16 September 2014

Today I'm sharing with you a great slow cooker side dish.  My husband and I love potatoes; they are probably our favorite side dish.  (My kids don't like them; Eva won't eat them at all, but Lena is starting to wear down and will eat small amounts of them now.)  Even though my kids aren't huge fans, I make them at least once or twice a week.  They are cheap, filling, somewhat nutritious, and I love how versatile they are.  The only thing I don't like about potatoes is how long they take to cook.  I love mashed potatoes, but the peeling is a huge pain in the butt, then the chopping, then they take forever to come up to a boil and cook.  I like using the oven to make potatoes, but that can be a problem if your main dish uses the oven as well.  My automatic conclusion was to use the slow cooker to make potatoes.  I've had some iffy results doing that, but last summer I found a real winner of a slow cooker potato recipe.  I found it at 365 Days of Slow Cooking.

Slow Cooker Italian Potatoes

2 lbs. small yellow potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp Tuscan Sunset or other salt-free Italian seasoning

Halve the small potatoes; quarter the larger ones.  Place them in a 3 quart slow cooker.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and Tuscan Sunset.  Toss to evenly coat the seasonings.

Cook on low for 3-5 hours, stirring occasionally if you can.

Makes 4 servings.

They key is using yellow potatoes, I think.  Russetts tend to turn kinda brown and get too mushy in the slow cooker.  The yellows keep their color and their shape better.  This is how they look going into the slow cooker.  

They really don't look too different when they are done.  I was very pleased with how they turned out.  They are tender, but not mushy.  And the seasoning was just perfect.  I used Penzey's Tuscan Sunset, which is the best Italian seasoning ever, but you can use your favorite Italian seasoning, or a mixture of dried Italian herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme.  Tuscan Sunset also contains garlic, so add some garlic powder if using a different brand.  Tuscan Sunset is salt-free, so adjust the added salt if using a blend that contains salt.

Of course, these don't have to be Italian-flavored potatoes.  You can season them any way you like.  Greek seasoning, chili powder, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, and curry would all be delicious on these potatoes.

I served these with my favorite white fish recipe, Baked Cornmeal Crusted Cod.  The potatoes were awesome on their own, but I also enjoyed dipping them in a little bit of my Homemade Tartar Sauce.  Yum.

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