No Oven, No Problem.

Slow Pan Roasted Potatoes with Button Mushrooms

When my husband and I first moved into the condo that we bought together, we were torn between getting a microwave oven, an oven, and a toaster.

Should we get a microwave oven so we could have our instant meals when we’re too lazy to cook? Or should we get a toaster so we could have our cheese-on-toast breakfasts? Or should we get an oven so we could have our roast dinners?

In the end, the toaster won the race and fast forward a year of living together as a happily married couple, I’m starting to wonder if it was a good idea to give away the oven that the previous owner had left to us. Because of that, I’m missing out on the relationship between roast dinners and ovens. For owners of landed properties, you can have your barbecue and grill it. But for us condo folks, it’s easier with oven-baked or oven-roasted dinner parties.

That’s what I’m missing out on now. But with the vastness of the internet these days, you can do almost anything with your ingredients and turn it into any meal you like. Armed with only a non-stick pan, I decided to make the most out of the only two ingredients I had in the kitchen cabinet: potatoes and a can of button mushrooms. I love potatoes, be it grilled, roasted (especially roasted!), mashed, or put into salads. But I can’t always have my roast potatoes and eat it.

Until I found a recipe that roasts its potatoes with a non-stick pan. Guess what? It didn’t turn out so bad after all.

Here’s what we had for dinner last night (above) –> A 20-minute, sweat-inducing session bent over the induction cooker. The results? Slow pan-roasted baby potatoes with button mushrooms, all herbed up and buttered down, a-salted and peppered. I had to keep a close eye on the potatoes and make sure they didn’t get burnt each time I covered the pan with a glass lid.

I found this somewhere on the interwebs, and with a few personal touches, I turned it into a dish after my own taste. All you need are a couple of ingredients. I used baby potatoes and button mushrooms because these were all I had in my kitchen. I quartered the potatoes (with the skins on) and sliced the mushrooms.

You can add 1 or 2 more things into your concoction as well, perhaps a red or green capsicum for added colour and crunch. Then, you have your various herbs (and spices if you want to add them in too), a few tablespoons of butter, a pinch of salt and some pepper for taste.

Drop 2 tablespoons of butter onto your pan, turn up the heat to medium, and coat the surface as evenly as possible. That might sound like it’s a lot of butter, but you need the butter to coat the potatoes as well. Add the potatoes and leave them to cook until they turn brown. Or as brown as possible. You want them tender, not hard and certainly not burnt either. Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the pan. Leave them in a bowl or plate.

Now it’s the mushrooms’ turn to have a buttery spa. Add another tablespoon of butter into the pan and throw in the ‘shrooms. Stir them around to coat them evenly in the simmering, melted butter. Mushrooms cook much faster than potatoes so once they’re done, throw the potatoes back into the pan and stir well to combine them. While stirring, include a dash of herbs, a pinch of salt and some pepper just so the taste and flavour would stand out.

And there you go. All done. I knew my husband loves simple meals. I’m grateful for that too because I don’t particularly enjoy slaving away in the kitchen to produce 5-star, 3-course meals for my spouse (or anyone, for that matter). I’m always on the look-out for easy, one-pot recipes.

It is quite easy, but you may have to struggle with the constant perspiration unless you have an oven to work with. Either way, don’t let it prevent you from having your roast potatoes.

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