Aimée over at Simple Bites has long been a go-to resource for wholesome and family friendly meals, bakes and preserves.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Aimée in person at her signing event for her lovely cookbook Brown Eggs and Jam Jars which I have been madly cooking out of ever since I picked it up.
The cookbook is very much like her blog and is a celebration of food and family. In it she offers wholesome recipes split by both season and celebration (Sugaring off in Spring, Holiday Gatherings in Winter, etc.) She’s also big on tips and tricks which often focus on getting kids involved in the kitchen.
At first glance, I really felt that these recipes were more for special occasions. Some of them definitely are, but I’ve surprised myself by making quite a few of them throughout the week or as treats. Her Lemon-Oregano Chicken was a smashing success, as were the Crispy Cocoa Date Bites (although I did swap the sunflower seed butter for peanut butter…) As I write this, her chilli is simmering on the stove, and tomorrow we are taking on her squash based pasta dish.
I made these Crispy Rosemary Roast Potatoes and they were definitely a hit. Crunchy, full of texture and lovely flavour, I would make them again for sure and I understand why they are one of Aimée’s most popular recipes on her blog.
Although I don’t think that I’ll be having chickens living in my backyard anytime soon (I think our local newspaper, The Westmount Independent, would be full of complaints) this book really gets down to the basics and essentials of wholesome, local food. I especially like the fact that Aimée lives in the Montreal-area so her seasonal recipes are in touch with our frigid realities.
Try this potato recipe out, check out her blog and pick up her cookbook for more delicious ideas and tips.
Crisp Rosemary Roast Potatoes from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars
Author: Aimée Wimbush-Bourque
Serves: Serves 6
Done just right, crispy roasted potatoes are a perfect side for Sunday dinner, and can accompany any sort of roast. They can also double as hash browns alongside eggs and bacon for brunch, should you prefer to sleep in. My version, one of the most popular recipes on Simple Bites, uses cornmeal to coat the potatoes. This crunchy addition, combined with a high cooking temperature, ensures an utterly crispy potato with a moist, fluffy interior. A cast-iron pan yields the best results.
2 pounds (1 kg) red potatoes (about 6 or 7 medium), peeled
2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt, divided
2 tablespoons (30 mL) cornmeal
½ teaspoon (2 mL) black pepper
¾ cup (175 mL) olive oil
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced, plus more chopped for garnish
8 garlic cloves, peeled
Position a rack on the lowest level of the oven and preheat oven to\ 425°F (220°C).
Cut each potato in half, then in half again, until you have 4 evenly sized chunks per potato. Place in a medium pot with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of the salt, cover with cold water and set over high heat. Bring potatoes to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and boil for 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, remaining 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt and pepper. Drain potatoes, then transfer to the bowl with the cornmeal and toss gently to coat.
In a 12-inch (30 cm) cast-iron pan or heavy skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When small bubbles begin to rise (but before oil is smoking) and oil is very hot, add rosemary and garlic. Stir carefully with tongs for a minute to infuse the oil.
Carefully add cornmeal-crusted potatoes all at once to the hot oil and arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Carefully remove pan from oven and turn each potato so the crispy side faces up. Roast for another 20 to 25 minutes or until golden all over.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped fresh rosemary and a sprinkling of sea salt if desired. Serve at once.
Kitchen Tip Don’t toss the oil from the pan. Instead, let cool, then strain through a coffee filter or fine sieve and reserve for roasting vegetables.
Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy.
Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.