Monday, January 6, 2014

The Best! Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes

I promise you, this is not an empty boast. As long as you don't change or omit anything, you are going to love these potatoes! I got the idea to play around with oven roasted potato recipes when I saw a Food Network star pour a melted stick of butter over her potatoes. Of course they were delicious; everything's better with a stick of butter or half a pound of cheese, and I can pour butter with the best of them ;-). The challenge I gave myself was to make the best, most unbelievable, GARD/Paleo-approved, finger-licking good potatoes ever, even better without butter or cheese.

I think I did it. I'm not even sure what the secret is, because you really taste the chewy, caramelized bits of pancetta, creamy potatoes and sweet peppers, and you don't really taste the aglione, but when you don't use plenty of the rosemary/sage/juniper berry combo, or just use rosemary & sage, it doesn't taste as good. There's something about the aglione that changes the dish that I can't put my finger on. The juniper berries? Maybe. It's a beautiful mystery.

Make lots of these. You could cut the recipe in half, but the leftovers re-heat beautifully. Serves 4-5

3 lb Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut in 3/4" cubes
12 oz yellow onion, 1" dice
8 oz red bell pepper, 1" dice
8 oz green bell pepper, 1" dice
4 medium cloves garlic, chopped (remember, the aglione has garlic, too, so don't change this quantity)
3-4 TB aglione
Few pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
garlic powder & onion powder
mild paprika
8 oz pancetta, excess fat trimmed away and cut in small dice

>Do not substitute bacon for pancetta! The smoky flavor of the bacon will overwhelm everything else. I'm sure it would be good, but it won't taste anything like this dish.

>Do not add any salt. There's salt in the aglione and also in the pancetta, more than enough.

>Do not add more garlic, as there's some in the aglione.

>Any potato will do; just remember that Yukon Golds have a higher moisture content and won't brown as nicely.

Preheat oven to 425*F
Put 2 racks in the middle part of the oven, but with good air flow between them.

Cut up all your peppers and veg; weigh the peppers, as looks are deceiving. I ended up using 2 red peppers to 1 green to get an equal weight.

You can see my cuts aren't all mathematically precise, but this gives you an idea of their size.

Cut the pancetta in very small dice and set it aside. It won't go in the oven till halfway through the cooking time.

Combine the potatoes, peppers, onions and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Use enough olive oil to generously coat all the veg without having extra sitting in the bottom of the bowl, probably 1/4 c or so, and stir well with a big spoon. I don't use my hands because too much of the herbs and spices end up on my hands, and I want it all on the food.

Now add the aglione, red pepper (go easy on this! maybe 4 pinches total), a light dusting of garlic powder, a light dusting of onion powder, and a heavier dusting of paprika. Stir to mix well, then dust again with onion and garlic powder and paprika, to make sure everything is evenly coated.

Spread out on 2 half sheet pans. You want to make sure everything is in one layer so it all browns and cooks evenly. Roast for 10 minutes, then use a metal spatula to scrape up and stir everything around to get an even browning and so nothing burns.

Divide the pancetta and mix half with the veg on each sheet pan, tossing well to coat with oil. Return to the oven and roast another 10 minutes, then stir and scrape and toss again, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until everything is brown and tender.

You'll have roasted everything for a total of 30 minutes. Remember if your pans are dark, they won't need to roast as long, and you might even want to lower the oven temp to 400*.

That's it. Easy peasy. I really hope you will try this and let me know what you think.

- - - - -

P.S. I thought the leftovers would make a great frittata, but you know what? The flavors are too subtle, they get lost in the egg. It's a good frittata, and a good use of leftovers, but I honestly think the potatoes are much better just re-heated on their own.

P.P.S. Many thanks to Jennifer Boose for resizing the pictures for me. I can cook a potato but am hopeless with computers.


  1. OMG! There's no need to credit me with "computer magic"! Thanks for the Yukon Gold tip. I'd been thinking they took extra long to brown. I'm so gonna make these potatoes (my FAVORITE! food). Gotta get those juniper berries somewhere.

  2. Williams Sonoma has good quality juniper berries. Splurge a little and keep them refrigerated, they'll last a long time.

    And my dear, to someone who doesn't know how to do the things you do, it is magic ;-).

  3. Kryah, could you tell me how this diet helped your migraines. How soon did it help, will you adhere to this for life, etc. I am on Facebook if you could IM me: Theresa Simard Schwartz. Thanks so much for your time.

    1. Theresa I only just realized that I made a new comment answering your questions instead of doing a Reply so you would see it. I hope it's not too late!

  4. Hi Theresa, sure I'll be happy to tell you. First of all, because I had chronic nonstop headache (meaning every minute of every hour of every day without relief for almost 2 months *on top of* the migraines, I used a multi-pronged approach:

    I started taking Migrelief daily;

    I did magnesium foot soaks daily, because this gets your magnesium levels up to where they should be within 30 days instead of the average 3-5 years just taking oral supplements, even the "best" brand. In addition a lot of us who need to give up grain have "leaky gut syndrome" so most of the oral supplements would be lost anyway, right? Read about magnesium deficiency and how to get your mag levels back up here:

    And I used this brand of foot detox pads, because they're twice as strong and much more effective than any other brand I'm aware of, for 1 month. Expensive, but worth it IMO because I had scary levels of aluminum and fluoride and even arsenic (???). I can not do any kind of "normal" detox teas or anything ingested because all the toxins pulled from the liver go into my leaky gut (weak intestinal walls) and all the poisons end up in my entire body making me sick as a dog for days on end.

    And, of course, I did the GARD diet. It was SO hard the first month because I couldn't find many recipes that worked that tasted decent. I often wondered if people moaning in ecstasy over what I thought was crap I wouldn't feed my dog had just not tasted good food in so long they'd forgotten what it was like. Hence this blog, created out of desperation and a place where I could keep all my recipes and share with others, LOL.

    I never cheated. I knew it would undo weeks of hard work and I'd be back at square one. You HAVE to allow at least 90 days for your gut to begin to heal, because that's where all these issues, including all neurological, begin.

    After 2 weeks, the headaches stopped. At about a month, so did the migraines. At week 6, I could have climbed over people with crampons on my feet to get at a slice of chocolate cake (a sure sign all the grains and sugars had finally left my system and my body was craving replacements.) At week 8 or about 2 months, I slept better, had more energy, felt better overall, better memory and clarity, than I had in 30 years (I'm in my 50s). I stopped the mag oil foot soaks and slowly weaned off the Migrelief.

    At about 3 or 4 months I slowly started re-introducing different foods to see which were the worst triggers. I know now I can have small amounts of wheat or sugar or butter and be ok, so I'll eat outrageous desserts and not get sick. Legumes including soy and peanuts are really my kryptonite, and corn isn't far behind. Tomatoes are ok too in small amounts but I have to really monitor them.

    You should hopefully get to the point where you too can have small amounts here and there without consequences.

    I hope this helps, and good luck!!!