Alright, this is it, the last Thanksgiving recipe I’ll share with you before the big day. My Golden Polenta Roast Potatoes. Now, I know that the mashed potato contingent is strong, indeed they are the absolutely majority, but my question to you is this: do we really need another soft texture on our plate of holiday fare?
After a few slices of tender, gravy-soused turkey, smooth sweet potato, moist stuffing, and maybe even tender green bean casserole, the plate is ripe for something with a little structure to it. Enter, the most delectable texture of all, my personal favourite, CRISPY. These golden, polenta-dusted roast potatoes are crispy, crispy, crispy, and they are just what your thanksgiving plateful needs. Something with salty crunch to get your taste buds going, to add interest and difference – in a world of baby-food soft purees and slow cooked vegetables, something with a salty crackle is surely what we all want?
Anyway, if you’re open to it, these potatoes are definitely the way to go. Aside from the fact that they feature polenta, aka cornmeal, a very traditional ingredient native to the USA, they are simply the best roasties. The idea for the polenta coating came via Nigella Lawson, who adds a spoonful of semolina to her roast potatoes. The polenta adds a similar gritty coating, but with a sweeter flavour, a beautiful golden colour, and even greater crispy crunch! Time to ditch the mash, I think!
- 6 medium floury potatoes
- ¼-1/2 cup flavourless oil (I used grapeseed)
- ¼ cup coarse polenta (cornmeal)
- sea salt
- Peel and chop the potatoes into thirds, and place into a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Place over a medium-high heat, bring to the boil, and cook for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a roasting tray, large enough to fit all the potatoes in a single layer (bigger is better) into the oven, to cover the bottom of the tray in a thin layer. Place into a 220C/425F oven to preheat.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them well, then return them to the hot saucepan (off the heat) to steam briefly. Scatter the polenta over the potatoes, place a lid on, and then shake the pan (holding the lid firmly on) so that the edges of the potatoes break up slightly, and they become coated in the polenta.
- Remove the hot tray from the oven and carefully add the potatoes - they should sizzle in the oil. Toss them gently to coat in the oil, and then place immediately back into the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden, and super duper crispy.
- Transfer the potatoes to a platter, scatter with sea salt and serve.