Smoky Roasted Potatoes

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Yesterday was grocery shopping day.  And, as usual, after planning meals and buying groceries and putting groceries away, I had absolutely no desire to cook.  None.  I had bought some cheddar brats and we had those on buns with mustard and sauerkraut for lunch.  I think it’s the German in all of us that makes mustard and sauerkraut on a hot dog of any kind sound appealing.  I grew up with chili dogs.  There was no option.  Bun, dog, chili, mustard.  But in this house, we’ve had every variety you can imagine.  I’ve put all manner of odd things on hot dogs.  Avocado, hummus, macaroni and cheese, bean dip.  Our whole family has experimented with putting unusual things on hot dogs.

But this is not a post about hot dogs.

I sat on the couch for most of the afternoon, quietly watching the clock while pretending to watch t.v.  I knew it was coming.  I knew it was only a matter of time until…

4:37

“Mama, what’s for dinner?”

I rolled my eyes and dragged myself off the couch with a loud groan.  I knew what I had bought earlier at the grocery store.  And I knew that I really didn’t want to cook any of it for dinner.  I opened the refrigerator.  Nope.  I looked in the pantry.  Nope.  Back to the refrigerator.  Ugh!

On one of my looks into the pantry, I saw a bag of small red potatoes.  I know how much my family loves potatoes.  I also know that they take a while to cook, so I decided to roast potatoes so I would have time to come up with something to go with them..

This is one of my favorite, hands-free ways to make potatoes.  They are tender and delicious and there are never any left.

Smoky Roasted Potatoes

  • 3 pounds of small red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, place potato pieces and drizzle in olive oil.  Toss the potatoes to ensure that oil coats all of them.  Add seasonings and toss again until each piece is coated.  Spread in a single layer onto a large baking pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Well Duh #1:  If your potatoes are small, you may only need to quarter them.  Just be sure all the pieces are close to the same size so they all cook the same.

Well Duh #2:  I only used one very crowded baking sheet so my potatoes were tender and yummy, but not crisp.  If you want yours to crisp up, use two baking sheets and spread the potatoes out so that they aren’t touching.

Well Duh #3:  After 40 minutes, check the done-ness with a fork.  They may need a few more minutes.

Well Duh #4  After I removed my potatoes to a serving plate, I drizzled a little balsamic vinegar over the top.  Just a little.  This is optional, but it made for a nice surprise now and then while eating.

Well Duh #5:  You can totally switch up the seasonings.  I’ve even used a pack of taco seasoning before.  Yummy!

Just after I slid these into the oven, Christopher came through and asked what I was making to go with them.  I said chicken.  He made a face and said he didn’t want chicken.  The came Elizabeth, who asked what I was making to go with the potatoes, I said cubed steak.  She made a face and said she didn’t want steak.  Michael said he really wasn’t sure what he wanted.  In a huff, I went to my car and drove away.

Yes, I drove away.

I came back in about twenty minutes with Popeye’s chicken tenders and a bunch of dipping sauces, so I was quickly forgiven for just driving away.  Christopher and Elizabeth cleared the table, I put everything on serving dishes (Yes, I put the chicken tenders on a serving dish.  It made me feel better than just plunking the Popeye’s box in the middle of the table.)  We haggled over our favorite dipping sauces (why are there always twice as many barbecue sauces as everything else?), said grace, and dug in.  It was a good meal with minimal arguing and very few eye rolls across the table.

These days, that’s a victory.

Again, there were NONE of these potatoes left after dinner.  None!

Well, there were three, but Brees looked sad, so he got those.  When I tell you the whole family likes these, I mean the WHOLE family!

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