I don’t want to alarm you, but I’m about to introduce you to something you’ve been missing in your life.
Nothing beats a good roasted potato. Thing is – I sucked at making roasted potatoes. One time they’d be awesome, and the next time soggy. One day seasoned perfectly, and the next time, though I swore I did it exactly the same way, they wouldn’t taste like anything.
I’ve been playing around with some different options, some twice baked, some loaded… and then I thought – why can’t I roast some bite size potatoes, then turn them into my loaded baked potato? What emerged from my oven was the thing of legend.
Every bite sized cube of potato was crisp and browned on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. The cheese melted down and formed a net across all the potatoes, while the bacon hit my mouth with salty bites of awesomeness. It is indescribably good, and for the rest of dinner the kids, Bo and I just stared each other down, wondering who was going to get the last bite.
The most insane part of it all though: They’re easy. Like. stupid easy. You can’t screw them up. I’ve made them a handful of times now and they have been perfect every time. Plus, they’re pretty hands off once they’re in the oven. Just a couple of quick stirs and that’s it. I’m seriously in love.
Now, I’m not going to tell you that you have to make these. I’m just going to tell you that if you don’t, you’re a fool.
Crack-tatoes aka roasted potatoes with bacon and cheese
- ½ pound bacon
- 6 medium white potatoes
- kosher salt, to taste
- fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (mozzarella, or a mix of the two, works well too)
- Preheat your oven to 425ºF with a rack in the middle position.
- Cut the bacon into half inch pieces and fry until crisp. Set the pieces aside on paper towels to drain, do not discard the fat.
- Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat onto a rimmed baking sheet. You want enough to coat the bottom of the sheet, but not so much that it pools.
- Cut the potatoes up into roughly ½" cubes. Put on the baking sheet and toss with a spatula to coat with the bacon fat.
- Roast the potatoes for 20 minutes, then toss with a spatula, roast for an additional 20 minutes. At this point check them. I usually toss them one more time, then let them go for another 15 minutes, but it all depends on how big the pieces are. They are done when all the sides are browned and crisp looking, but none should look burnt.
- Remove the pan from the oven, season with salt and pepper, and top with your shredded cheese and bacon. Set the oven to broil, and place the pan back in just long enough for the cheese to melt and bubble.
Lisle K. Moore