When I got home from Russia, I was overjoyed to be reunited with my spice cupboard. Sad to leave Russia, happy to see loved ones, but: spice cupboard. I celebrated by making something simple but with one of my favorite seasonings.
- olive oil
Add some oil to a pan and crush some dried rosemary to go in it – it’ll still be pretty chunky bits of rosemary, but who cares? Rosemary is delicious and smells amazing.
Start the oven preheating to 425°F and start cutting up potatoes. Toss them in the oil. Right before you stick it in the oven, sprinkle some salt over it: sea salt is preferred, because the bigger granules won’t all dissolve while cooking and it matches the rosemary better so you get the little bursts of flavor from biting down on both things. Bake for an hour and fifteen minutes, devour while catching up on missed Hannibal episodes.
Yeah, okay, this is basically a combination of three of my favorite things, stuck in the oven for two hours.
- olive oil
- sea salt
I grated some fresh parmesan, because we had a block. Grate until your hand hurts! I used about half of our fairly narrow wedge. Add some olive oil and some pepper and a bunch of garlic. Like, a lot of garlic. I would go so far as to characterize it as an irresponsible amount of garlic. Like a third of a cup of diced garlic. We like garlic.
Then potatoes! I used five largish ones, mixed everything together, and sprinkled sea salt on top. Sea salt and only putting it on top are both because I wanted the slightly larger size, because everything else was in larger bits. If it’d been mixed up with the oil, it would have dissolved a bit, so there would have been taste but not texture. Then I stuck the whole thing in the oven. I checked them it an hour, mixed everything up, and covered it in more parmesan – the powdered kind, because it’s faster and we have that, too. Then back in the oven for another hour.
Like, whatever, you could probably do it at higher heat for shorter (though you’d risk burning the garlic), but I wasn’t all that hungry and had a paper I wanted to try to finish before dinner, so more time wasn’t a bad thing.
T gives them a thumbs up and goes back to playing Mass Effect.
I saw this gorgeous picture of a baked potato with broccoli cheese sauce on it, and it looked delicious, and the recipe was linked. But it involved multiple steps and timing things right, and I’m not really into that.
So I came up with my own.
- 6 potatoes
- Italian seasoning
- shredded cheese
- 1 can broccoli cheese soup
I started the oven preheating, then I cut up the potatoes into bite-sized bits and dumped them in a casserole dish. I grated some parmesan on top of that, because I have a block in the fridge. Then I added like a tablespoon of (hard, straight from the fridge) butter and a bunch of Italian seasoning and like a tablespoon of crushed garlic and a couple generous splashes of milk, and then I spread the can of soup on top. I did not worry about combining stuff at all, because I was gonna do that later.
The potatoes went in for an hour, then I took them out and stirred them and tried one – it was still pretty raw – and spread the shredded cheese on top, and stuck them in for another 50 minutes. Timing on all of this can be super approximate, and is going to vary based on the size of potatoes and the size and shape of the casserole dish. Don’t stress about it too much. And if you find you’ve left it in for a couple of hours before you notice and you still haven’t done the cheese, probably just crank up the heat so it broils a little bit for a few minutes and you have that nice cheese topping bit.
Serve immediately. It’s pretty good, and really satisfying, which I needed, as I probably should have eaten dinner about the time I stuck this in the oven the first time.
- garlic salt
- powdered parmesan
- olive oil
Tonight was steak and potatoes, because I felt like it. The trick to good steak when you can’t use a cast iron skillet on your glass-topped stove is to preheat your nonstick pan what feels like excessively. That, high heat, and not overcooking it are how I’ve figured how to do it.
Now, the parmesan potatoes: unlike pretty much every other iteration of potatoes I make, you want only a single layer. So I grabbed a 9×13 baking pan and put a layer of olive oil on the bottom. It makes the potatoes both crispier and orders of magnitude easier to get out of the pan. I ended up being able to fit 5 potatoes in there, cut up smallish. Then I sprinkled a little garlic salt and a lot of parmesan on top. Like, they should be pretty much coated in parmesan.
50 minutes in a 425°F oven and you have deliciousness!
So I should preface this by saying that leftover potatoes are rare in our house. When we do have leftovers, though, they make a phenomenal breakfast – and a quick one, since the ingredient that takes the longest is already cooked.
- leftover potatoes (recipe, recipe)
- shredded cheese (optional)
We had a few leftover potatoes, enough to mostly-cover the bottom of my 10″ non-stick frying pan. I dumped them in and spread them out, then cracked four eggs over the top of them. Then I turned the burner on to medium heat.
These were the vaguely-Italian potatoes, so I added more Italian seasonings, garlic powder (not salt, this time, because salt makes eggs get rubbery), and some paprika because why not. When white started to show at the bottom of the eggs, I stirred everything, breaking the yolks finally. I cooked that another couple minutes, then put shredded cheese on top.
Like, the cheese isn’t necessary. It’s still a delicious dish with no cheese! We just really like cheese a lot.
I gave the cheese like a minute and a half, maybe? Then used the spatula to lift sections and flip them over. The bottom of the eggs were adequately-fried brown, and the cheese started hissing pretty much immediately, so I only gave it like 30 seconds of that before dishing it up.
Eat plain or with your favorite egg-topping sauce (ketchup, A1, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, breakfast is too early in the day to judge anyone’s condiment choice).