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Simple Sides: Cornmeal Crusted Potatoes

April 2, 2013

by Emily

polenta crusted potatoes





For Thanksgiving brunch, I served Gwyneth Paltrow’s crispy lemon potatoes. While they were absolutely delicious, they took me much longer to roast and crisp up than the recipe called for. While I love those pan fried lemon potatoes with jalapeno as a quick alternative, I really prefer a crispness that only the oven seems to offer. On the heels of Christina Tosi’s suggestion of using corn in recipes to provide a great depth of flavor, I was so glad to come across yet another lovely alternative for crispy potatoes. Perfect for brunch (I made them for Easter) or a simple side at dinner, these potatoes crisped up so nicely and took a very reasonable amount of time to make. I definitely think you should give them a shot at your next brunch or dinner feast!

polenta crusted

Cornmeal Crusted Potatoes
via Simple Bites

2 pounds (about 6-8 medium)
1/4 cup polenta or cornmeal (not quick cooking)
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary leaves
8-10 garlic cloves, peeled

Cut each potato in half, then in half again, and again in half until you have 8 even chunks. Place in a medium pot with 1 teaspoon salt, cover with cold water and place over high heat

Bring potatoes to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and boil for ten minutes. Meanwhile, preheat to oven to 425°F.
In a small bowl, mix together polenta, salt and pepper. Drain potatoes well in a colander. In a medium bowl, sprinkle with polenta seasoning and toss gently to coat.

In a large (12-inch) cast iron pan or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When small bubbles begin to rise (but before oil is smoking) and oil is very hot, add rosemary and garlic. Stir carefully with tongs for a minute.

Add seasoned potatoes all at once to the hot, fragrant oil and arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet on the bottom shelf of the hot oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven carefully and turn each potato so the crispy side faces up. Return to oven for another five or ten minutes.

Remove potatoes from oven and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh chopped rosemary, if desired, and serve at once. Cool, then strain and reserve the oil remaining in the pan for another use.

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