Tag Archives: restaurant style

The BEST Roasted Potatoes

Friend!!  These potatoes are like a religious experience…they’re also like a science experiment. lol  “What?” you say…Yes, though easy, they have a couple ingredients you’ve probably never added to make roasted potatoes.  Which is why they’ve never turn out quite like these!  These roasted potatoes have a crunchy coating on the outside and are warm and tender in the center with a beautiful golden brown color, every single time.

A few things you want to remember when making the perfect restaurant-style roasted potatoes are:

  • You MUST parboil.  If you only roast in oven, your potato will almost always be overcooked or undercooked and not be too pretty to look at.  Plus the baking soda in the boiling water creates an alkaline pH that helps break down the potatoes surface, resulting in a starchy paste like exterior that will help make that crunch you’re after.
  • Please cut them in 2-inch (or even 3″) pieces for maximum surface area.  You always want the have a good exterior/interior ratio with roasted potatoes.
  • Russet potatoes are the best choice for this given they will make the crispest crust and fluffiest interior.  Save the Yukon Gold’s for mashed potatoes.
  • Please feel free to play around with the amount of baking soda and cornstarch as you make this recipe through the years.  Also, every oven operates a bit different, so just always watch to see if they need taken out sooner or need to roast a bit longer.

 

The Starting Lineup

  • 2lbs russet potatoes, cut into 2″ cubes
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 hefty teaspoon+ baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (bacon drippings too if you have it)
  • 1 Tbsp+ cornstarch
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • Fresh or dried herbs for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (400 if using a convection setting).  Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, along with the 1 Tbsp kosher salt, the baking soda and 2″ cubed potatoes.  Boil for roughly 10 minutes, until a fork can just pierce them.  You don’t want them overdone as they’ll finish in the oven.

Drain the parboiled potatoes in a colander and allow excess moisture to evaporate (a minute or two).  Transfer to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the oil/a bit of bacon grease and sprinkle the cornstarch over top.  Roughly toss around in the bowl and a thick “mashed potato-like” paste will seem to build up over the potato cubes.

Finally, transfer to a baking sheet, lined with foil or nothing at all (parchment paper will not allow it to crisp up on the side touching the potato).  Spread them out evenly and place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes.  At this time, shake the potatoes around (you may need a thin spatula to release any stuck potatoes from pan) and return to oven for another 15-20 minutes and your potatoes are a beautiful golden brown and crisp all over.

Season with more salt and pepper or herbs and serve immediately, enjoy!

RoastedPotatoes

 

 

Restaurant Style ‘Refried’ Beans (Crockpot)

Having the taste of restaurant style beans (for pennies) in your own home versus that glop from the can is priceless.  Who knew it could be sooo easy AND make so much!  Given the large batch this recipe makes and its simplicity, it is great for a gathering, a large family or to freeze for another Mexican inspired meal!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb bag of dried pinto beans
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1-2 Jalapenos, halved and seeded (decide YOUR heat level)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp chicken bouillon, to taste (Knorr)
  • 6 cups water  

THE NIGHT BEFORE, pour your dried pinto beans into a large bowl and fill with water.  Cover with saran wrap or a plate and allow to soak overnight while you sleep your sweet dreams. 

 Let us now fast forward to the next morning….Drain the beans in a collander and give a quick rinse before pouring them into your slow cooker (sprayed with non-stick). 

   Next add in every other single ingredient listed above.  Dang..this is pretty easy right?? 

   Cover the crockpot and set to low for the next 6-8+ hours.  Your house will soon start to take on that delicious mexican restaurant “I need chips & salsa” smell.  Delightful. 

   After time is up you have a few options to finish the beans.  

  • Leave them whole and enjoy.
  • Literally refry them.  Add them to a hot pan with a bit of lard and mash them till theyre your desired consisitancy.
  • Ladle the beans into a food processor with a bit of the cooking water and puree.  Pour back into the slowcooker to keep warm.
  • Ladle the beans into a blender with a bit of the cooking water and puree.  Pour back into the slowcooker to keep warm.  *Be careful with HOT liquids in a blender.  Make sure to cover lid with a small towel and your hand as the heat causes everything to expand.
  • Ladle a bit of the cooking liquid OUT of the slowcooker and use your immersion blender to puree the beans right in the dish.  *Add the liquid back in IF needed.  We like them ‘soupy’ but not overly so.  This is the route I chose today.    

Now that they’re all mashed to their refried bean gloriousness, season a bit more to taste if needed.  Serve topped with a bit of cheese & cilantro.  Delicious! 

 *This makes A LOT.  So if you have quite a bit leftover, transfer to a freezer bag, zip up, lay flat and place in freezer.  To eat: defrost over night and reheat in a pan or microwave with a pad or two of butter.

Simple Restaurant Style Salsa

I have a huge arsenal of hot sauces and salsa’s in my repertoire, now while this one may not be considered “authentic”, it is damn good!  This easy salsa is ALWAYS such a hit at parties…like, there is NEVER any left and people always ask “who made this??”  Now you can say “I did!”

It’s pretty much just a two-step process..no roasting, no boiling, no nothing (our friends at Rotel did most of the work for us ;)!  All you need is your food processor and 5 minutes to get the fiesta started.

*I always choose Rotel’s “cilantro & lime” mixed with their “hot”…this has quite a kick to it though.  So if your party likes it a bit more mild , I’d omit the “hot” and choose their original or something similar.

^^again..just that one can of “hot” will do it…if you cannot drink a bottle of Tabasco sauce like myself, I’d advice against it.

*You can use a blender if you do not own a food processor, but blenders do tend to make things ‘frothy” instead of finely diced.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes (flavor of choice)
  • 1/2 white onion, rough chop
  • 1 cup cilantro (stems & all)
  • 1 large clove garlic, rough chop
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Hefty pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions 

In your food processor, add in all of the above ingredients EXCEPT the 1/4 cup of sliced green onions.

   Pulse your processor till your desired texture is achieved.  We like ours a bit thinner…so I just pulse it longer.  Simple!

Here is where you will fold in the green onions to give it a bit more bite and texture.

     Depending how soon you’re eating this, pour into a serving dish or into a sealable container (I.e. Tupperware, Saran Wrap).  If eating later, just cover and place in the refridgerator till munch time!  Enjoy!

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