Here’s one of my shorter intros (now wipe that relieved look off your face!). Bought cod fish on the market and -with the crazy prices nowadays- wanted to turn it into a special dinner. Planned on serving the fish with a white sauce, maybe a hint of a fresh dill on top, some juicy and slightly crispy steamed baby carrots on the side and it needed a special potato side dish as well. Then all of a sudden it hit me! Greek roasted lemon potatoes. Of course!
Or better said; Ellinikos Lemoni Patatas.
Golden, steaming hot, roasted potatoes with a surprising lemon, garlic, herb and salt coating. Real tangy. Their flavor is spectacular and will pleasantly surprise you, especially when served alongside seafood.
2 pounds potatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
coarse sea salt
3 garlic cloves
Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
Start by chasing your potatoes. See what I have to deal with here? Here’s what you do; get down to the kid’s level and (using a firm and authoritative voice) tell him or her to hand over your photo material pronto. Hey now, it works for nanny Jo!
Now there’s a slight chance the kiddo won’t be the least bit impressed with this sudden bout of hardcore parenting. Don’t sweat it, there’s always the NBT route. Negotiate-Bribe-Threaten. I take to bribing! What can I say? I suck at this :)
Peel the potatoes, leave the smaller potatoes whole and cut the bigger ones in half (or even in three). Make sure all potatoes end up similary sized. Give them a good wash.
Give one of the lemons a wash also. We’ll be using its zest.
The zest is where all the flavor is, so grab a bowl and grate it. Make sure you don’t grate too far because the white pithy stuff underneath the yellow zest can be very bitter. Also add the juice of both lemons.
Get 4 tbsp oil, a really, really good pinch of black pepper, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (no more than this), a heaping tsp oregano and 3 garlic cloves in there (grated or chopped of course). Oficially you’re supposed to use Greek oregano but well, I don’t have any, so this will have to do.
Now pour in 1/3 cup of chicken broth.
Give everything a twirl! See the action here? No, that’s not a bad focus, it’s really twirling. I do get slightly dizzy when I look at this photo for too long. Even though I know the flavor will be great, the dressing alone just doesn’t look all too appealing to me.
Transfer the potatoes to a baking dish. I absolutely love this cast iron baking dish, it looks so rustic. Believe me or not but I bought it on sale a little while ago for only E7.50 ($9.50).
Now pour the dressing on top and dig your hands in there, toss everything around to coat all the potatoes. No, don’t give me that look, you have to do it with your hands! It’s an unwritten rule.
Sprinkle a royal amount of coarse sea salt and some dried parsley on top. The sea salt will give a great crunch after they’re baked, the parsley just makes it look pretty.
Almost there! The last step is to up the colors a nudge. Use a small sieve to sprinkle a little paprika powder on top. This won’t add a whole lot of flavor but we don’t need the flavor, what we do need it for is to intensify the color of the golden crust we’re after in a simple way. Ok, so it’s cheating a bit, but hey, all is fair in love and cooking!
Put them in a preheated oven for 30 minutes, take them out, flip them over and put them back in for another 20 minutes. Check for readiness.
Serve with a royal amount of chopped fresh parsley sprinkled all over. Does this look good or what?