My favorite roasted potatoes

I have to ask you to forgive me. I've been so busy putting together Palate, The Dallas Morning News' annual food and wine magazine, that I have been a delinquent blogger.

I promise I will make it up to you: I have a couple of really cool stories in the works. One will feature a guest cook I'm really excited to introduce you to – Susie Bui – who stopped by the house a couple weeks ago to show me how to make one of her favorite Vietnamese dishes. The other is a Japanese story I've been working on for some weeks.

In the meantime, I have this for you: my family's favorite roasted potatoes. They're super easy to make and incredibly delicious. I would even say crazy good. I don't know who invented them, but I think it must have been my dad, who was a wonderful natural cook (he picked up the habit later in life). My brothers and I all make them. Or maybe it was my mom; I don't really know, but I'm calling them Brenner Family Roasted Potatoes. My parents divorced when I was a teenager, and these potatoes were staples in both of their houses ever after.

The secret is letting the oven do all the work for you: Roasting gives the potatoes a deep, rich flavor and a wonderful texture – creamy soft inside and sort of chewy and crisp on the edges. And the roasted onion, which falls into petals when you cut it up through the stem end, melts into fabulous sweetness. If I could eat these potatoes once a week, I would. 

Before roasting, I toss them with lots of fresh thyme, but you can just as easily use rosemary – or both together. And of course a little olive oil, salt and pepper. That's it. They make a great side dish for just about any fish, fowl or meat. I love them with roasted branzino (and that makes an easy dinner for which you don't even need to turn on the stove), or roasted chicken, or sautéed pork chops – your imagination is the limit. 

Do you like the platter up at the top of the post? It's one of my favorites – an early piece by my old friend Christopher Russell, who has since become a well-known ceramist and sculptor. (Check out his website – I think his work is gorgeous.)

But often I roast the potatoes in a pretty oven-to-table roaster, and serve them straight from the oven. 

So. Thank you for being so patient. Here is the recipe:

And I promise: More good stuff coming soon.