My kids have recently discovered they love baked potatoes. I know, doesn’t everyone? I can’t explain why it took them so long to catch on. No, I take that back – I think it may have something to do with the length of time a baked potato requires to…well, bake.
As a mom it can be problematic to tell a hungry person that it’s going to be about an hour before their food will be ready, so unless someone was home cooking all day, it requires a certain amount of cleverness and advance planning to suggest the eating of a baked potato and then – BAM! – have it ready to eat.
Plan ahead; that’s exactly what I’m asking you to do because you have to make these salt-roasted potatoes. They take at least an hour to reach perfection and you’ll also have to stock up on a few pounds of salt, but I promise it’s worth it. Paired with rosemary butter, these potatoes become a simple meal all by themselves.
Yes, everyone knows you can stick a potato in the microwave and have a “baked” potato in minutes. But there really is a difference. It turns out that burying potatoes in a bed of hot salt makes them steam in the moisture they emit as they bake, so they turn out moist, fluffy and cooked evenly all the way through, something that cannot be duplicated in a microwave.
Salt-Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary Butter
2 pounds coarse crystal sea salt
4 Yukon Gold or Idaho potatoes, scrubbed
4 tablespoons butter
1 – 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped and divided
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Spread about a 1/2-inch deep layer of salt on the bottom of an 8 x12-inch heavy casserole dish or baking pan. Nestle the potatoes in the salt, then pour the remaining salt evenly all around the potatoes (their tops will be uncovered).
Bake for about one hour, then poke the potatoes with a skewer to test doneness. They might need up to an additional 30 minutes before they’re tender.
Soften the butter in a microwave on half power for 30 seconds. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the rosemary.
Make a slit down the center of each potato and top each with a tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and additional rosemary if desired.
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