In light of the shelter-in-place order, many of us have resorted to cooking at home, revisiting old recipes and getting creative with our pantries. Instead of our usual Flavors Worth Finding column with recommendations from restaurants, KQED staffers are sharing the meals they’ve been making at home to find some comfort and grounding during uncertain times.
Cheers to the Humble Potato
Though working from home has provided me with more time in my kitchen, I still appreciate a convenient, unfussy dish that can hold me down for a couple of meals. This is where a tray of roasted potatoes comes in. My ideal meal, though guided by my cravings (and what I have on hand), is anchored by something starchy, accompanied by a fresh vegetable or two and a solid protein. Lately, potatoes have been my starch of choice for their simple preparation and generous returns.
When I roast them in the oven, the most important step is to make sure all potatoes are approximately the same size. This time, I threw in some sweet potatoes, which cook a little bit faster than russets and other potatoes though (You can chop up your sweet potatoes to be a little bigger to account for this difference.) I tossed both varieties in a bowl, along with some quarters of red onion and slices of garlic, coating them in a generous amount of olive oil, a few pinches of salt and some red pepper flakes. I also added in some crushed up dried sage leaves, along with fresh rosemary and thyme before roasting on them on a tray where they have room to breathe at 375 F. In the meantime, I did some writing, some reading, peeking for doneness a couple of times.
When the potatoes almost fork-tender, I added a couple of slices of butter and broiled them for about another 10 minutes. This small effort is a worthwhile investment for a crisp that lasts through refrigeration. I’ve enjoyed these potatoes with some brick chicken, as a snack with hot sauce and plan to have them for breakfast with a fried egg soon. Potatoes have a humility akin to beans. They’ve always been here and with a little care (read: salt and fat), they deliver on their hearty promise.—Ruth Gebreyesus, Food Reporter and Visual Arts Columnist
Thank You Farmers, Tomatoes Are Here
I've always loved my Saturday morning trips to the farmer's market. Simply put, it sparks joy seeing all the vibrant colors of produce. Lately, these trips have provided both a sense of reprieve from the four white walls of my apartment and a very real sense of a new normal.