Salt-Baked Fingerling Potatoes Recipe

Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Back in 2013, I was living by myself in a one-bedroom apartment in the ultra trendy and oft-mocked neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. So, when one of my best friends needed a place to crash a couple nights a week for the summer, I was more than happy to offer my couch for her surfing pleasure. Jen was saving up for a big move out West to L.A. and had come to realize it would be near impossible to save any money while still paying exorbitant NYC rent. While the driving causes of her stay with me were less than ideal (aforementioned rent ridiculousness and her eventual departure from the city — and me waahhhh), I was not going to turn down the chance to have a summer-long adult slumber party with one of my dearest friends.

Jen is one of the only people I’ve ever met who loves to eat as much as I do. Which is equal parts amazing, annoying, and astounding when you consider the fact that she’s statuesque and beautiful. I, on the other hand, gain a pound when I even just think of a carb. I’m jealous of that metabolism, girl! One of our favorite activities was to watch trashy TV while eating trashy takeout on my trashy IKEA couch. One of our favorite places to order from had amazing Buffalo chicken wings with a bleu cheese fondue and salt-baked potatoes with sour cream, bacon, and chives. Delicious, right? In theory, yes.

Getting It Just RIght

The trouble came with the fact that the quality of the food varied greatly. The first time we ordered, everything was cooked to perfection. The potatoes were soft but still crisp and satisfyingly salty. But, the next time we ordered, the potatoes would arrive barely salted and very undercooked. The time after that, overcooked and hard in a way that no amount of salt could help. Considering we would save up all week for our Friday-night delivery splurge, a disappointing meal could feel close to soul-crushing. (Dramatic, I know, but keep in mind, we were 25.)

Luckily, Jen and I both like to cook. And, we’d both like to think we’re pretty damn good at it. We decided we would try to prepare some of our favorite meals for a fraction of the cost in my tiny New York kitchen. Even though I had never cooked fingerling potatoes before, I didn’t need a recipe. Armed with nothing but the potatoes, my oven, and the contents of my cabinet, I set to work. Like magic, I just knew exactly how and what to use to achieve the flavor I so desperately wanted. Okay, so I may have looked up the baking time on Google. I didn’t want to burn down my apartment, so sue me.

Now, every time I make these salt-baked potatoes, I think of Jen. Of eating bad-for-us food while reading about self-care in women’s magazines. Of the one glorious summer where we got to live like teenagers with bank accounts during our months-long slumber party that I hoped would never end. Jen has been in L.A. for seven years now and even so, she is still one of my closest friends. So, while the potatoes may be seriously salty, I most certainly am not. I hope you love this recipe as much as I love her.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • ½-1 cup sea salt (I prefer Himalayan pink salt)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Sour cream (optional)

Supplies

  • 1 cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Medium-size bowl

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread the aluminum foil on to the cookie sheet.

Wash and dry the potatoes. Put the potatoes in medium-size bowl. Cover in olive oil. Mix the potatoes to make sure each one is evenly covered in the oil. I like to use my hands, but you can use a spoon to mix the potatoes.

Add the salt to the potatoes in the bowl. Mix so that each potato is evenly covered in both salt and olive oil. Again, I like to use my hands to make sure the potatoes are evenly covered, but you can feel free to use a spoon. The salt should stick to the olive oil-covered potatoes. I prefer a lot of salt, so I make sure they are thoroughly covered, but you should salt to your preference. If the salt is not sticking to the potatoes, you may have used too much oil.

Spread the potatoes out evenly on the cookie sheet. They need to be evenly spread and spaced in order to cook properly.

Once the oven has reached 425 degrees, slide the cookie sheet on to the top rack. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the potatoes appear to brown lightly. Then, it is time to flip the potatoes, ensuring that each side browns evenly. Cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the skin on the potatoes wrinkles ever so slightly. You can stab a potato with a fork to check for the desired firmness.

Once the potatoes are ready, remove them from the oven and let them cool for around 5 minutes. You can serve them with or without sour cream, it’s up to you!


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