The most humble of all vegetables is absolute perfection in this Roasted Potatoes with Herbs and Crunchy Onions recipe. Soft and fluffy on the inside with a golden exterior, and paired with simple seasonings and onions.
I made a big decision this year. And, you’ll have to forgive me for what I’m about to say, because it may be considered blasphemous to some of you. I decided to forego that big ol’ bowl of mashed potatoes that has graced our Thanksgiving table every single year for as long as I can remember. Why, you ask? Let me explain.
A large portion of Lord Byron’s Kitchen readers are based in the United States, and as you’re probably aware, I live in Canada. In the United States, Thanksgiving seems to be the be-all-to-end-all of family holidays. Seriously! Americans love their Thanksgiving like nothing I’ve ever seen! Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States later in the month of November. In contrast, Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated sometime during the first half of October.
Now, being a food blogger means one needs to be constantly aware of upcoming holidays and celebrations in order to publish recipes to the blog that relate to that specific time of year. For example, I was baking Halloween cakes and cookies in early September and began publishing those recipes to Lord Byron’s Kitchen before October even began. That will allow time for the recipe post to pick up some traction and make its way around social media groups, Pinterest boards, and and hopefully, (fingers crossed!) start being shared by people like you, the readers. When a reader shares a recipe post or link to their social media friends and family, that’s the best thank you a food blogger could ever receive.
So with that same principle in mind, I decided to use my Canadian Thanksgiving as a jumping off point to get a few more Thanksgiving and Christmas related recipes posted to Lord Byron’s Kitchen. Of the seven or eight side dishes I prepared, I think a total of six of them have already made it to the blog, or will very shortly.
But, as you know, Dear Reader, Thanksgiving day can be quite cumbersome if all of the prep, cooking, baking, boiling, etc., is being done on the day you’re serving that delicious dinner. So, to eliminate some of the stress, and to ensure I had great recipes with good photos for you, I decided to cook many of the items on our Thanksgiving menu ahead of time. That, in a nutshell, is the reason I decided to go with Roasted Potatoes with Herbs and Crunchy Onions rather than mashed potatoes.
There’s a lot of work that goes into each and every recipe post for my blog. First, is the inspiration for the recipe, and that could be a recipe that I’ve made a million times over, a new twist on an existing recipe, or a recipe from another food blogger that has inspired me to try my own version of a particular dish. Next, probably most obviously, comes the shopping for the recipe ingredients, followed by the preparation of the recipe.
Now, preparing the recipe might not be as easy as you think. Sure, from the perspective of the reader, the recipe can be followed step by step whenever the desire to make the recipe emerges. But, for a food blogger, cooking time must be planned and well thought out. I prepare 99% of the recipes on this site on a Saturday or Sunday morning. I know that the best time for me to take photographs that are well lit and will present nicely are between the hours of 11am and 2pm. (That’s when I get the best natural light in my dining room.)
So, I will need to determine how long the recipe will take to make, and work my way back from there. For these Roasted Potatoes with Herbs and Crunchy Onions, I knew I needed about forty minutes from start to finish. That means I needed to start the recipe sometime after 10am to ensure good lighting. Usually, while the recipe is being prepared, I will set up my dining room table and carefully select which cutlery or plates/bowls I will use to make the prepared dish look the most appealing. We eat with our eyes first, right!?
Once the table is set, it’s time to set up my camera and tripod, prepare garnish or props, and take a few test photos. Then, comes the plating of the dish. A food blogger will carefully plate the food so that a reader can see the dish from all angles. This instills confidence in the person making the recipe so that they know exactly how the finished product should look. Taking pictures might seem easy enough, but every time you move that tripod, you need to adjust the lighting and camera settings. Oh, and also, some social media platforms require portrait photos, while others prefer horizontal. (This all has to be running through your head at all times.)
Okay, the pictures are done. Now, let’s clean up. Remember, in most cases, it’s still before 2pm on a weekend. I have to either serve the food for a late lunch to McKenna and John.e, or package it up for dinner later that day, or give it to friends. After all of that, I need to write up the recipe, write out this blurb you’re reading right now, edit the photos, create graphic on some photos, add tags to my post, work out any SEO issues, write my description, determine the best URL, etc. Seems like a lot of work for a potato recipe, doesn’t it? But, you know what, Dear Reader, I love it dearly, so it’s worth it!
I’ve gone on too long! In the end, we were hosting our Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, but I needed to photograph the recipes on Saturday. I needed a potato dish that would hold up to being reheated for Sunday’s dinner. Roasted Potatoes with Herbs and Crunchy Onions was the key, which is why I had to forego mashed potatoes. Now that you have the full circle, I hope you’ll forgive me for not preparing everyone’s favourite side dish.
But, Dear Reader, I need you to trust me here – try this potato recipe and mashed potatoes just might become a secondary side dish option for you. Really! These potatoes are that good! Happy Thanksgiving!
- 2 pounds baby potatoes, halved*
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh summer savoury, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, dehydrated onion flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, summer savoury, and rosemary to a large bowl and toss well to coat.
- Empty contents onto a large baking sheet.
- Position potatoes in a single layer with the cut side facing down.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow the potatoes to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
- Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl and top with fresh chopped thyme, summer savoury, and rosemary for garnish. (Optional)
- *If some of the potatoes are small in size, just leave them whole. Note that in some of the photos above, you will see a few smaller sized potatoes that have not been halved.
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