I would like to try roasting red potatoes instead of regular idaho potatoes-should I boil and then roast or roast them raw? Also, covered in a ceramic container or uncovered--any tips?
In my opinion, it's a matter of how much time you have and what temperature your oven is set on already. I make these a lot, with a variety of dishes, so I've used multiple cooking methods.
Ideal: They roast best, I think, being boiled just for a few minutes then roasted at 475 F for 30 minutes.
Oven's already on low: If I have a more slow-cooking item already in the oven at 350 F, then I'll go ahead and put the potatoes in raw and leave them to roast for 60-90 minutes.
Need them quickly: When in a time crunch, I've also had success boiling them until softened completely then broiling until browned (maybe 5-10 minutes).
You can go one of two ways with this and it's all going to depend on your preferences.
They can be done as Tim said by simply tossing with butter or oil, seasoning and roasting until tender.
Benefit: Easy to prep and be done with.
Drawback: They'll need to roast for about an hour (test by inserting a paring knife, if it inserts easily they're done) and they'll be more brown and shriveled.
They can also be first par-boiled until a paring knife can be easily inserted and then tossed with butter/oil and seasoning before roasting.
Benefit: Less shrinkage, they'll retain more of the red color of their skin, and will only take about 15-20 minutes to crisp up the exterior. They can be par-cooked, seasoned and refrigerated until ready to roast so are great for advance prep/entertaining.
Drawback: A two-step process and the need to wash the pan used for first par-cooking them.
I think reds are actually better for roasting. Cut the potatoes into quarters, toss them in melted butter and spices, put them in an open baking pan, and roast away.