Although it was 85º on the first day of fall last week in Chicago, this weekend was chilly and I wanted to turn my oven on and roast something. I thought about those delicious roasted potatoes with horseradish sauce that my friend Sandy brought to our girl’s night beach picnic. I couldn’t get enough of them that night and they have been patiently waiting on the back burner of my brain ever since.
To be honest, roasting potatoes is sort of new to me. I bake, fry & mash them all the time, but roasting isn’t something I’ve done much of.
My mom always made yummy roasted potatoes with pork roast. She’d slice up some onions, quarter a few white potatoes, throw in some garlic cloves and let it all sort of slowly roast in the oven with the pork. Mmmmm…..
OK, so I can’t top potatoes roasted in pork fat for hours.
That being said, these potatoes are supremely delicious. Sandy told me that she had roasted her picnic potatoes in “lots of olive oil” and “a mix of dried herbs”, but couldn’t remember exactly which herbs she used. This is a sign of a good cook. No recipe, no measurements, not even sure which herbs she used, and the potatoes came out delicious.
She did tell me exactly how to make the amazing horseradish cream sauce that she made to go with the potatoes. Two ingredients: Heavy whipping cream, and horseradish. I remembered that!
So, this past Saturday morning as I was digging out my fall sweaters, I decided to make these very potatoes with horseradish sauce for dinner. (I also made panko crusted chicken tenders, but I’ll tell you about those later this week.)
Since I didn’t have a recipe, I opened up one of my cookbooks, “Giada’s Everyday Italian”, and there they were. Roasted Baby potatoes with herbs and garlic. I love you, Giada!
Giada likes to use 3 types of baby potatoes. Fingerling, small red and small white. I knew I could easily pick those up at the farmer’s market.
She uses Herbs de Provence which I’ve used with chicken before, never potatoes. I was a bit skeptical because I think of this as having a floral-y taste and not quite what I was thinking for my potatoes. But, as Giada says in the book, and I quote, “my all-time favorite roasted-potato recipe”. OK, then.
As we were about to leave for the farmer’s market, our little friend Carson wandered into our backyard and up to our backdoor. He lives right behind us and the kids run across the alley, in and out of our houses all the time. I love that. Carson happens to be Sandy’s 9-year old son, which ties very nicely into my story.
When he heard that we were headed to the farmer’s market, he decided to join us, declaring that this was one of his favorite things to do on a Saturday morning.
On our way to the market, as I shamelessly sang along with Eminem & Rihanna, I happened to overhear a discussion about the meaning of the word “physical”. As each told the other what they thought the word meant, they came to the conclusion that there are 2 types of physical. “Sports and naked.”
9-year olds are extremely entertaining.
At the market, we sampled some apple cider and grabbed a bag of Honeycrisps!
As you may or may not know, I don’t bake much, but we are going to be baking something special with these this week, so stay tuned.
We hit all of our favorite spots, questioned what this thing was….
found our potatoes…
and Hadley picked out some beautiful flowers, too.
After leaving the market, we dropped off Carson and picked up Katherine. All-kids-all-the-time at our house! (And I wouldn’t have it any other way.)
About the potatoes. SO EASY. I love when I make something easy that tastes really really good. Mix a few things together and throw it in the oven for an hour. LOVE. The olive oil, herbs and garlic give them a beautiful and tasty crispy crust, and the insides were soft and buttery. The Herbs de Provence didn’t add a floral-y taste like I thought it would. Just really great flavor.
About the horseradish sauce. 2 ingredients: heavy whipping cream, and horseradish. OK, some salt, too. AMAZING!
The girls wanted to help me make the sauce because they knew there was whipped cream involved and apparently that was very exciting. We poured a cup of heavy whipping cream into large bowl and started whisking it with a wire whisk. It’s fun to watch it turn into whipped cream. This will happen right before your eyes in just a few minutes. We each took turns.
“COOL!” exclaimed Hadley. ”AWESOME!” exclaimed Katherine, as they dipped their fingers in for a taste.
I added the horseradish, dipped a potato in and exclaimed, “OH YUM!!!!” :-)
Hadley tried it and declared the whipped cream “ruined”. She could not be more wrong. It’s light and tangy and perfect with the crispy roasted potatoes. I bet these would be great with steak. Add some horseradish sauce to that, too. Next time.
Now I will always be able to make killer roasted potatoes whenever I want them, and that makes me very happy. And you will, too.
Herb Roasted Potatoes with Horseradish Cream Sauce
Inspired by Sandy Sherwood, adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, everydayitalian
FOR THE POTATOES
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp herbes de provence, dried
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fingerling potatoes
1/2 pound small red-skinned potatoes
1/2 pound small white-skinned potatoes
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
PREHEAT THE OVEN to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, herbs de Provence, and garlic to blend. Add all of the potatoes and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and toss to coat using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a large, heavy baking sheet, spacing evenly. Set the bowl aside (do not clean bowl).
Roast the potatoes until they are tender and golden, turning them occasionally, about 1 hour. Transfer the roasted potatoes to the reserved bowl and toss to coat with any herb oil remaining in the bowl. Season the potatoes with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.
FOR THE SAUCE
heavy whipping cream, 1 cup
prepared horseradish, 3 tbsp or more to taste
As the potatoes are roasting, add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to a large bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add horseradish. Taste. If you like it with a stronger flavor, adjust accordingly.
Serve potatoes with horseradish cream on the side. I encourage major dolloping.