Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Perfect Crispy Potatoes

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter (I used salted)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the potato cubes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the water, stir, and cover the pan with a lid. Steam the potatoes until the water evaporates, about 3 or 4 more minutes. (Every 1 to 2 minutes, open the lid long enough to stir the potatoes so they don't stick.) Lower the heat to medium, and saute another 1 to 2 minutes until all traces of water are gone. Toss in the butter and stir to coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the potatoes are crisp and browned to your liking, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on how dark you want them (I recommend stirring them half way through cooking). Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and serve.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

soft pretzels

* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
* 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup bread flour
* 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 2 tablespoons baking soda
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted
* 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.
2. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan.
3. After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.