Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

My brother taught me everything I know about motion. How to swim, how to dive, how to ride a bike, how to drive. Actually, I think he taught me how to crawl too, but I did that backwards so we’ll take it off the list for credibility’s sake.

Six years older and ever wiser, he always saw me struggling to move forward. Clinging to the sides of the pool until I was well over seven. Pedaling my Twinkies ’round the tire of a Big Wheel even when the neighborhood kids were two wheeling at my side. Sitting anxiously at home the night before my driving test, waiting for my mom to come home from her sixteen hour shift so I could get one last bit of practice on the road.

He didn’t have patience with me being scared. Always within thirty minutes, he’d coerce me from my comfort zone. He popped the training wheels off my bike and assured me, “If you just keep pedaling and wiggle the handlebars, you won’t fall.” Okay. I peed my pants instead. He pried my fingers off the cement ledge and tossed me into the deep end of the pool. And when the time came to drive a car, he warned, “Andrea, hesitation will kill you on the road. Don’t be a doofus.” I hesitated.

That night before I got my license, he saw me panicking. Sitting cross-legged in front of Sister Sister with a sympathetic Pop Tart. He snatched it from my hand and directed me to the car.

I protested, “But Anthony, that was the brown sugar cinnamon kind and Tamera…”

“Let’s go.”

I took my place in the driver’s seat. Polly perfectionist, prepping behind the wheel, practically hugging the airbag. Hands at ten and two. Sweat on my upper lip like a Got Milk? ad.

“What in the hell are you doing?” He reached over, clicked the underbelly of my seat, and my chair flew back to its farthest position. “But Anthony I feel like I’m in Papa’s recliner!”

“Sit back,” he said.

He told me to drop my left arm. “Andrea, no one holds the wheel like that. Don’t be an ignoramus.” Note to self: Don’t be an ignoramus.

We drove. Each time that I braked nervously, yielded unnecessarily, I heard him sigh. “Stop looking at the ground in front of the car. Look up and far ahead and take in the whole street. There’s no need to think so much.”

A quarter of me was scared of the road. Three quarters of me was scared of my brother.

I breathed for the first time in ten minutes. The air flowed cool into my deflated lungs and seeped between the clenched blades of my back, tension dissolving into the newly open space.  I just…drove. Aware but not hyper-vigilant, holding on but not holding tight.

Twenty minutes later, my brother had taught me all I needed to know about driving. To sit back, to look far ahead, but stay present, and to avoid being an ignoramus. And to tell you the truth, that’s really all I needed to know about life too.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

These roasted reds are brilliant. Well-oiled and crisp crusted with deep garlic and onion flavor. Parmesan cheese- melted and beginning to bubble on their skins.  Smooth, soft paste inside. I love that faint crack upon biting, the way my teeth sink into thick potato fluff.  I love that they’re richer and more sophisticated than french fries, but delicious all the same.  And I love that they’re a faithful companion to roasted chicken, but a friend to all dishes. They are everything you need to know and love at this moment.

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Cut each potato into quarters and place in a large bowl.

Add the olive oil and toss to coat.

In a small bowl, blend the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to your potatoes and use your hands to toss them until each potato is well covered in seasoning.

Scatter potatoes in a single layer on a large, flat roasting pan that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Roast potatoes for 20 minutes, remove them from the oven and flip the potatoes so each side has a chance to evenly brown and crisp. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and roast for an additional 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

(serves 4)

  • 12 small red skinned potatoes, roughly the size of plums
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2  tsp onion powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino Romano)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Cut each potato into quarters and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil and toss to coat.
  3. In a small bowl, blend the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to your potatoes and use your hands to toss them until each potato is well covered in seasoning.
  4. Scatter potatoes in a single layer on a large, flat roasting pan that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Roast potatoes for 20 minutes, remove them from the oven and flip the potatoes so each side has a chance to evenly brown and crisp.
  5. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives.

Comments

  1. Linda says

    Potatoes look delicious! I’ve been reading your blog this week and it is extremely inspirational. And the photos are pretty.

  2. says

    I think I’ll pair those with my roasted chicken from yesterday and just call it a day. My husband won’t know what hit me. He’ll probably think I spent the day watching the Food Network. Ha, ha. :)

  3. says

    oh my gosh- sister, sister? I had almost forgotten about that show! Your brother sounds like quite a guy! And the potatoes- these would be perfect as both dinner and breakfast potatoes

  4. says

    Ah, Sister, Sister. Is it bad I still love the Mowry twins?

