By Erik Gamboa
To many people, the word roasting may seem both intimidating and stressful. Whereas when people hear the word baking they assume “no problem”. In reality, roasting and baking are nearly the same type cooking methods. With today’s technology, roasting normally takes place inside an oven in the comfort of your own home whereas few hundred years ago and maybe even thousands, roasting took place over an open fire and a “peasant” or a “protege” of the king would have to endure the smoke rushing over their face. The peasant or protege would have to trim the meat where the fire made contact before it turned into char. Eventually the rotisserie method of cooking was invented and became a more precise and rewarding method of cooking. The rotisserie better allowed for an even cook because of the even heat distributed around the meat. But of course no one other than a peasant or somebody under the jurisdiction of the king would take care of that job.
Thankfully, that we do not have to deal with the complications of a king therefore we are the king of our house and the conventional oven is out personal peasant. Just like the old days, roasting is none other than the dry heat cooking method, allowing one to form a nice crust on meats and a pleasant browning on some vegetables.
Just in time for the holidays, today I will be talking about how you can roast without the fear of over cooking and having to throw it away. I have come up with a recipe that will not disappoint if over cooked. First is roasting Yukon potatoes and asparagus with garlic and shallots. I added the zest of a whole lemon and the juice of half another lemon. To many people asparagus can have an earthy taste and my goal was to distract that flavor a little bit by adding squeezing lemon juice over them.
Garlic Roasted Yukon Potatoes and Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus spears
5 medium Yukon gold potatoes
3 cloves Garlic minced
1 large shallot minced
3 Ts olive oil
1 medium lemon
Kosher salt for taste
Fresh ground pepper for taste
1.) It is best to have all ingredients readily prepared so as to avoid rushing. Cut the potatoes in quarters, trim the bottom of the asparagus spears about 2 to 3 inches, mince garlic and shallots and set aside.
2.) Preheat oven to 325.
3.) In a mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, half the garlic, shallots, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss these ingredients together so that all the flavors can be evenly distributed.
4.) Once the oven is done preheating, place the well coated potatoes on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake the potatoes for 50 minutes. Every 15 minutes turn over potatoes for an even browning.
5.) While the potatoes are roasting, give the asparagus a quick rinse. Place them in a clean mixing bowl. (Note: If using the mixing bowl used to toss the potatoes, make sure to thoroughly rinse the bowl because there will still be seasoning leftover and you want to avoid over-seasoning your asparagus) Add garlic, shallots, lemon zest (from the whole lemon) and the juice of half a lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss well (Note: toss the asparagus very carefully because they are fragile and break easily).
6.) Once the potatoes have roasted for 30 minutes, take baking sheet out of the oven carefully and make room for the asparagus, making sure to space out potatoes and asparagus evenly across the baking sheet. Roast potatoes and asparagus for another 15 to 20 min.
7.) The best way to know when your food is done is to pierce the vegetables with a fork and if it pierces easily, cooking is complete and you make take the sheet out of the oven. If you accidentally over cook them, they’ll still taste great, just don’t burn them.
Enjoy this recipe with which every meat you prefer. Grilled chicken, meat loaf, or a nice tender filet Mignon would all go great with these tasty vegetables. With roasting, your options are endless.