perfect roasted potatoes~ aka fuzzy potatoes

It's a new year.  I always make a long list of resolutions, of which one is the well-known mantra: eat less, exercise more.  I am sure that will be on the list in perpetuity.

Another resolution is a variant of the above: bake less (maybe not that much less), cook more.

I have a cupboard full of cookbooks and cooking magazines which are sorely neglected.  For Christmas '09, I received Thomas Keller's ad hoc at home cookbook, and I have managed to try but two recipes. Needless to say you will be seeing more of TK's dishes in the future.

So here's to more savory recipes.  The first one of the year is a wonderful potato dish.  I've roasted potatoes many, many times, and have never looked up a recipe.  Last week, while browsing Clotilde's lovely Chocolate and Zucchini blog, I stumbled upon this recipe. I was tickled and inspired.

Tickled by a technique which apparently Brits employ when roasting their potatoes— shake them up, baby! The potatoes then get a fuzzy and furry exterior, which helps them develop an excellent crust when roasting.

shaken and fuzzed

These were definitely the best, most brilliant roasted potatoes that I've ever made.  The extra steps of boiling and fuzzing created a moist interior (my russets were fluffy!) and an extra-crisp, beautiful crust.

Perfect Roasted Potatoes
from Chocolate and Zucchini website

Printable Recipe

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
sea salt

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces.  Place them into a medium-size saucepan.  Add cold water to cover the potatoes and add a teaspoon coarse salt.  Set over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil.  Then lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.

As soon as the water boils, put the oil onto a rimmed baking sheet. Preheat the sheet and oil by placing it into the hot oven.

After 5 minutes of cooking, drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.  Place a lid on the saucepan, and shake vigorously, until the potatoes get a bit fuzzy; this helps them develop a great crust.  I shook them about 30 times. 

Remove the pan from the oven. Place the potatoes on the sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and stir to coat the potatoes with the oil.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from oven and flip the potatoes over.  Return to oven and bake another 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the potatoes are golden brown.


  1. Pure proof that sometimes it's just a little trick that turns the simple into the sublime!

  2. I agree with simple girl: potatoes gone from simple to sublime. I'd love to try this one out.

  3. I had a problem when I tried making this. I put the pan with the oil in the oven to preheat like you said and, in just a few minutes, the oil turned into flames. Did I do something wrong? Can you help me?

    1. oh my, Lisa, I'm going to try the recipe again. it didn't happen to me- and the second time that made them, i didn't preheat the oil. that is so scary! was the pan in the middle rack of the oven?

    2. I'm thinking the problem was that I used olive oil (which has a lower smoke point) instead of canola oil so before it even got to 400F, poof! Next time I'll do as the recipe says and use canola oil.


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