Do It Yourself: Pouch Potatoes

Curses, foiled again.

Every time I shop at Trader Joe’s, I look longingly at the tiny multicolored potatoes– wondering what goodness I could possibly concoct with those cuties. I’m a bit of a copycat cook, and this weekend at a party I finally got my flash of inspiration:

Big bowl of veggies.

Yes, a pretty bowl filled with multicolored potatoes, along with a few other vegetables. And rosemary. And… whatever else. Spices.

Those veggies were wrapped in big aluminum pouches and heated on the grill, with delicious results.

Splendor in the grass.

The next day at Trader Joe’s, I boldly grabbed a bag of potatoes and a packet of rosemary. And a bag of sliced crimini mushrooms, because I believe that everything is better with mushrooms (and ketchup… but we’ll get to that).

When I got home I threw a few of my existing ingredients into the mix… olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Ready, set...

The deep purple potatoes are so fascinating when you cut them open… they have that ring around the edge, like an orange.


The red and gold potatoes reminded me of apples when I was slicing them. Potato identity crisis!

Taste the rainbow.

I’ve heard of people eating potatoes (or onions… or tomatoes…) like apples. Maybe the potato-eaters were just confused.

I threw the potatoes into my trusty red bowl, added a bunch of mushrooms, sloshed in a bit of olive oil (extra virgin!), some rosemary (probably less than a sprig– it’s strong), the 3 or 4 cloves of garlic that I had left from my original sauce-making bulb (sliced), and my trusty salt and pepper.

I divided the veggies into two halves, swaddled in a foil pouch.

Sleepy time for the spuddy buddies.

I put the pouches side by side in the toaster oven (best friend!) and set it for 350 degrees, for an hour. After an hour they were obviously not cooked enough (not soft), so I put them in for another half hour on 400 degrees. Within a few minutes I could hear the cooking noises and my apartment was filled with a delightful aroma. So I knew I was doing something right.

The next time I opened the foil, the potatoes were really soft. I opened one pouch and tried to crisp up the potatoes a bit by broiling them for 2-3 minutes, but the toaster oven started making weird noises. I figured after 90 minutes it needed a break, and I didn’t want anything to catch fire. So I called it, and chowed down. (I’d already had dinner, but after all that work I was hungry again.)

I sprinkled the potatoes with another pinch of salt, and of course added a lake of ketchup. (I like a one-to-one ratio of ketchup to potato.)

Hey! I made this! (Not the ketchup.)

That was last night. Today I was home around lunch time, and I decided to creatively reheat. I’d also picked up a bag of lemons at Trader Joe’s (they’re ALWAYS useful to have around), so I spread a piece of foil on my little toaster oven baking sheet, laid the potatoes on top of it, and doused the potatoes with lemon. I baked them for 5 minutes at 350 degrees, and another 5 minutes at 400 degrees.

I don’t really know if the potatoes crisped at all, but they reheated well and didn’t get mushy. (The red ones are the densest… some of them were still a bit too firm for my taste.)

Baking them for the zillionth time.

Some notes I made for next time (and I still have half a bag of potatoes left):

-Experiment with how long it takes STARTING at 400. (Probably an hour total? Less?) Or roast instead of putting in pouches? (Put on a foil-lined pan, turn every once in a while.)

-More mushrooms.

-More garlic/add garlic powder at end?

-Why do they smell kinda like pot? Is it the rosemary? (Maybe try a different herb, just for fun?)

I’m glad I made that last note, because I forgot to mention that. Has anybody else had that marijuana-smell problem with rosemary? (I mean… you might not mind. But it weirded me out.)

The best thing about these is that they really are a couch potato’s dream! While they cook you can sit on the couch, write, read, watch TV, or anything else your heart desires. And when they’re done you can sit on the couch and eat them. With so much ketchup that your friends and neighbors accuse you of disrespectchup.


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