced in half
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt + more for seasoning
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves minced
- 2 tablespoons sliced chives
- 2 teaspoons zest from 1 lemon
- 3 medium cloves garlic finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
Adjust oven racks to lower and upper position and preheat oven to 500°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil.
Place potatoes in a large enamel pot such as a dutch oven and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Add 2 tablespoons salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until exteriors are tender, about 5 minutes. Potatoes should show a slight resistance when poked with a paring knife. Drain potatoes and return back to the pot.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the potatoes. Season liberally with salt and pepper then toss with a wooden spoon until exteriors are slightly bashed up and potatoes are coated in a thin layer of potato/oil paste. Spread 4 more tablespoons of olive oil evenly over surfaces of foil-lined baking sheets, then divide potatoes evenly between them, and arrange them cut-side down.
Transfer baking sheets to the oven and roast until the bottoms of the potatoes are crisp and golden brown and can be easily lifted from the foil, about 30 minutes total, swapping top the trays top for bottom and rotating them once halfway through roasting. Using a thin metal spatula, loosen all of the potatoes from the pan and toss. Return to oven and continue roasting until a deep golden brown all over and with crisper darker edges, about 15- 20 minutes longer.
Remove from oven and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl.
Add parsley, chives, lemon zest, garlic, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to potatoes and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.