>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Its been one of those days, both yesterday and today, even though i spent time going through my reader and visiting blogs, I just was not in a mood to post any in my blog. I opened the page in my Windows Live writer and kept staring at it. I did not even know what to post about. Usually, I know which dish i want to post about, but sometimes don’t have anything much to write about it. That’s when i rant about the Seattle weather. But this was very unusual. I went through my folder of pics and there are a few dishes i can post about, but i just did not feel like it. And sadly, this week no menu planner also! Generally, during a Saturday/Sunday, you will find me sitting at the dining table with my laptop, some notes, 6-7 cookbooks and my menu planner. I happily sit engrossed in it for a couple of hours atleast, cos while making my weekly menu I also end up reading a lot more other recipes! and this is the time when AJ can be happily engrossed in his past time (the XBox) without being interrupted by me :D
So, coming back to new posts, I have been wanting to participate in the Weekend Herb Blogging for a while now, but somehow never got around to do it. Thats when i saw this in my picture archive…roasted potatoes Herbs de Provence. This herb blend is something that I have really really loved!!! I saw this for the first time in Market Spice at Pike Place Market. It is this small yet pretty famous store in Pike Place. They have all the different spices from around the world that you can imagine and they are sold loosely, so if you want to try out a spice but not sure whether you will like it, you can always buy very small quantities of it. They also have their own house brand teas. The Orange Cinnamon is the most popular one and most of the days you have some or the other tea sampling at the store!! I always go crazy when i go there, cos i see all these different herbs and spices and wanna buy all of them at once. It is like my little disney land! :) ( I have temporarily changed my profile pic to one taken in front of Market Spice. You will understand what I am talking about, then!)
On my last visit to Market Spice, i managed to pick up a couple of things. One was herbs de provence. I also got some fresh All Spice powder, fettucine spice blend, Mexican Vanilla extract and of course, some orange cinnamon tea!
My loot from Market Spice
So, coming back to the recipe for the day, I made some Herbs De Provence Potatoes the other day as a side dish to our pasta. Both AJ and I generally love anything roasted with herbs in it – potatoes, veggie mix, chicken (only AJ) or anything else.Here is a little something that Wiki has to say about the herb mix .
“Herbes de Provence (Provençal herbs) is a mixture of dried herbs from Provence invented in the 1970s.The mixture typically contains savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender flowers and other herbs. The proportions vary by manufacturer. Thyme usually dominates the taste produced by the herb mixture. This herb combination captures the flavors of the sunny South of France.”
Some sources say that some ingredients in the Herbs De Provence like orange zest and lavender were later added to the blend, especially lavender, which was added for the benefit of tourists who saw lavender fields as something that represents the Provence region of France.I also read somewhere that some Herbs De Provence blends do not have lavender in them, thankfully mine had and it added such a wonderful flavour!!
Roasted Potatoes Herbs De Provence
Russet Potatoes - washed, skinned and cut into big cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (i once used Spanish olive oil also)
2 tbsp herbs de Provence
1 tsp dried red chili flakes (optional)
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450F and spray cooking spray on a baking tray. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil, herbs de Provence blend and red chili flakes. Put this mix in the baking tray and make sure that the potatoes are spread out and not crowded in. You want them to be roasted and not steamed.Sprinkle some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and pop it int he oven.It will take about 30-40 mins for the potatoes to be done, but do keep an eye on them from time to time. Once the potatoes are cooked and soft on the inside and slightly roasted on the outside, you can keep the oven setting to broil for 5-10 mins for the potatoes to brown a little more.
This can be served as a side dish with pasta or casserole or any other dish!