I’m marooned in my mother’s house, after she’s had a hip operation. Trying not to miss my own kitchen too much, and thinking about the sort of food she likes. So here’s how (when I’m at home) I pre-roast and freeze potatoes.
Raw, peeled or scrubbed, potatoes – I find I can fit the contents of a 2 kg bag into my microwave, and a roasting tray.
Oil – I use a mix of olive and sunflower, or oil and a knob of butter.
Fresh strong flavoured herbs e.g. sage, bay or rosemary
- Preheat the oven – 200o C
- Cut the cleaned potatoes to roastie size – I go for more than one mouthful, but probably less than four! As you cut them, put them into a microwaveable bowl, full of water. I have it on the draining board – as the bowl fills water can spill over the sides. It’s good to give them a good rinse to take off some of the starch.
- Drain off the water, add a fresh half-cup so the potatoes will steam in the microwave. Cover the dish. I have had these plastic plates for ever, and they get used almost every time I cook.
- Microwave on high for 6 to 10 minutes. It depends on the type of potato, power of your oven etc, you can stop when the potatoes have a soft fluffy outside – or one that’s easy to scratch into fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile pour enough oil into a roasting tin to cover its base, add the fresh herbs and put into the oven.
- When your potatoes have soft outer edges, put a metal colander into the sink and pour the potatoes into it.
- Shake the colander so that the potatoes all have their outsides roughened and fluffy. This also removes excess water to cut down spitting in the next stage.
- Carefully move your hot roasting tray of herb flavoured oil onto a heat proof surface (I use the hob).
- Gently add the microwaved potatoes to the hot oil – be careful not to splash yourself. Add a few grinds of black pepper.
- Replace the tray of potatoes into the hot oven.
- Cook for 30 minutes or until they are nicely coloured. You may need to turn them once, or shake them – it depends how much oil you’ve used.
- Allow to cool a little then pour back through colander, to remove any excess oil.
- I prefer to freeze them in bags, then it’s easy to take out a few at a time.
- Reheat on a non-stick tray (or baking-parchment-lined one), in a hot oven.