Life in a Northern Town

Monte's Ham & Dijon Roasted Potatoes

I once told my friend, Tammy, as we were putting in the garden at my house— 'hostas are the ham of the garden world. They're not fussy, are a crowd pleaser and deliver every time'. Hostas and ham, who knew? We all need a couple things in our lives that require very little intervention and feed a crowd or fill a shady garden. I had seen Monte's ham recipe in a number of magazines but the preface to the recipe in The 150 Best American Recipes sealed the deal, "Watching the other guests devour the glazed, glistening hunk o' pork, he (Monte) begged his hostess for the recipe. 'Buy the cheapest ham possible, glaze the hell out of it, and cook it for a long time' was her pithy, right-on response." With those Dorothy Parker-esque directions,  I knew what kind of ham I was making for dinner.

Of course, there were potatoes to accompany Monte's ham masterpiece. While I am a big fan of au gratin potatoes, I was in the mood for something less creamy with a little more bite. These mustard and rosemary potatoes were just the ticket— they're flavorful and develop a beautiful crust as they are roasting. I even found the Fine Cooking magazine from December 2000 in a pile of magazines I had in a box, complete with the original recipe and a piece of rosemary tucked between the wrinkled pages.

Mustard and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes(From Fine Cooking Magazine & Molly Stevens)

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 tbsp dry white vermouth or other dry white wine
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1 inch dice

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, olive oil, vermouth, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and toss to coat. Dump the potatoes onto a large rimmed baking sheet and spread them in a single layer. Roast, tossing with a spatula a few times, until the potatoes are crusty on the outside and tender throughout, 50 - 55 minutes. Serve immediately.

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