Monday, September 10, 2007

Chili-Spiced Potatoes: They’re Like Candy

Many years ago, over a pleasant Christmas dinner with cousins, my large, low-voiced Uncle J quietly uttered this bon mot, apropos of nothing: “Potatoes. They’re like candy.” At the time we fell silent, and maybe nodded. Today, it’s an oft-repeated familial adage, especially when the Irish-y starch appears on a holiday menu. (Which, really, is every holiday.)

I was reminiscing over the incident last week when a shocking realization hit me: this blog has run for two-and-a-half months without a potato recipe.

Subsequently, I can no longer shame my Celtic kin, disgrace my County Mayo ancestors, and bring dishonor to the country that makes up 1/4th of my origin. Today, by the power of my pale, befreckled Gaelic roots, I present: CHILI-SPICED POTATOES. (You’re fáilte.)

Adapted from a Kathleen Daelemans recipe, these spuds work best as a smoky, slightly salty, low-fat alternative to curly fries. Chock full of tuberiffic flavor, you can adjust the spice to your preference and prepare the rest of your meal while it’s roasting dans l’oven, too.

What’s more, the potatoes seem to appeal to all ages. I recently served them to my friend C’s daughter J, a notoriously picky eater whose diet formerly consisted of breast milk and soggy Cheerios. After scarfing down the first serving, she kept asking for more.

Which just goes to show: potatoes. They’re like candy.

Chili-Spiced Potatoes
Serves 3
Adapted from Kathleen Daelemans.

5 or 6 small red potatoes, washed and cut into ¾” pieces
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Black pepper
½ Tablespoon olive oil

1) Turn oven to 350 degrees.

2) Stick all ingredients in a bowl. Stir thoroughly, so each potato is coated with stuff.

3) Run a finger over a potato, to ensure you like the level of spicery and salt. If you don’t, add more. (Go easy on the salt, though, or they’ll end up inedible.)

4) Spread everything on to a cookie sheet. (No overlapping.)

4) Bake for 30 minutes, then flip potatoes and turn oven up to 450 degrees.

5) Bake for 15 more minutes, or until outside is crispy golden brown. (Test one to make sure they’re done, but this timing worked for me.)

6) Let cool and serve.

Approximate Calorie, Fat, and Price Per Serving
244 calories, 2.77 g fat, $0.41

5 or 6 medium-small red potatoes: 673 calories, 1.3 g fat, $1.09
1 teaspoon chili powder: negligible calories and fat, $0.04
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.03
Black pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
½ Tablespoon olive oil: 60 calories, 7 g fat, $0.04
TOTAL: 733 calories, 8.3 g fat, $1.22
PER SERVING (TOTAL/3): 244 calories, 2.77 g fat, $0.41 `

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paidtwice said...

Cheap, healthy, spicy!

I cannot wait to try this recipe out. Must buy red potatoes this weekend.


TSI! said...

Have you ever tried Irish nachos? It's a Cousin J classic involving frozen french fries and lots of cheese.