I’m back! I returned home from Maine very late Saturday night and spent most of yesterday trying to convince my body that it should be paying attention to West Coast time… My husband spoiled me rotten, making poached eggs with my Mom’s toasted English muffins for breakfast, walking the dog solo when I fell asleep on the couch, giving me the last ripe apricot and making salmon sausage & fresh corn for dinner. We puttered and chatted and looked through my pictures from Maine, a mellow, much-needed reintroduction to non-vacation life. Now, I am eager to get back to cooking, so much so that I don’t know what to make first! I haven’t been to a farmers’ market in 3 weeks and our fruit CSA doesn’t come until Wednesday, so we’re working with a lot of pantry items this week. I have some great ideas and a solid meal plan of some dishes I have shared in the past. In the meantime, I will tell you about my very favorite way to eat potatoes: twice-cooked!
In recent years, potatoes have become somewhat of a culinary bad guy, lumped in with white flour and white rice as a poor nutritional choice. It’s true that they are starchy and not as nutrient-dense as most dark green, red or orange vegetables, but did you know that they (and beans) have more nutritional value per penny than any other vegetable? Potatoes are rich in vitamin B6 and vitamin C and have more potassium per serving than a banana. They are a versatile addition to many meals; I bet most of us have a favorite potato salad recipe that was originally an aunt’s, Grandma’s or from a neighbor. As with any diet choices, diversity and variety are important, but it’s okay to enjoy potatoes once in a while, and this is the time of the year when delicious new potatoes, thin-skinned and nearly bite-sized, make their way into grocery stores and markets. Take advantage of all the colors and varieties available!
Another reason I am posting this recipe today is because I am missing my family and everyone knows that potatoes are one of the best comfort foods. Though my Nana never made this particular recipe, I remember well the tiny new potatoes she would boil for dinner many days when I was visiting in the summer, after my Gramp had dug them for her from his garden, often that same morning. I urge you to try these twice-cooked potatoes alongside a grilled steak, or lamb chop (my favorite) in a warm salad with other grilled vegetables, with a beautiful baked fish fillet or with the Creamy Broccoli with Smoked Salmon & Dill I posted last month. Enjoy!
Twice-Cooked New Potatoes
- 1 lb. new potatoes, any variety, scrubbed but not peeled
- 1 T. olive or grapeseed oil
- 4 – 6 cloves of garlic, smashed with the flat side of a knife and roughly chopped
- 3 T. unsalted butter (or more if you like)
- liberal amounts of salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes for 10-15 mins. They will not be cooked through and soft, but you should be able to pierce them with a fork.
Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a 2 qt. casserole dish, or equivalent, into which you have poured the oil. Toss the potatoes to coat with oil and then use a fork or the back of a wooden spoon to press down on each one just until the skin splits. Don’t mash them to oblivion, or you will have a different sort of potato dish. Cut the butter into several pieces and dot it around the dish; season with salt & pepper and spread the garlic bits around. Bake for 20 mins. Halfway through, gently turn the potatoes to brown the other side and baste with butter. The potatoes are done when they are fork-tender and gently browned. Carefully taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately.
This dish is easily multiplied; make sure you use a baking dish large enough so there is room between the potatoes. This allows for even cooking and browning.