Christmas is for the little ones. The season is all about them and making them shine. We enjoy every bit of them even when we have to poke their little eyes out. WHAT??? Why are you looking at your computer screen all weird? I’m talking about those cute little potatoes you see in the bags at the market. What did you think I was talking about?
I am obsessed with little potatoes. Potatoes, apparently, are graded on size. A-size, which is the most common is about 2 ½” diameter. Think of your typical baking spud. (Unlike bras, people seem to be most satisfied with “A”’s.)
Then there is B-size: 1 ½” to 2 ¼” diameter range or a “new” potato. (The name “old” potato never caught on.)
The C-size is less than 1 ½” in diameter and is the smallest potato available. The C’s are harder to find so I stick to B’s most of the time. (My husband loves “C’”s but who am I trying to kid, he is lucky if he can get his hands on an “A” if you know what I mean.)
There are also 500 varieties of potatoes in this world so the size factor is just one part of the grading. Another fun fact is that there are more potatoes grown in North Dakota than in Idaho. If I lived in North Dakota, I would really think this is a fact that needs to shout from the rooftops! And if we had a picture of North Dakota on all of our potato bags, I might actually be able to point to it on a map! (Please note that I got this fact off of a website in North Dakota…that grows potatoes but I am sure they are not letting that influence any information they put out on the Internet.)
Feel free to use this witty potato information during your holiday dinner. I am sure it will provide hours of banter with all those relatives. (Don’t mention to the kids the part of this post about poking out their eyes. Besides freaking them out, they might try to do it to one of the smaller kids and I don’t want to be responsible for any eye incidents.)
Speaking of holiday dinners (and potatoes), little roasted potatoes are really a nice side dish for that special meal. The prep is pretty much trouble free. Rarely do they have eyes to poke out so that is nice. (Unless you have a sadistic side and like to poke out eyes!) A majority of these little bags of spuds are prewashed so you don’t have to scrub them. (If you still need to rinse them, you will need to make sure they are completely dry before you try to roast them.)
You can cut them into halves or quarters if you like a crispier bite or you can roast them whole. (I highly recommend cutting them because there is just something so satisfying to the browned flesh of a potato!) Finally, you can tweak their taste by seasoning the potatoes with good salts like Maldon, pink Himalayan, truffle or malt vinegar salt. (If you can’t find malt vinegar salt, here is a great recipe. )
I also find new potatoes a great venue for using up those odd spice blends you have in your cabinet that just take up space. (I bought this one garlic herb one at a big box store and I think it will be used up by next Christmas.)
So raise your fork and toast the roasting of small potatoes because the holidays ARE about the little ones! (Just don’t run with your fork or you may poke out an eye for real!)
Roasted New Potatoes
2 pounds of little potatoes (they really can be any type you want because you will taste test them before you are done cooking them)
2-4 Tbsp olive oil
Favorite salt or spice blend
Oven at 375.
Prepare 2 baking sheets with a sheet of parchment. (I know they can fit on one sheet but you want the potatoes to have room so they don’t start steaming each other. Trust me, I’m a blogger and everything I say is true….sort of.)
I HIGHLY recommend quartering the potatoes at the very least cut them in half lengthwise and place in a large bowl.
Drizzle in about 2 Tbsp of olive oil. You want your potatoes to look a little shiny but not drenched. Give them a good toss or two and then add a little more oil until you get that perfect shine. (Think of your skin, you want to glisten but not look greasy.)
If you are adding spices, add them now but reserve adding your salt until the end.
Spread the potatoes on your prepared sheets making sure that a flesh side is faced down on the pan. (This will give you a nice crispy side.)
Place in your oven for about 30 minutes. They should be tender and brown. Obviously, the time is going to depend on if your potato size and how you cut them.
At 30 minutes, I usually give them a good toss in the oven and cook another 15 minutes because I like a super crispy outside.
Don’t be afraid to taste one. There is nothing worse than raw potato.
While they are piping hot, sprinkle on your salt (like you would on hot French fries).
No matter what, don’t skip salting them with a good quality salt.
These have become one of my favorite things to make as a quick side. They are almost a guilty pleasure….kind of like writing my blog.