Friday, February 9, 2007

Palmer House Potatoes

21 years ago I was a waitress and kitchen helper for the inaugural summer at the Palmer House Cafe in Rensselaer-ville, New York, a beautiful Albany County hamlet surrounded by rolling hills, waterfalls and historic houses. It is a summer residence for many artists and writers (Isaac Asimov and Andy Rooney were the celebs during my tenure), and I was fortunate to help out my friends Mike, Marie, Bill and Susan in their new restaurant venture. They taught me many wonderful kitchen tricks and recipes in the hours leading up to the dinner service, but the best recipe of all remains their delicious garlic roasted potatoes. I am proud to share it with you all.

Palmer House Potatoes

10-12 potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly

1 head garlic, peeled and chopped

kosher salt and pepper

Olive oil

Toss potatoes and garlic with enough olive oil to coat. I like to use my hands in a big soup pot to accomplish this. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread out onto two cookie sheets so that each potato has its own space to roast without being covered up by other potatoes. You want these nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Scrape and turn over once or twice during the cooking time to brown evenly. You might also want to rotate cookie sheets at least once to brown evenly. The potatoes on the top rack always brown more in my oven.

Sprinkle with dried parsley, basil, or rosemary and a dash more kosher salt and serve hot.

Serves 6.

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