Perfect Crispy Potatoes

by Cate on August 24, 2009

Perfect Crispy Potatoes

When Sarah, Maris and I first saw the topic of Melissa D’Arabian‘s new Food Network show, we all had the same thought … hey, they swiped our idea!  Melissa is the latest winner of The Next Food Network Star, coming away with her very own brand new show, $10 Dollar Dinners, promising dinner for four that won’t break the bank.  Love that!  During the series, the judges consistently suggested to Melissa that she tone down her energy just a bit.  Put it this way … her level of perkiness makes Rachael Ray look like she’s a walking zombie, and we all know how much energy Rachael has!  While Melissa definitely has the market cornered in the energy area, it was infectious and hard not to like and root for her.  She is also a stay-at-home mom to four little girls preschool age, so that boundless energy no doubt comes in handy.  (You can see a very adorable pic of her girls right here). She was also the only contestant with no formal culinary education.

Nick and I happened to catch an episode of her show yesterday where she made a Parisian-inspired meal featuring a chicken l’orange dish and crispy potatoes.  We both instantly wanted the potatoes, especially once she said they were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  My favorite kind.

First, a quick note.  See the picture of the tray up top?  That’s supposed to serve four.  With a little coleslaw and chicken breast on the side.  I just don’t see it.  Especially not if your four happen to be guys … or high school footballers … or really hungry … or who don’t like coleslaw.  Just sayin’.  I understand that that amount is what kept the dinner under the $10 mark (her breakdown was $5 for the chicken, $4 for the coleslaw and $1 for the potatoes), but maybe spending some of the coleslaw’s $4 for another potato might go further.  In my humble opinion, of course.

Now that being said, how were they?  In a word – delish.  Just as she promised, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.  I used Yukon Golds, instead of the Russets she called for, just to up the buttery taste a bit, but they were scoffed up like nobody’s business at dinner time, and the perfect accompaniment for a nice, tender pot roast.

Perfect Crispy Potatoes
Recipe courtesy of Melissa D’Arabian

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the potato cubes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the water, stir, and cover the pan with a lid. Steam the potatoes until the water evaporates, about 3 or 4 more minutes. (Every 1 to 2 minutes, open the lid long enough to stir the potatoes so they don’t stick.) Lower the heat to medium, and saute another 1 to 2 minutes until all traces of water are gone. Toss in the butter and stir to coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the potatoes are crisp and browned to your liking, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on how dark you want them. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and serve.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

leslie August 24, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Yu, maybe I will triple the recipe for my potato loving house!


Claire August 24, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Three potatoes…four people, that should work! Probably with the “standard American” portion size, it would be not enough, but if you served what a serving size “should” be, I bet it would be plenty. :-) Looks great…I love when the corners of the potatoes get crispy!


Jess August 25, 2009 at 5:44 am

We are a potato luvin’ family as well. I want to make these tonight!


Joanne August 25, 2009 at 6:20 am

Considering the fact that $4 should get you four more pounds of potatoes, I think you should definitely swap out the cole slaw. I also just don’t really like cole slaw.

I liked Melissa a lot during the show. She seemed to be one of the few without an agenda. Great recipe!


Julia @ Mélanger August 25, 2009 at 7:45 am

Lovely – I so adore potatoes in all forms. Mashed, baked, fried…..these would go like a shot around me!


mandy August 25, 2009 at 8:59 am

Sounds like a great recipe. I agree with the comment above — I love potatoes in all forms as well.


doggybloggy August 25, 2009 at 10:19 am

I get potatoes on sale for a buck fifty for 5 pounds – who is doing the math here?


Ramona August 25, 2009 at 10:25 am

Looks like a recipe I need to try.


Tracy August 25, 2009 at 11:28 am

I saw this show too, and thought it all looked great. I remember thinking when she plated the food that, gosh, that sure was a lot of cole slaw, but I think that was her strategy–fill up on vegetables and have a smaller helping of everything else. That said, if your picture is 4 servings, then I should be making four times that much for my family of six!


AshleyM August 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I saw that show as well and made the potatoes for dinner last night. In a word they were fantastic! I didn’t ge the whole fennel slaw thing though.


Anna August 31, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I just made these for the second time in a week–delicious! Thank you for posting the recipe. We tried them with onions tonight, and it made them even yummier.


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