steak with mushrooms, roasted potatoes & strawberry goat cheese salad
I’m not entirely sure why, but for me the phrase ‘meat & potatoes’ conjures up visions of rubbery overcooked beef, gummy mashed potatoes & flavourless gravy – like something you would come across in a hospital or a frozen TV dinner. So imagine my surprise when I realized that this tasty meal does in fact fall into that same meat & potato category! This is what I’ll be thinking of next time I hear that ‘meat & potatoes’ is on the menu.
The steaks were paired with sautéed mushrooms, roasted potatoes, grilled carrots & a strawberry goat cheese salad. Carrots like this make me wish for a yard with a big veggie garden (although apparently they can grow in a container too – might have to try that out!). The salad was fresh and light with a tangy balsamic dressing. I can’t stop raving about these homemade salad dressings lately. We always have one on the go in the fridge. And of course the potatoes – a little crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Here’s Tim with the details…
I am a potato junky. I love them in every form, but for my money – nothing beats roasted! In reality, I rarely have 50-60 minutes to roast them from scratch, so I often use this easy technique to speed up the process without sacrificing flavour.
Quick Roasted Potatoes
1.5 pounds baby potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or any other herb (rosemary, sage,… even mint)
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Fill a medium sized pot with salted water and put it on high. We are going to parboil the potatoes and then throw them in a scorching hot oven to give the flavour of roasting. This is a technique used by restaurants everywhere. They’ll cook vegetables 70%, then cool them until dinner service. At home it’s a great trick to get that delicious caramelization with potatoes, carrots, cauliflower or any root vegetable that typically takes forever to cook!
Once that water is up to a rolling boil, add the potatoes. These should take between 10 and 15 minutes to get tender. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a roasting pan on medium. Once the potatoes are tender, strain them and toss into the heated oil. Heating the oil beforehand will speed up the process even further. I like to get different textures of crunchiness on the potatoes, so I lightly take a masher to them in the roasting dish. When I say lightly, I mean just barely break the skin. You just want a little of that tender potato inside to be exposed. Toss them in the olive oil, with your fresh herbs and salt & pepper. (Actually, if you are using basil or mint, hold off combining it into the pan – for these more tender herbs, wait until the very end to add them.) Then into the hot oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!
If I’m in a real rush, I will sometimes pan-roast them on the stove top after the parboil. Use the same quantities as above, just put them in a pan on the stove top and cook until they get some crunch. Now I just need to find some gravy!