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Roasted Potatoes with Tomato and Red Chili Sambal
A cornerstone of Indonesian cuisine, sambal is a relish with spicy, in-your-face flavor, and there are countless varieties. It can be cooked or fresh; it can be used as a dip, condiment or sauce. Ingredients often include, but are not limited to, fresh or dried chilies, tomatoes, shallots, lemon grass, garlic, ginger, galangal, citrus, palm sugar, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) and terasi (a type of shrimp paste). For our version of sambal goreng kentang, or fried potatoes with sambal, we oven-roast partially cooked (in the microwave) wedges of potatoes. But before roasting, we coat the wedges with cornstarch and oil so they crisp nicely without the hassle of deep-frying. While the potatoes roast, we make a simple tomato and fresh chili sambal by blitzing the ingredients in a food processor, then cooking the mixture to concentrate and mellow the flavors and thicken the consistency. The potatoes, when done, are simply tossed with the sambal. For the right color and flavor, it’s important to use fresh red chilies; Fresno is the most common type, but Holland chilies, if that’s what’s available, will work, too. Seeding the Fresnos removes much of their heat, but if you’re a looking of some burn, leave the seeds in some or all of the chilies.
cup plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
pounds medium russet potatoes, unpeeled, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
01Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Pour the ⅓ cup oil onto the baking sheet and tilt to coat; set aside.
My family loved the homemade sambal. The process for cooking the potatoes was a little involved for a dish of roasted potatoes, but they did turn out VERY crispy, so it was worth it. It's just not a process that I would do all the time.