Lest you think the only thing I cook is potatoes, I can assure you, I do cook other things. But I got such an enthusiastic response to my mashed potato entry, that I thought I would perform a public service and tell you all about roasted potatoes.
Not to toot my own horn, but I do make kick-ass roasted potatoes, and in fact, I'm pretty sure that the Mister has changed his mind about leaving me on more than one occasion because of them. The go well with almost any roasted meat or fish, but they make an excellent dinner all by themselves, too.
First, peel up a couple of Yukon Gold potatoes. (In my house, I count on about two good sized potatoes per person, but your mileage may vary.) Cut them up into cubes, and put them in a saucepan and just cover them with water.
Now, heat your oven to 400°F.
Put a lid on the pot and bring it to a boil and cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes or so. Poke a chunk of potato and bring it out of the water. Now get a knife and run it over one of the edges of the potato; you want it to be soft on the edges, but not all the way through. When the potatoes are starting to soften up, take them off the heat and drain the pot. Now drain it again. Now one more time. Put the pot on the hot element (with the heat off) and let any water evaporate for a minute or two.
While that is happening, take the pan you are going to roast the potatoes in and put in about equal amounts of oil and butter so that when it melts it will cover the bottom of the pan. Now put the pan in the oven until the fat gets good and hot.
Are the potatoes good and dry? Good, now you are going to put the lid on the pot and shake the daylights out of the potatoes. Rattle them around in the pot to really rough up the edges.(This is the secret to good roasted potatoes.)
Now take the spitting hot pan out of the oven and dump the potatoes in it. Flip the potatoes around until they are good and coated with the fat and add some seasonings. I usually just use salt and pepper (because I live with people who take their roast potatoes very seriously), but you can add thyme or rosemary or Italian seasoning or seasoned salt or anything else you desire. (I don't recommend fresh minced garlic, however, because it will burn before the potatoes are done. If you want them garlicky, you could roast whole cloves of garlic with the potatoes, or toss them with garlic salt at the end.)
Fling the whole mess in the 400° oven and let it sit for about a half an hour or so. Then you can stir them, but not before, you want to get a good, brown crust on the bottom. Cook them for about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how crunchy you want them, and remember, don't burn your mouth.