    And I heart roasted potatoes. Unfortunately, my mother doesn’t like Parm cheese or toasty roasted potatoes, so I have to eat them her way all the time… with carrots in a casserole dish w/ chicken stock and a wee bit of oil and garlic. They’re still good, but super soft, they break when you stab them w/ a fork to pick it up.

    Funny driving story, I was driving w/ my dad my very first time on the road. It was pouring rain, so bad, I could barely see in front of me. He picked me up from work and we swtcihed places in the car when we got into my neighborhood and told me to drive home. Ok, easy enough, 20 mph, a stop sign at every intersection, sweet. Well, then he told me to keep going. Made a left turn onto a busy street w/ no stop signs. Then went around the area for a while. Got to my first red light. I had stopped at so many stop signs that when I got to the light, I stopped, looked both ways and it was clear… so I started to go. Oh Lord, my dad was about to have a heart attack. I stopped when he yelled, and started bawling so bad, but he made me drive home. I was a pro after that day…

    • says

      Haha, oh nooo! Your driving story sounds traumatizing yet so funny! It’s amazing how scary it was at first. On another note-I think your mom’s potatoes sound delicious- I love the idea of baking them with carrots. Thanks!!

  5. says

    There is nothing better than simple roasted potatoes and I love the flavor boost of salty cheese here. Yum! And your brother sounds so funny… I shall try to remember not to be an ignoramus!

  6. says

    I wish I had your brother to help me learn to drive. AHHHH
    I totally hear your pain!

    and pop tarts and sister sister would have made it so much better!!!

    BUT THOSE TATOES!!!!

    PERFECT, and I just happen to have a huge (no two huge) bags in my pantry.

    YIPEEEE Thursday night fun!
    xoxoxox
    Happy Thursday my sweet!

  7. Curt Stimpson says

    Hey Andrea,
    Love this recipe. Try it with Yukon Gold potatoes…I’m betting you’ll like it better. They have so much more flavor than Baby Reds…especially if you can get the small Yukons.
    Curt

  8. says

    This makes me wish I had an older brother. :)

    And now I wish i had thought of parmesan roasted potatoes when we had roasted potatoes earlier this week.

  9. says

    Your brother sounds wonderful! I too am lucky to have a younger brother who is also my friend.

    I love read potatoes recipes, looks delicious, and simple to make. Thanks. I love your story telling as well.

  10. says

    Andrea,
    I have to tell you I just laughed out loud reading this story. My older brother got so frustrated teaching me to drive that he drove home, 4 blocks in our neighborhood BACKWARDS, just to exhibit how good he was and how bad I was.
    I often wander around your blog before I leave work for dinner inspiration for myself and my husband :) I absolutely LOVE your writing. You’re an internet gem.
    Angie

    • says

      Angie, Is it a little off-putting if I ask you to marry me? I mean, your comment just made me absolutely beam. Thank you times infinity and beyond. It really made me happy. And also, thanks for telling me that funny bit about your brother! So hilarious- totally something mine would do!!

  11. says

    Ha! Off-putting? I’m flattered! :)
    BTW, I made your Korean Slow Cooker Chicken yesterday and it may be one of the most delicious things I have ever made. I took it leftovers to work today and it was a hit! Plus, it was so easy!! Keep up the good work, friend!

  12. says

    I made this recipe last night. DELICIOUS!!! I didn’t have onion powder but it still turned out great. I also sprinkled some rosemary on there as well.

  13. MichelleC says

    I’m not sure how I stumbled upon your blog but I’m hooked! I’ve pinned a few recipes to pinterest so that I can try them a.s.a.p. Thank you for sharing your story and your talent!

  14. Meg says

    Saw the potatoes on Pinterest – I’m an addict – and thought they sounded great with the pork chops I’ve got in the Crock-pot. Now I’m even more glad I followed through to get the recipe, because I LOVED the story and can’t wait for more! Thanks!

  15. Emily says

    Just found your blog today and I’m having a hard time deciding what I’m gonna make first!! Everything sounds and looks delicious! These potatoes….yummy!! I am wondering if you have ever had Cavinder’s Greek seasoning? It is a mix of lots of the best seasons, but in my eyes absolutely made for potatoes! You have to try this and let me know what you think!

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