In the last year or so, my taste buds have gone through a transformation. I used to have a long, long list of foods that I couldn’t stand, and all of a sudden I became quite fond of quite a few of my former food-foes. Say that five times fast. Anyway, that list had included mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, artichokes, yogurt, fish, avocado, almonds, blue cheese, cilantro, and yams (I wasn’t picky or anything) and suddenly they all went from tasting…bad…to tasting….good (for lack of better words). Maybe it was because I hated them off a basis of appearance and decided to overcome that; maybe it was because I had only eaten them once or twice before closing my mind to them; but I like to think it was because my taste buds underwent a miraculous transformation to help me widely expand my culinary horizons. That’s obviously the most likely.
Regardless of the reason, I am now able to experience the joy of eating all those once-hated foods, although I guess I wouldn’t really be missing out on anything if I still hated them…that makes sense, right? Maybe. But with the exception of beets, for which I will always and forever harbor a deep, dark, incomprehensible, unfathomable sense of loathing for in the pit of my soul, I like almost everything. There are a few foods that I can’t believe I hated for so long, such as yams.
I’ve wondered for years and years what exactly the difference is between a yam and a sweet potato. According to the produce section of my grocery store, yams are the orange-fleshed ones and sweet potatoes are the pale-yellow ones. According to wikipedia, “sweet potatoes” applies to both the orange- and yellow-fleshed ones and yams are long baseball-bat-shaped vegetables that are usually only found in Asian markets. I hate to say that I’ve kind of stopped caring. I just call every culprit in question a sweet potato and am, in effect, living a happy, carefree life. At least as far as the yam issue goes.
If you’re still with me by now, kudos. Reading about all the things that go on inside my head can be an overwhelming, confusing experience, and I wouldn’t judge if you just skipped on down to the recipe at the bottom. Maybe I should have put this warning at the top of the post….too late now! But I always have a point. Today, it’s a recipe for roasted potatoes. A combination of sweet potatoes and russet potatoes roasted in a coating of olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and smoky paprika to be exact. These are so, so delicious. I’ve made them twice in the last week, and I’m thinking about scrapping the mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving and making these instead. Enough said. 🙂
Smoky Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika, divided (regular paprika is fine, too)
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (or 3/4 tsp garlic powder)
1-2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place potato chunks into a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and toss well. Add 1 1/2 tsp paprika, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper and stir until the potatoes are evenly coated with the spices.
Spread potatoes into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until potatoes are golden-brown and crisp, about 1 hour. Flip potato pieces about halfway through.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and serve.
(Recipe adapted from La Tienda)