Martha Stewart’s Crispy Potato Roast – a Winter Meal Treat

Crispy potato roast

Here’s another neat use for that new gift set of Kyocera Ceramic knives that Santa left under the holiday tree.

All hail the mighty potato, an integral part of much of the world’s cuisine.

The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum family (also known as the nightshades). The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber.  Neat facts:

  • The potato is the world’s fourth-largest food crop (following rice, wheat and corn/maize).
  • The annual diet of an average global citizen in the first decade of the 21st century included about 73 lbs. of potato.
  • The potato is mega-delicious.

The potato can be baked, mashed, curried and more, but we are interested in slicing it for Martha Stewart’s Crispy Potato Roast (see recipe below).  Here’s how to properly prepare the potato:

  • It doesn’t matter much whether you peel the potato or not—but if you’ve decided to leave the skin on, make sure the potato is well cleaned before starting.
  • The only hard part of slicing a potato is that there are no flat edges, which means an unstable base.  So the first cut is to create a base.
  • To slice a potato into round slices, grip half of the potato with your fingertips and cut into the desired thickness at a right angle to the cutting board.
  • If the potato is too wobbly, you can cut a little off the bottom to stabilize it. Place the potato on the cutting board, and slice off a ¼ inch from one of the long sides.
  • That becomes the first slice, and creates a flat surface on the potato.
  • Flip the potato on it new flat side, and you’ve got a much more stable base.
  • Then, working from one end of the potato to the other, slice disks the desired width – super thin or thicker.
  • To chop the potato, stack one or two slices and cut the slices into thin strips.  Rotate the slices a quarter turn, and cut into smaller pieces.

If you use the “create a base” technique and maintain a good safe grip on the knife, you’ll be able to mow through a bunch of potatoes in no time at all.  Happy slicing.

Martha Stewart’s Crispy Potato Roast

Ingredients

4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled

4 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

coarse salt

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)

8 sprigs thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine butter and oil. Brush bottom of a round 9-inch baking dish with some butter mixture.
  2. Arrange potato slices vertically in dish. Wedge shallots throughout. Sprinkle with salt and red-pepper flakes (if using); brush with remaining butter mixture. Bake 1-1/4 hours. Add thyme and bake until potatoes are cooked through with a crisp top, about 35 minutes more.

Cook’s Note

The thinner the potatoes are cut, the crispier they’ll become in the oven. Keep the slices together as you cut them so that you can arrange them easily in the dish.



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