Monday, April 19, 2010
The Magic of Parchment Paper
Sometimes a solution to a cooking problem is so simple that you just can't believe it can be so easy. I used to make roasted potatoes or chicken wings in the oven and be very frustrated with the results. Both foods need to be cooked with high heat to achieve that browned outside and tender inside but when done on a baking sheet (or foil covered sheet) the food will stick badly to the sheet and become ruined. The secret to well browned food that doesn't stick, burn or come apart on you is parchment paper. You can get this at any supermarket in the same place you get foil and plastic wrap. DO NOT GET CONFUSED AND USE WAXED PAPER LIKE SOMEONE I KNOW ONCE DID!!! (not sayin' who)
A single layer of parchment paper on the baking sheet will allow you to cook so many foods in your oven. Below is one of my favorite recipes using this parchment paper trick!
Oven Roasted Potatoes
6 medium potatoes (russets or reds)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp dried rosemary (or more to taste)
salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes into 1 inch dice and put into large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and add rosemary, large pinch of salt and 5-6 grinds of pepper. Toss well to distribute spices and spread evenly over baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place sheet on middle rack in oven and roast for approx 25 minutes or until browned to taste. If potatoes are not browning as much as you would like give them a little shot of cooking spray. Toss potatoes around to ensure browning on all sides. Give one a taste part way through and add more salt and pepper if desired.
I have a hard time keeping my potato stealing wife from thieving these off the sheet while cooking they are so good. Potatoes can be done as large wedges or even really small as hash browns. If you have a deep fryer that you like to use to make fries you may just throw it away after learning this healthier alternative.