Ahh the pantry dive. Where magic stir fries and leftover fried rice and that dinner you ate a few weeks ago that consisted of a few pickles, a piece of cheese, a bowl of triscuits, a bite of some questionable thai leftovers and maybe a small handful of chocolate chips live. Now: these potatoes live there too! This particularly tasty side dish came to me as I was legit staring in the fridge, looking for something tasty to eat. It turned into a quick 20 min side dish that is equal parts crispy, salty, creamy, tangy, and crunchy. ALL GOOD THINGS! Let’s DIVE in (do I even need to say the pun is intended?)
Pantry dives are (weirdly) something I’m working on this year as I am slowly attempting to throw away less food. I have a bad habit (and I think a lot of us do) of not fully utilizing all the food that I buy. Some things like carrots, sour cream, potatoes etc. have such a long shelf life that they can be stretched out over a month or so and incorporated into new meals without really much effort or thinking. Other things like fresh herbs (Cilantro you are the BANE of my existence), certain cheeses, and proteins spoil so quickly every time I dig some petrified object out of the back of my fridge a little part of me dies. So this is step one to making the most out of what’s in my fridge.
These potatoes come together quickly, are deeply satisfying in the way that crunchy potatoes can be, but no deep fryer required. They are cut into small bite size chunks so they cook quickly, and when tossed in salt and sherry vinegar, with a sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese and fresh parsley on top, they turn into a killer side. The kind of side, dare I say, that upstages your main! I put my potatoes after they were done cooking in a cast iron “sizzler” that I got for Christmas which melts the cheese and creates a little saucy action, but this can also just be dished out onto plates straight from the sheet pan.
Oven Fried potatoes with Blue Cheese, Parsley & Sherry Vinegar
1/4 C vegetable or other flavorless oil
2 lbs potatoes (I used yukon golds, but red potatoes would also work– or whatever is in the bottom of your pantry and needs used up)
3 oz blue cheese
1/4 C italian parsley, chopped
2 tsp sherry vinegar
Adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions. Place sheet pan in oven with 1/4 C oil on it on upper rack and preheat oven to 425F. This will heat the oil up and oven “fry” the potatoes.
While the oven is heating, dice the potatoes into 3/4 inch pieces. Add to a medium bowl and toss with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Toss to coat.
When the oven is pre-heated, carefully spread the potatoes onto the hot sheet pan. There will be a very satisfying HISS. Spread the potatoes out into an even layer, and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir the potatoes to get crispy on more than one side. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until potatoes offer little resistance when poked with a paring knife.
:::at this point, you can stick a cast iron pan on the lower rack to heat up for serving the potatoes later::::
While the potatoes are cooking, crumble 3 oz of blue cheese and mince 1/4 C italian parsley.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, using a slotted spatula, place on paper towels to drain. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Remove hot cast iron skillet (or whatever vessel you would like to serve them in) and add drained potatoes. Sprinkle with blue cheese, sherry vinegar, and parsley. Serve warm!